A client purchased the gas station and auto repair facility from a private party in circa 1983. The site had a one (1)-story retail store that was used as a gas station and auto repair facility. The fuel system consisted of fuel dispensing pumps and four (4) underground storage tanks (USTs), which provided gasoline to power vehicles and one waste oil tank for inhouse use.
Except for the waste oil tank, the USTs were removed in 1992. Regulatory inspections conducted in 1991 reported petroleum contamination in groundwater and notice of violation was issued to the owner. Regulators determined the Site to be eligible for the rehabilitative funding assistance under the Petroleum Cleanup Participation Program (PCPP) but had a low score, and therefore, the site was not under active remediation. The Client had expressed an interest in selling the property, and therefore, engaged GeoTech Environmental, Inc (GeoTech) to initiate voluntary site cleanup and closure of the waste oil tank.
The closure assessment was successfully completed, and the site monitoring event demonstrated that the site was eligible for a Site Rehabilitation Completion Order (SRCO) without conditions and the No Further Action Proposal for the contamination from the regulatory agency.
The Client subsequently engaged GeoTech Realty, Inc to procure a buyer. After initiating an aggressive marketing campaign, GeoTech procured a buyer to acquire and close on the property in less than 90 days. Considering transparency and sharing all the cleanup results, the buyer fully trusted all GeoTech’s reports and engaged GeoTech to complete the remaining monitoring work required by the regulators. In fact, the Buyer terminated the relationship with their procuring agents and engaged GeoTech Realty to lease the said parcel after the closing.
Here is a learning point from GeoTech’s perspective. We accepted the challenge and solved our client’s environmental contamination problem. We created an aggressive marketing campaign to attract the right buyer who saw a strong investment potential and was also able to recognize substantial profits could be earned from contaminated sites.
GeoTech’s ingenuity is in the cleanup, our technical and regulatory relationship was at the forefront of this deal and hence created value to the client. The cleanup took 26 months and the contract to closing took 90 days. The property was purchased at $775,000 and is now worth more than $1,500,000 in less than 11 months.
“We had been at this business for over 35 years and were getting old. We purchased the site without conducting any due diligence and were stuck with the contamination issues. A prominent law firm guided us to Neil Lakhlani and the rest is history. Technical skill and trust were the key reasons on selecting GeoTech. Neil is honest and thorough in his environmental and real estate dealings, which also offered us peace of mind when negotiating complex real estate transactions that can leave liability on our shoulders even after closing. We highly recommend Neil Lakhlani to anyone who wants to sell an auto repair business. Call him you will not regret it.”