Brownfields Program

What is the Brownfields Program?

The City of Spokane’s Brownfields Program works to minimize the risks associated with redeveloping a brownfield (possibly contaminated site). The program seeks out funding to conduct site assessments, conduct cleanup activities, along with providing technical assistance and information on statewide programs and policies. We serve as a resource for potential applicants of the state Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund.

What is a brownfield?

A brownfield is a property wherein its expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant, including Asbestos and Vermiculite. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. and more than 2,200 in Washington. These often abandoned sites can create safety and health risks to surrounding residents, increase unemployment, and are frequently tax delinquent.

Where are brownfields typically located?

Brownfields sites can be found practically anywhere. Created through contamination due to former uses, brownfields include those sites once used for gas stations, dry cleaners, factories, warehouses, railroad switching yards, landfills, parking lots, etc.

What help & opportunities exist for brownfield cleanup?

Brownfields are often located in highly desirable areas for development, but contamination prevents redevelopment of that site and adjacent areas. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, improves and protects the environment. Our toolbox of resources and assistance is complex and may not be able to assist in every case, but we are here to help find assistance that aligns with your needs. Please contact the Economic Development Team at or 509.625.6500 today for a free consultation.

What is being done for brownfields at the local level?

The City of Spokane’s Brownfields Program, administered by Planning’s Economic Development Team, provides assistance to private individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations to assess and remediate contaminated sites.

Spokane is also home to Washington’s first and third Brownfield Redevelopment Opportunity Zones (ROZ). A former municipal storage site, known as The Ranch, located in the Hillyard Industrial Area became the ROZ pilot project, coinciding with the targeted investment projects being implemented in The Yard. The 100-acre Riverfront Park became the third.

The City continues to work in Northeast Spokane, recently obtaining a $500,000 EPA grant to identify contaminated sites and work with owners to fund needed analyses and cleanup planning so that their properties can be put to more beneficial use.

The Yard

Examples of Brownfield Projects

There are many examples in Spokane and across the nation of highly successful brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects.

Riverpoint Campus

Riverpoint Campus

Riverpoint Campus, just east of Downtown Spokane, was once occupied by old rail lines and a waste incubator. It now houses five higher education institutions and the shoreline of the Spokane River has been restored.

Kendall Yards

Kendall Yards

Kendall Yards was once the site of a large rail yard. Since then, new houses, townhouses, apartments, offices, and restaurants have been built on the 84-acre site. It has become home for several hundred residents and it continues to expand.

Cleaning Kendall Yards, December 9, 2020

Looff Carrousel

Riverfront Spokane

Riverfront Spokane was once a large rail yard, shipping and transportation center adjacent to Downtown Spokane. The site was redeveloped in the 1970s for Expo ’74, and is now the location of Riverfront Park. With the current redevelopment additional remediation is required.

From 2016 to 2021, the City worked with Washington State Department of Ecology to clean up and redevelop areas of the park. The cleanup earned the City and Ecology a Phoenix Award for brownfields excellence at the national Brownfields 2022 Conference in Oklahoma City. More info.

Contact Information

Planning & Economic Development Department
Economic Development Team