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What is the difference between greenfield and brownfield?

Greenfield and brownfield are two terms that are often associated with investments or real estate. If you are in finance or accounting, you have probably seen a company use these terms when they are describing new stores or locations that were added during a period.

A company may indicate that they added 10 sites or stores during the period, and investors/shareholders would want to know whether they were greenfield or brownfield.

Greenfield refers to a new site development, which means there was nothing there before. A brownfield is similar to a remodel in that existing facilities are used rather than developing new facilities.

For example, if Billy’s Burger Shop built a new burger shop on a nice lush grassy field, that would be considered a greenfield. However, if they converted an old smelly gas station to a burger shop, that would be considered a brownfield.

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