Local policy makers seek ways to deal with abandoned industrial heritage in their jurisdictions. Much is demolished, but in some cases considerable investments are made to preserve the cultural aspects of industrial sites. The renewal plans are usually designed to stimulate urban renewal in the vicinity of these sites. Little seems to be known about the effectiveness of these policies and in this paper, we study whether the redevelopment of five industrial heritage sites caused positive external effects by investigating the development of house prices in nearby residential areas. We use a quasi‐experimental design by comparing quality‐adjusted house prices before the start, between the start and the completion and after the completion of the transformation. We find substantial effects of one site, which is the best-known example of renovated industrial heritage i n the Netherlands, but much smaller or no effects for the other sites. We also model the decay of these effects over time and space. We find different decay effects for each case. We conclude that industrial heritage sites do not necessarily cause negative external effects. If there are negative external effects present they disappear at the start of the transformation of the industrial heritage site, suggesting anticipation effects. Also, positive external effects on house prices after the redevelopment of industrial heritage are not necessarily present. The details of the transformation project (e.g. location, size of the site, size of the investment, focus on interior or exterior investments) seem to be important determinants that may cause the existence of positive external effects.