Andrew Cratsenberg | Dry Cleaning Due Diligence
Andrew C Cratsenberg, a Washington native is here to discuss former dry cleaning businesses. Heavily reliant on dangerous solvents and employing equipment prone to leaking in years gone by, dry cleaning businesses represent a significant headache for commercial property owners, and those looking to investing in commercial real estate. Responsible for contaminating soil and groundwater, solvent leaks and incorrectly disposed of. Solvent-laden wastewater can have dire environmental consequences, according to Andrew C Cratsenberg. Andrew is an attorney and property investor based in Federal Way, Washington.
A 1988 survey by the International Fabricare Institute, he reveals, discovered that over 70 percent of all U.S. dry cleaners at the time disposed of solvent-laden wastewater incorrectly – most commonly into the sewer system. Furthermore, during the same period, it wasn’t uncommon for dry cleaning businesses to store spent filters and other equipment outside of a property’s service door where further solvent was then able to escape into the environment. Read more here on how Cratsenberg helps the locals.
More recently, the industry has cleaned up its act, as discovered by a 2007 study conducted by the Santa Clara Water District. Historic practices, however, continue to pose a problem today for owners of properties which house, or have housing, a dry cleaning business.
As dry-cleaning solvents do not readily degrade, the effects are seen much later. In a more environmentally friendly—and environmentally conscious—age, owners of properties which previously housed dry cleaning businesses are now finding themselves being pulled into toxic tort litigation.
Dry Cleaning Businesses Have Long Posed an Issue for Commercial Property Investors
Andrew C Cratsenberg explains this is due to a reliance on toxic chemicals. In addition, notoriously leaky equipment, and a lack of environmental awareness. As many as 100,000 former dry cleaning businesses may exist in the U.S. alone. Moreso, almost none of which will have been appropriately decommissioned or decontaminated. This, says Andrew C Cratsenberg, leaves potential new owners of these businesses open to litigation and costly clean-up processes. Furthermore, determining if a dry cleaning business previously operated at a property can be difficult. This can sometimes take years to figure out unless the previous owners inform you of such.
For this reason, due diligence is incredibly important when looking to invest in the commercial real estate. Shopping centers and strip malls are a particular concern. Due to the high likelihood that these businesses may have previously housed a tenant responsible for dry cleaning services. This also includes coin-operated laundries.
Employing a more extensive search, California conducts multiple investigations to uncover the truth. This includes high-resolution aerial imaging to identify roof fixtures associated with such operations.
Andrew C Cratsenberg advises going to every possible effort. Determine the likelihood that a dry cleaning business may have previously operated from within a commercial property. Adding the required clean-up operations cost in excess of one million dollars.