Additional Tax Credit Incentives Available to Transform Dormant and Blighted Areas into Economic Development Projects
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the designation of 12 brownfield opportunity areas in economically-challenged communities across New York State. The Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program helps local communities establish revitalization strategies that return dormant and blighted areas into productive areas to spur economic development. This designation is based upon plans of varying focus that reflect local conditions, and projects receiving this designation are given priority status for grants and additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credit incentives.
“By designating these sites as brownfield opportunity areas, we are helping to reimagine their potential as vibrant parts of the surrounding communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “This distinction allows us to put their rehabilitation on the fast-track with additional state resources, and that means new development, jobs and opportunities in the future. This is another way that our administration is joining with local partners to revitalize blighted areas across the state, and I look forward to seeing their transformation continue in the days to come.”
Prior to their designation, these communities received planning grants financed through New York’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program to complete a nomination that set forth revitalization strategies and promoted sound redevelopment and enhanced environmental quality within the affected areas. The Department of State accepted the nominations for these BOAs and has determined they meet the necessary requirements and criteria for designation. Developers, property owners and others with projects and properties located within a designated BOA will be eligible to access additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax incentives and receive priority and preference for State grants to develop projects aimed at transforming dormant and blighted areas in their communities and putting them back into productive use.
Brownfields Reform and State Superfund
Separate from the sites receiving BOA designation today, the 2015-16 State Budget extends the Brownfields Cleanup Program for ten years, and includes important reforms to protect taxpayers and promote brownfield redevelopment, particularly Upstate. The Budget also includes a new $100 million appropriation and extends the State Superfund cleanup program for ten years. The Superfund has been instrumental in identifying, investigating and cleaning up hazardous waste sites throughout the State.
Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales said: “These designations will serve as tremendous environmental and economic development engines for communities in need of public and private investment. The added incentives will afford these communities great opportunities for new housing development, businesses and job creation, and overall beautification.” The Secretary of State is charged with the designation of BOAs after a community planning process.
Val Washington, President, New Partners for Community Revitalization said: "From Buffalo to the Bronx, from Wyandanch on Long Island to Lewis County in the North Country, New York's BOA Program is showing its worth. Uniquely, it brings community and municipal leaders together to develop plans to revitalize neighborhoods impacted by multiple brownfields. We applaud and support Governor Cuomo's important announcement today, and appreciate his leadership in increasing state government support for developers who will work in these designated areas."
The 12 designated BOAs announced today are:
Western New York
Chadakoin River Central/Eastern BOA, City of Jamestown, Chautauqua County – This consists of a 643-acre area characterized by 53 identified brownfields, located in downtown Jamestown, along the Industrial Heritage Corridor and East End Industrial Corridor. The primary revitalization goals are to encourage redevelopment, cleanup and reinvestment in the area; enhance the City’s connection to the Chadakoin River; and to generate jobs and tax revenues. A $370,800 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
City of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said: “The New York Department of State has and will continue to be a valuable resource to help advance our redevelopment goals for this project. We look forward to working closely with them to help enable our City to qualify for additional grant funds for projects that will be identified in the BOA that have the potential to become transformational to our revitalization.”
City of North Tonawanda BOA, Niagara County - This consists of a 546-acre area, characterized by 61 potential brownfield sites, 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 contamination. A $175,000 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
City of North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur G. Pappas said: “We are very pleased to have worked closely with the New York Department of State on this project. The BOA Program has been instrumental in shaping the vision for North Tonawanda's downtown and waterfront. We look forward to continuing to work with the DOS to advance our many goals for our City. Their assistance was and is invaluable and will enable our City to qualify for additional grant funding for our redevelopment.”
Batavia Opportunity Area, Genesee County - This consists of a 366-acre area characterized by an estimated 75 potential brownfield sites located within the Batavia Central Corridor. The primary community revitalization objectives include: cleaning-up and redeveloping underutilized, vacant and brownfield properties with appropriate uses; stabilizing existing neighborhoods; and continuing the revitalization of the downtown business district. A $266,508 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
City of Batavia Manager Jason Molino said: “We would like to thank the Department of State for providing the funding and guidance to complete Batavia’s Batavia Opportunity Area plan. The Batavia BOA has been an overwhelming success and we have already seen significant developer interest in our brownfield sites. To date we have already received more than $2 million in grant funding for TEP, NY Main Street and CDBG applications that advance recommendations in the Plan.”
Lyell-Lake-State (LYLAKS BOA), City of Rochester, Monroe County - This consists of a 602-acre area with approximately 206 potential brownfield sites. These sites are located in the Browns Square, Edgerton, JOSANA, Lyell-Otis, and People of Dutchtown neighborhoods in Rochester. The primary community revitalization objectives include: redeveloping strategic sites that have the most potential to positively impact real estate values, economic development, the local job market, and overall quality of life. A $214,509 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
Vacuum Oil-South Genesee River Corridor BOA, City of Rochester, Monroe County- This consists of an approximately 148-acre area characterized by 28 potential brownfield sites located in City Planning Sector 4. The area borders the western bank of the Genesee River and includes an underprivileged minority community located adjacent to historic and vibrant neighborhoods within the City of Rochester. Investment in strategic sites, together with improved recreational access to the Genesee River waterfront and associated trailways within the study area, are expected to serve as catalysts to improve public safety and drive economic development. This project will help mitigate the stigma now affecting the blighted neighborhood. A $215,100 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said: “With the help of the New York State Department of State, we will have access to additional resources to clean up two of our brownfields, the ‘Lyell-Lake-State’ site and Vacuum Oil. This assistance from the State will allow us to move from planning to implementation, thereby transforming blighted property into prime real estate, and paving the way for more jobs and revitalized neighborhoods that will help propel our city forward.”
Village of Macedon Waterfront and Downtown BOA, Wayne County - This consists of an approximately 462-acre area characterized by 61 potential brownfield and vacant sites within the Village core, around the Erie Canal, Ganargua Creek, and the Main Street business district. The primary revitalization objectives include: increasing the tax base by redeveloping brownfield and vacant sites for mixed use development and business expansion, and revitalizing the Village's business district for commerce use and to increase tourism. A $182,160 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
Village of Macedon Mayor Marie Cramer said: “The Village of Macedon in the last four years has been in the forefront of revitalization. This BOA designation will open up business to the Village, which has been a dream for many decades to the elected officials, planning board members and residents.”
Downtown Rome BOA, Oneida County - This consists of a 513-acre area characterized by 364 potential vacant sites located within the City center, near the Erie Canal and Mohawk River, and the East Rome business park. The primary revitalization objective is to clean-up and redevelop strategic sites for a variety of residential, commercial, office and recreational uses. A $225,000 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
City of Rome Mayor Joseph R. Fusco said: “The BOA Revitalization Strategy for Downtown Rome has been an asset to the City as we continue to develop and beautify our East Dominick Street and waterfront corridor. We have benefited from a close working relationship with the New York Department of State on this project. We look forward to continuing to work with them as we develop our Downtown Rome and the East Rome Business Park.”
Village of Lyons Falls BOA, Lewis County- This consists of a 627-acre areas and encompasses the entire area of the Village. It is characterized by four potential brownfield sites located in the Village of Lyons Falls. The primary revitalization objectives include: redeveloping the abandoned Lyons Falls Pulp and Paper Mill site, as well as other sites; providing affordable housing; and improving the village's downtown and economy. A $148,637 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
Village of Lyons Falls Mayor Katie Liendecker said: “We are very pleased to have worked closely with the New York Department of State on this project. We look forward to continuing to work with them to advance our many goals for our Village. Their assistance was and is invaluable and will enable our Village to qualify for additional grant funding for our redevelopment.”
Lewis County Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Tabolt said: “Lewis County has worked closely with the Village of Lyons Falls to complete this revitalization project. The efforts to develop the Brownfield plan will lead to well thought out progress to influence economic development in Lyons Fall and southern Lewis County.”
Fort Edward Northeast Industrial BOA, Town and Village of Fort Edward, Washington County- This consists of an approximately 800-acre area characterized with four brownfield sites that are located in the northeast corner of the Village of Fort Edward and the northern portion of the Town of Fort Edward. The primary objectives are to determine and attract the best reuses for the Hudson River Dredging Project Dewatering Facility and the former Grand Union site, and for the expansion of the Fort Edward Industrial Park. A $180,000 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
Town of Fort Edward Town Supervisor Mitch Suprenant said: “I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Secretary Perales for this BOA designation to the Town of Fort Edward. Our community is dedicated to the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program and the amazing potential that Fort Edward offers the region. We have a clear plan and the determination to transform our vacant, underutilized and contaminated sites into new locations for businesses to prosper.”
Village of Fort Edward Mayor Matthew Traver said: "The collaboration with the Town to create the Renaissance Plan will encourage developers, businesses, and residents to take a fresh look at our traditional downtown and Hudson River waterfront. We are excited to use the BOA plan as a catalyst for redevelopment projects that will bring families, businesses and visitors to Fort Edward. Many thanks to the New York Department of State for all of their help along the way."
New York City
Jamaica BOA, Queens County - This consists of an approximately 132-acre area characterized with 224 potential brownfield sites that are located in Jamaica Queens near the rail station. Primary objectives include fostering mixed-use and sustainable transit-oriented development near the AirTrain, which provides a rail connection for downtown Jamaica and JFK airport. A $420,000 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
Greater Jamaica Development Corporation President Carlisle Towery said: "The stimulus that the State BOA program is providing to development projects in the LIRR AirTrain Station Area business district is having an economic ripple affect across Downtown Jamaica, Queens. Thanks to the Cuomo Administration and the State Legislature for their commitment to the BOA program and the further revitalization of Southeast Queens."
Port Morris Harlem Riverfront BOA, Bronx County - This consists of a 200-acre area characterized by 10 brownfields located in Port Morris near the Harlem River. The primary community revitalization objectives include: redeveloping underutilized, former industrial properties for commercial and residential use; removing environmentally hazardous substances; and increasing waterfront access opportunities to the Harlem River. A $208,250 BOA Program grant to the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation financed planning activities.
South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation President & CEO Philip Morrow said: “The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO) is encouraged by the New York Secretary of State's official brownfield designation for the Port Morris - Harlem River target area. This designation will activate over 200 acres of vacant and underutilized land, provide 1.4 miles of shoreline development, and give the community increased access to resources to further implement development and environmental remediation plans. SoBRO is proud to partner with the State of New York on several brownfield initiatives, and has a national track record for implementing brownfield strategy and development dovetailed with significant community engagement. The Secretary of State's designation will enable much needed development in the area and is strongly aligned with SoBRO's dedication to holistic, evidenced-based community and economic development."
New York City Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod said: “We welcome the news that two key areas of the South Bronx and Southeast Queens are being designated as brownfield opportunity areas by the New York Department of State. The Port Morris Harlem River BOA complements the Mayor’s commitment, announced in his State of the City Address, to provide $200 million for infrastructure to advance the City’s Lower Concourse and Port Morris plans. These plans are intended to revitalize the Bronx waterfront of the Harlem River and spur investment in mixed-income housing and commercial development. Similarly, the Jamaica BOA supplements efforts underway by several City agencies and the Queens Borough President to realize the enormous potential of this neighborhood around the Air Train for housing, retail, office and hospitality development. Ultimately, remediating sites in these two areas will pave the way for a broader range of uses, including job generating businesses and housing, and contribute to community and economic development.”
Daniel Walsh, Director of the New York City Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation, said: “New York City has been an ardent supporter of the BOA program and its work to promote community brownfield planning in New York City. We are pleased that this has resulted in the city’s first BOA designations in Port Morris, Bronx and Jamaica, Queens. The State’s BOA grants have enabled SoBRO and Greater Jamaica Development Corporation to promote economic development and attract investment on brownfields. The BOA program works closely with our city Place-Based Community Brownfield Planning Program, and we look forward to designations of additional BOAs in other low-income neighborhoods in New York City.”
Wyandanch Downtown BOA, Town of Babylon, Suffolk County - This consists of a 105-acre area with approximately 250 underutilized and potential brownfield sites. The primary revitalization objectives include: returning dormant and underutilized properties to productive use for a mix of commercial, retail and cultural uses in a transit-oriented development; creating jobs; providing affordable housing; and restoring environmental quality. A $258,170 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer said: “We are thrilled that Wyandanch is among the first communities in New York State to receive a Brownfield Opportunity Area Designation and is poised to be a regional model for sustainable, comprehensive, community-based revitalization. The BOA Program, which is rooted in community partnerships and solid planning practices, has been the backbone of the Wyandanch revitalization effort, and the State's investment of $1.75 million in BOA funding has led to nearly $100 million in vertical construction activities in the community over the past two years. This designation will certainly open new doors to investment in this blossoming community. We thank the State for their leadership on revitalizing distressed areas and thank our community partner, the Wyandanch Community Development Corporation.”
The Department of State works in partnership with local communities and organizations to develop and realize a community vision for redevelopment and community revitalization. The type of neighborhoods and areas where program resources are being applied include industrial/manufacturing, commercial corridors, residential, downtowns and waterfronts. Through this BOA Program, sites and areas are transformed from liabilities to community assets that generate businesses, jobs and revenues for local economies and provide new housing and public amenities.
Further information, including designation details and nomination planning documents associated with the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program, is available here.