If you’re purchasing or refinancing a commercial property, you may have been told that a Phase I ESA is required.
Well, what is it, and more importantly, how much will it cost?
What is a Phase I ESA?
A Phase I ESA is an assessment that requires a professional to come in and take a look at several factors on your property. The end result is a report that shows the types of contaminants on the property, and what needs to be done to get the property buttoned up (aka contaminant-free.)
The factors that are reviewed by the environmental professional (yes, you need to hire someone to do this):
Review of records – historical and environmental. This can be everything from aerial photos to fuel tank registrations.
Interviews with current or past property occupants – really, anyone who might reveal more information regarding the property.
Finally, a physical site inspection (interior and exterior.) This includes a visual inspection of things like fuel or chemical storage tanks, stained soils, site activities, and more.
Leave that to the professionals, though. We assume that your looming question is…
How much does a Phase I ESA cost?
Although it’s not as cut and dry as this, the quick answer is: it depends. We know, it’s not what you want to hear. However, we may be able to help you at least get an understanding of the range.
The average cost of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is usually between $1,500 and $6,000, but can be more or less depending on different variables depending on the specifics of the job.
Anything less than $1,500 – be aware. If some estimates you receive are less, just be warned that this person must really need your business, but the quality may be lacking. If someone cuts corners on this job, it could end up costing you a much greater fortune.
Anything more than $6,000 – be aware. You’re probably overpaying.
Of course, there are always exceptions. Depending on all of the factors an environmental professional must take into consideration, the price will vary.
What affects the Phase I ESA price?
There are several factors that must be taken into consideration when creating the estimate. A competent professional will look at the location, previous history of contaminants, site location (if there are travel expenses, of course that increases the price), the number of properties which must be inspected, the size of the properties, and the time it will take to look through all required documentation. The longer the building has been around, the more likely it is that it will take longer to review documents (as there are simply more.)
We hope this helps you understand the costs of getting a Phase I ESA. If you’re looking for qualified professionals with years of experience completing Phase I ESA’s, feel free to contact us to talk to someone about an estimate.