Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $3.45 million in grants through the "Brownfield Opportunity Areas" (BOA) program for 15 communities throughout the state. The grants will help create jobs, support environmental remediation, revitalize communities, and expand the tax base in distressed neighborhoods that have been adversely affected by brownfield sites.
Brownfields are dormant properties where contamination has impeded redevelopment, turning the properties into economic and environmental drains on localities. The BOA grants support programs aimed at redeveloping brownfields.
"Turning brownfields into vibrant sites that attract investment and create jobs is another step in our mission to rebuild the economy of New York State," Governor Cuomo said. "These grants will revitalize communities throughout the state, provide opportunities for crucial economic development, and allow businesses and neighborhoods to thrive once more. As these individual communities are restored, New York State as a whole will prosper."
The BOA grants support a variety of activities leading to revitalization, including:
- investigations of site contamination conditions
- environmental impact assessments
- economic and market studies to determine the best use of brownfields and vacant sites
- redevelopment plans for strategic sites
- marketing to attract developer interest
- public forums and other opportunities for public participation
- other actions to spur investment, clean-up, and redevelopment related to brownfield sites
Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales said, "The 'Brownfield Opportunity Areas' program establishes clear and effective redevelopment strategies and brings predictability to the community, investors, and developers, enabling successful neighborhood revitalization. We are excited to be partnering with communities across the state to revive contaminated sites and foster economic growth."
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, "The Brownfield Opportunity grants work in tandem with DEC's Brownfield clean-up program by identifying strategies to address barriers to redevelopment. These grants will begin the process to repurpose environmentally scarred areas into productive opportunities for economic growth."
Senator Mark Grisanti, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "Governor Cuomo's 'Brownfield Opportunity Areas' program grants will go far in reviving communities across this state. These grants will support programs that will transform contaminated brownfields into environmentally-sound sites for public and private use and investment. The Governor's program will spur much-needed business and economic development in local neighborhoods, and I commend him for his leadership on this important issue."
Assemblyman Bob Sweeney, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "All across New York State, distressed neighborhoods are home to brownfields, contaminated properties that accomplish nothing and hinder local growth. With Governor Cuomo's 'Brownfield Opportunity Areas' program, local communities will have the financial assistance needed for essential redevelopment activities, such as site investigations, environmental assessments, and marketing to attract investment. I thank Governor Cuomo for his support and look forward to continuing our work together."
Executive Director of New Partners for Community Revitalization Jody Kass said, "Governor Cuomo's 'Brownfield Opportunity Areas' program will help turn brownfields that are currently holding back communities into sites that foster economic opportunity. These grants will allow us to fully harness the potential of our entire community and to develop brownfields into assets that support business growth and neighborhood prosperity."
Executive Director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance Eddie Bautista said, "Brownfields are environmental blights on communities throughout our entire state that also choke off neighborhood and business development. However, through local engagement and state support, brownfields can be used to turn a struggling community around. The 'Brownfield Opportunity Areas' program provides exactly the support that is needed to remediate the environmental effects of brownfields and to transform the sites in a way that helps communities. Moreover, this program bolsters the local groups that know their areas best. I commend Governor Cuomo for this program and for leading the way in environmentally sustainable business development."
The Department of State administers the BOA program.
The 15 recipients of the $3.45 million in BOA grant recipients are:
Western New York
City of North Tonawanda, North Tonawanda $423,450 (Step 3)The City of North Tonawanda will complete an Implementation Strategy for a 546-acre area located along the Niagara River and Erie Canal in Tonawanda Island. Of primary concern is a commercial-industrial zone that is separated from the mainland by the Little River and characterized with aging infrastructure, obsolete or abandoned buildings, and environmental contamination. The Implementation Strategy will focus on specific techniques and actions that will be undertaken to enable desired redevelopment and uses including: updated zoning and other local laws; architectural design guidelines; redevelopment feasibility assessments and site plan alternatives for specific strategic sites; site marketing to attract developer interest; developing a local management structure to ensure plan implementation; and compliance with New York's State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
Village of Gowanda, Gowanda $71,100 (Step 1)The Village of Gowanda will complete a Pre-Nomination Study to begin to address more than 20 potential brownfield sites. The primary community revitalization objectives include: completing an inventory of brownfields, vacant, and abandoned sites; and conducting community visioning to solicit community input and to begin to determine their best reuse.
Broome County, Endicott Johnson Industrial Spine $305,000 (Step 3)Broome County will complete an Implementation Strategy for an approximately 222-acre site characterized by 17 brownfield sites that are located in the Village of Johnson City and the City of Binghamton. The primary community revitalization objectives are to: provide appealing opportunities for private investment on strategic sites; and to ensure that redevelopment is undertaken in a manner consistent with the community's vision for the Endicott Johnson neighborhood. The Implementation Strategy will focus on specific techniques and actions that will be undertaken to ensure desired investment and redevelopment, including: modifications to local laws; architectural design guidelines; market feasibility studies and site plan design alternatives for specific strategic sites; site marketing to attract developer interest; establishing a local management structure to ensure plan implementation; and compliance with SEQRA.
St. Lawrence County, Massena $360,000 (Step 2)St. Lawrence County will complete a Nomination for an approximately 485-acre area characterized by a 200-acre brownfield site located in the Town of Massena. The primary community revitalization objectives are to: identify and assess appropriate reuse options that will positively contribute to the region; create jobs and enhance the local tax base; diversify the local economy; and capitalize on the strategic location and infrastructure assets. Project funding will complement ongoing remediation that is being undertaken in cooperation with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and is addressing on-site soil, surface water, and groundwater contamination.
Central New York
City of Auburn, Auburn Downtown Owasco River Corridor $389,338 (Step 2)The City of Auburn will complete a Nomination for a 562-acre Downtown Owasco River Corridor characterized by at least 13 brownfield sites and numerous other vacant properties. The primary community revitalization objective is to develop a market-driven, economically feasible redevelopment strategy for riverfront and downtown redevelopment that will encourage clean-up and return of strategic sites to productive economic and social use. This project will build on the city's newly adopted plan, "Building a Sustainable Auburn."
Rochester Group 14621 Neighborhood, 14621 Revitalization Plan $194,850 (Step 2)The Group 14621 Community Association will complete a Nomination for a 757-acre site located north of the Central Business District in the City of Rochester. The area is characterized by 82 sites that are known or potential brownfields and vacant sites located near the Genesee River and along industrial and commercial corridors. The primary community objectives are to: redevelop strategic brownfield and vacant sites to revive the industrial and commercial corridors; increase tax revenues and employment; and improve residential neighborhoods.
Greene County Industrial Development Agency, Catskill Creek $104,100 (Step 2)The Greene County Industrial Development Agency will complete a Nomination for an approximately 198-acre area characterized by at least 4 to 6 potential brownfield sites that are located along Catskill Creek and the Hudson River in the Village of Catskill. The primary goal is to advance the village's vision for redevelopment by facilitating the investigation, clean-up, and redevelopment of strategic brownfields to allow for uses and businesses most desired by the community.
Affordable Housing Partnership of the Capital Region, Inc., Sheridan Hollow Neighborhood $90,000 (Step 1)The Affordable Housing Partnership of the Capital Region will complete a Pre-Nomination Study for an approximately 150-acre area characterized by widespread abandonment and the presence of an estimated 50 plus potential brownfield or vacant sites that hinder redevelopment in Albany's Sheridan Hollow neighborhood. The primary community revitalization objectives are to: assess existing economic and environmental conditions; and determine the redevelopment potential and best use of strategic sites that will have a positive community impact.
Greater Glens Falls Local Development Corporation, Warren Street $74,700 (Step 1)The Greater Glens Falls Local Development Corporation will complete a Pre-Nomination Study for an approximately 730-acre area characterized by 30 brownfield and underutilized sites located within the Warren Street Corridor, a primary gateway to the city's downtown. The Warren Street area represents prime opportunities to build on recent revitalization successes by fostering redevelopment along the primary commercial corridor connecting the city's industrial base and downtown with eastern New York and Vermont.
Village of Philmont, Philmont $225,000 (Step 2)The Village of Philmont will complete a Nomination for an area characterized by potential brownfield sites that are within close proximity to the Summit Reservoir. The primary community revitalization objective is to create a community-based revitalization strategy with an emphasis on the reuse potential of strategic brownfield sites for new uses such as housing, retail, commercial, and public amenities like lake-side parks.
Ulster County, Ulster County $202, 671 (Step 1)Ulster County will complete a county-wide Pre-Nomination Study to begin to address an estimated 1,500 potential brownfield sites. This project will: identify areas affected by concentrations of brownfields; assess their redevelopment potential; and establish priorities for redevelopment and further action. The Pre-Nomination Study will be coordinated with and build on existing economic development and priority growth area plans.
New York City
East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corp. and the St. Nick's Alliance, Industrial Business Zone, Brooklyn $316, 980 (Step 2)St. Nicks Alliance and the East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation are partnering to complete a Step 2 Nomination for the 721-acre North Brooklyn Industrial Business Zone. This project will identify and assess opportunities for industrial reuse of contaminated and blighted properties. Many of the 15,000 industrial jobs in North Brooklyn are at risk due to residential gentrification. Successful brownfield redevelopment can retain these high-quality working class jobs for neighborhood residents, while simultaneously cleaning up environmental blight and attracting new and expanding industrial businesses.
South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Eastchester South Bronx $328,511 (Step 2)The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation will complete a Nomination for an approximately 120-acre area in the Eastchester section of the Bronx that is characterized by over 80 brownfield sites. This area borders the City of Mount Vernon in Westchester County, is adjacent to the Hutchinson River, and has immediate access to major traffic thoroughfares. The primary project objectives are to: strengthen the existing industrial business sector; improve supporting infrastructure; address issues between residential and industrial uses; clean-up contaminated soil and groundwater; and assess feasibility of creating waterfront access opportunities.
Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, Red Hook Brooklyn $106,650 (Step 1)Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation will complete a Pre-Nomination Study for an approximately 343-acre area in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which is characterized by a high concentration of brownfields. The primary community revitalization objective is to improve the neighborhood economically and environmentally by cleaning up and redeveloping brownfields and vacant sites to attract new businesses and create employment opportunities for local residents.
Village of Hempstead Community Development Agency, Franklin Street $254,700 (Step 2)The Village of Hempstead Community Development Agency will complete a Nomination for a 180-acre area with approximately 40 potential brownfield sites located in Hempstead's downtown in the vicinity of Franklin Street. The primary community revitalization objectives are to: assess and redevelop abandoned and underutilized properties with appropriate uses; and to attract businesses that will have a significant, positive impact.