State Providing Tools to Local Governments to Revitalize Communities Across New York State
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the designation of 12 new Brownfield Opportunity Areas in communities across New York. These designations help participants develop strategies to revitalize neighborhoods affected by dormant and blighted properties. Projects in these areas will be given priority status for grants and the project developers may access additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credit incentives.
“The designation of Brownfield Opportunity Areas facilitates the restoration and development of devastated communities across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “Each of these sites possesses tremendous potential for economic development and job creation, and these designations will equip local partners with the resources they need to implement their vision for community revitalization.”
The Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program is administered by the New York Department of State. These 12 new designations bring the total number of designated Brownfield Opportunity Areas in New York State to 38. To facilitate the work required to achieve a designation, each of these sponsoring communities received funding through the program to complete a nomination containing revitalization strategies specifically developed to promote sound redevelopment and enhanced environmental quality within the affected areas. The type of neighborhoods and areas where resources are being applied include industrial or manufacturing, commercial corridors, mixed-use downtowns and waterfronts.
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “We at the Department of State are proud to have supported the work done by local leaders to envision a path forward in the renaissance of the Empire State and leaves a vibrant economic legacy to our cities and towns. Brownfield Opportunity Area designation not only signals our commitment to assisting the communities to reach their own goals for revitalization, but also provides real incentives to attract private and public investment to these blighted areas.”
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Through Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York’s Brownfield program has resulted in the cleanup and redevelopment of old industrial sites across the State, and today’s announcement of these additional BOA designations will stimulate both environmental remediation and economic development throughout these communities. I look forward to working with Secretary of State Rosado and all partners as we continue to restore blighted properties across the state and put them back into productive use.”
New Partners for Community Revitalization President Val Washington said, “The Brownfield Opportunity Area program has truly matured in the last two years, with dozens of designations, renewed funding and valuable brownfield tax credit assistance to help make community visions a reality. Our own recent study demonstrates that this program – unique among the states – is working as designed, and providing real promise for communities that other economic development programs don’t reach.”
Krog Corporation President Paul Neureuter said, “Developing a contaminated property is a challenging endeavor and tax credits can make cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields financially feasible. The redevelopment tax credit available for BCP projects in designated Brownfield Opportunity Areas will, I believe, enable and encourage private sector investment in these areas.”
New York State provides a tax credit incentive to encourage private-sector cleanup of brownfield sites that are located within designated Brownfield Opportunity Area, when a Brownfield Opportunity Area site is enrolled in the Brownfield Cleanup Program and its redevelopment is consistent with the community’s vision for the revitalization as set forth in its nomination or plan. This incentive of up to 5% of eligible redevelopment costs through the brownfield redevelopment tax credit, is available to eligible taxpayers with projects on Brownfield Cleanup Program-enrolled Brownfield Opportunity Area sites that the Secretary of State determines are in conformance with the goals and priorities established in the nomination or plan that was approved by the Secretary for the area.
In addition to the Brownfield Opportunity Area designations, today Governor Cuomo announced that applications are available for project developers to request that the Secretary of State review a proposed development and make the referenced Brownfield Opportunity Area conformance determination. More information can be found on the Department of State website.
The 12 new Designated Brownfield Opportunity areas are:
Downtown Waterfront Core Brownfield Opportunity Area, City of Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County:This Brownfield Opportunity Area consists of approximately 330 acres located along the St. Lawrence and Oswegatchie Rivers in the downtown core of the City of Ogdensburg characterized by 158 brownfield and vacant sites. The primary community revitalization objective is to return brownfields and underutilized prime waterfront sites to productive economic use. Key recommendations focus on projects within four redevelopment districts, including: the Diamond/Shade Roller District, the Marina District, the Fort de La Presentation District, and the Augsbury District. Strategic public investment will help leverage new privately-funded development and build momentum for the transformation of Ogdensburg’s entire waterfront. A $355,500 Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grant financed planning activities for the area.
City of Ogdensburg Mayor Wayne L. Ashley said, “The designation of Ogdensburg’s Downtown Waterfront Brownfield Opportunity Area is an exciting achievement, and critical next step in revitalizing the City’s waterfront. The Brownfield Opportunity Area initiative is a tool that will help our community realize the potential of our waterfront brownfields as vibrant assets once again. It is a momentous occasion for our community and the North Country Region.”
Kingston Waterfront Brownfield Opportunity Area, City of Kingston, Ulster County: This Brownfield Opportunity Area consists of a 70-acre area with over 25 brownfield sites located in the historic Rondout Creek waterfront area of the City. The area includes frontage on both the Rondout Creek and the Hudson River, and contains a mix of historic maritime, industrial, retail and residential development. The primary community revitalization objectives to be achieved by this project include: brownfield remediation; mixed-use redevelopment of sites with waterfront oriented uses that will create jobs and taxable developments while maintaining strong connections to the nearby upland neighborhoods and increasing public access to and along the waterfront. Planning activities for the area were financed by $474,300 in Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grants.
City of Kingston Mayor Steven T. Noble said, “The industrial history of Kingston, both on the waterfront and in the center of the city, has left some properties compromised and has made the development of these properties more challenging over the years. The Brownfield Opportunity Area Implementation Strategy provides a roadmap for the improvement of some of these properties. In addition, these efforts lay the necessary groundwork to identify remedies to brownfields and ultimately make them ripe for development. The New York Department of State has demonstrated its support for our waterfront revitalization initiatives over the past twenty years, without which we would not have made such strides in establishing and improving upon our vibrant and thriving waterfront. I want to thank the Department for this support as we continue to address our waterfront properties.”
Peconic River/Route 25 Corridor Brownfield Opportunity Area, Town of Riverhead, Suffolk County: This Brownfield Opportunity Area consists of a 452-acre area in downtown Riverhead along the Peconic River, which is characterized by 18 potential brownfield and vacant sites. Primary community revitalization objectives include: revitalizing downtown by attracting development that emphasizes and accommodates agricultural and ecosystem related tourism; enhancing Main Street as well as the Arts and Historic Districts; making downtown more walkable; providing unique cultural attractions; and improving waterfront access and range of recreational opportunities. A $567,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grant financed planning activities for the area.
Town of Riverhead Supervisor Sean M. Walter said, “The Town of Riverhead is very appreciative to New York Department of State for funding the Peconic River/NYS Route 25 Eco Corridor Brownfield Opportunity Area grant. The Brownfield Opportunity Area study was perfectly timed as Historic Downtown Riverhead is seeing a wave of new development through both public and private investment of over $70 million dollars in just the last four years including opening of the Woolworth building, several new business openings and a new shared office concept building that was the first of its kind on Eastern Long Island. The Brownfield Opportunity Area funding assisted Downtown Riverhead to continue along the path of smart development and contributed to the Town’s efforts to analyze economic and market trends of existing conditions, target reuse and development opportunities for private investment, mitigate traffic and parking issues, and refine zoning as Riverhead becomes the new hot spot for investment in Suffolk County.”
Hamlet of Riverside Brownfield Opportunity Area, Town of Southampton, Suffolk County:This Brownfield Opportunity Area consists of a 468-acre section of the hamlet of Riverside on the east end of Long Island that is characterized by blight and abandonment. The area contains at least 15 potential brownfield sites. Primary community revitalization objectives include: blight removal, property upgrades through redevelopment, and the attraction of new commercial uses to the area that will provide needed goods, services and jobs to the community, along with taxable developments to alleviate the hamlet’s heavy school tax burden. A $236,900 Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grant financed planning activities for the area.
Town of Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said, “The Town of Southampton is grateful for the funding, partnership and guidance provided by the New York Department of State throughout the process of preparing our Brownfield Opportunity Area Plan. This plan for the revitalization of the hamlet of Riverside has likewise enjoyed the full support and participation of the community. We look forward to continued partnerships with the State, the community, property owners and developers. Together we can move New York forward with the implementation of this plan that will transform a blighted community into a vibrant focal point on the Peconic River at an important gateway to the Town of Southampton and Long Island’s East End.”
Huntington Station Brownfield Opportunity Area, Town of Huntington, Suffolk County: This Brownfield Opportunity Area consists of a 640-acre area centered on the Town of Huntington’s LIRR train station. Characterized by at least 27 potential brownfield sites, the area is comprised of garages, surface parking lots, and vacant or underutilized parcels located around the train station, and is the result of large-scale clearing during past urban renewal efforts. The primary community revitalization objectives include: commercially-viable mixed-use development that builds on the proximity of the LIRR station, including a hotel, commercial, retail and residential development and parking; streetscape improvements; and remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites to create a cohesive and inviting place for new neighborhoods and business activity to occur. $340,000 in Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grants financed planning activities for the area.
Town of Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said, “The Brownfield Opportunity Area designation will help augment and speed the ongoing revitalization efforts in Huntington Station and help restore what was a vibrant community a half century ago. This designation will help the Town take advantage of the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credits and get preference in applying for grants and financing, which should provide significant boosts in implementing the Town’s plans. I thank Governor Cuomo and the Department of State for including Huntington Station in this program.”
New York City
Harlem River Brownfield Opportunity Area, Bronx, Bronx County:This Brownfield Opportunity Area encompasses over 200 acres on the Bronx side of the Harlem River; a narrow swath of land extending northward along the waterfront from West 149th Street in the South Bronx to where the Harlem River meets the Hudson River. The area is challenged by approximately 63 vacant and underutilized brownfield sites as well as difficulties of access. Primary community revitalization objectives include: the development of a dynamic district of waterfront parks connected by the Harlem River Greenway and linked to the larger NYC and Putnam greenway systems; strategic connections along the waterfront and to the upland communities; and environmental remediation and restoration of lands within the study area. A $355,230 Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grant financed planning activities for the area.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “I want to both thank Governor Cuomo and the Department of State for this Harlem River Brownfield designation and recognize the long and arduous work by the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality and the Parks Department that led us to this point. I have been supportive of the Harlem River Brownfield study from its inception because I recognize that such designations lay the groundwork for realizing environmentally sound development and improved quality of life for my constituents.”
Joyce Hogi, President, Bronx Council for Environmental Quality said, “The Bronx Council for Environmental Quality is grateful to the State of New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo for the opportunity to present our environmental vision for managing the Harlem River brownfield landscapes through natural bioremediation and ecological restoration in this Brownfield Opportunity Area designation and program.”
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell K. Silver, FAICP said, “NYC Parks is proud to have partnered with the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality on the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program to articulate the community’s vision for a revitalized Harlem River. With the Brownfield Opportunity Area designation, the City is better poised to make this vision a reality.”
Cypress Hills Brownfield Opportunity Area, Brooklyn, Kings County: This Brownfield Opportunity Area encompasses 462 acres and includes 40 potential brownfield sites in the Cypress Hills/East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. Primary revitalization objectives include: an area-wide rezoning to allow for redevelopment of strategic sites to increase available affordable housing and the creation new employment opportunities for neighborhood residents; improved access to parks and open space; and greater availability of fresh food to yield health benefits for the entire Cypress Hills/East New York community. $1,418,743 in Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grants financed planning activities for the area.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams said, “We need to leverage every parcel of land to maximize its benefit to communities across Brooklyn, particularly to address persistent issues such as the limited supply of deeply affordable housing, access to fresh and healthy food, as well as spaces that foster job creation and community empowerment. With as many as 462 acres potentially available for development in Cypress Hills and East New York, we have an opportunity to build the infrastructure that families and small business owners — the cornerstones of our neighborhoods — need to live and work there. We cannot afford to leave any resources on the table as we tackle the challenges of affordability in Brooklyn.”
Michelle Neugebauer, Executive Director, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation said, “We thank the Governor for his commitment to the Brownfield Opportunity Area program, and for the dedicated resources and attention to the opportunities presented by brownfield redevelopment through participatory community planning. We are excited and hopeful that the designation will attract increased investments in the Cypress Hills/East New York neighborhood in deeply affordable housing, expanded manufacturing and job-generating activities, new community facilities and more fresh and healthy food in the neighborhood — all priorities identified by residents through the process enabled by the Brownfield Opportunity Area program.”
West Brighton Brownfield Opportunity Area, Staten Island, Richmond County: This Brownfield Opportunity Area consists of an approximate 120-acre area characterized with 41 potential brownfield sites located along Richmond Terrace in the West Brighton section of Staten Island’s North Shore. The project encompasses a two-mile portion of Staten Island’s five-mile North Shore waterfront and contains a mix of maritime, industrial and residential uses. The primary community revitalization objectives include: promoting of mixed-use development in historic neighborhood centers; strengthening the maritime industrial sector to create quality jobs; increasing public access to the waterfront; improving multi-modal connections and mobility; and remediating industrial contamination to create a healthier environment in which to live and work. A $339,300 Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grant financed planning activities for the area.
Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo said, “I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and the Department of State for designating the West Brighton Brownfield Opportunity Area. This area of Staten Island is one that has a great deal of potential, and a diversity of current uses, including a vibrant maritime industry along the Richmond Terrace waterfront. Congratulations to all those community members who participated in the public outreach process the last several years. This designation will go a long way in aiding in the area’s revitalization.”
Loretta Cauldwell, Executive Director, West Brighton Local Development Corporation said,“The West Brighton Community Local Development Corporation is pleased to have received the designation of the West Brighton Brownfield Opportunity Area, which is the product of the many contributions from local residents, business owners, property owners, and stakeholders that participated in the Brownfield Opportunity Area’s public outreach events and workshops held over the past two years. The Brownfield Opportunity Area program helped advance this public outreach process, formalized and refined the community’s vision for the Brownfield Opportunity Area, and produced a strategic plan for achieving this vision.”
NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation Director Dr. Daniel Walsh said, “New York City applauds the great work that Cypress Hills LDC, the Bronx Council on Environmental Quality, and West Brighton LDC have done in their communities. They used the Brownfield Opportunity Area program and NYC Brownfield Incentive Grants to involve community members in a process to gain a deep understanding of local needs and identify brownfield properties for redevelopment to meet these needs. This designation also provides critical support for the place-based community brownfield planning program established under Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan. These Brownfield Opportunity Area designations by the New York Department of State will promote essential environmental cleanup and open the door for state investment in these properties to help advance the communities’ vision.”
First Ward Brownfield Opportunity Area, City of Binghamton, Broome County: This Brownfield Opportunity Area consists of approximately 506 acres, and characterized with 41 potential brownfield sites. The area is located north of the City of Binghamton’s downtown, between the Chenango River and the I-86 corridor, with a mixed use character that can be traced back to its historic development as an industrial live-work neighborhood. The primary community revitalization objectives include: full build-out of the Charles Street Business Park; providing marketable opportunities for private investment; housing stabilization and redevelopment; mixed-use infill and commercial revitalization; and public improvements such as enhanced gateways and streetscapes, pedestrian/bicycle connections, and flood protection and mitigation. A $347,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grant financed planning activities for the area.
North Chenango River Corridor Brownfield Opportunity Area, City of Binghamton, Broome County: This Brownfield Opportunity Area encompasses approximately 407 acres in the north-central section of the City, with boundaries including Henry St. to the south, Brandywine Highway to the east, Bevier St. to the north and the Chenango River to the west. The area is characterized by over 28 potential brownfield sites. Primary community revitalization objectives include: new development that addresses community needs such as housing and a grocery store; revitalization of vacant, deteriorating and derelict commercial and residential properties; mixed-use infill development; redevelopment to return strategic sites such as the Binghamton Plaza to full productive use; better integration of the study area with the balance of the City; and public improvements such as enhanced access and riverfront/gateway improvements. A $147,570 Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grant financed planning activities for the area.
City of Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David said, “The First Ward and North Chenango River Corridor Brownfield Opportunity Areas have incredible potential for economic development. The Brownfield Opportunity Area planning process has complemented the ongoing efforts of the City to evaluate and plan for redevelopment in these key areas. The Brownfield Opportunity Area designations will unlock new partnerships and resources to build on our ongoing efforts to combat blight, foster neighborhood business districts and support community revitalization.”
Southside Rising Brownfield Opportunity Area, City of Elmira, Chemung County: This Brownfield Opportunity Area consists of 440 acres located in the south-east portion of the City of Elmira, roughly bounded by the Chemung River on the north, South Main Street on the west, Miller and Morrow Streets on the south and Robinson Street on the east. The area, which is characterized by over 36 potential brownfields, contains numerous abandoned, vacant and underutilized properties. The primary community revitalization objectives include: updating zoning, design standards, and the rehabilitation of housing stock to strengthen neighborhoods; mixed-use infill development and streetscape improvements in the South Main Street corridor; redevelopment to return strategic sites, including the Chemung Foundry, Erie Plaza and the Red Barn property, to active use; and public improvements such as enhanced gateways, parks, and pedestrian amenities. $271,736 in Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grants financed planning activities for the area.
City of Elmira Mayor Daniel Mandell said, “We would like to thank the State of New York and particularly the Department of State for providing the funding and guidance to complete Elmira’s Southside Rising Brownfield Opportunity Area Revitalization Strategy. To date we have already received $200,000 in New York Main Street funding for South Main Street and an additional $3.8 million was recently announced under New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s 2015 Unified Funding Awards for the Chemung Crossing Neighborhood Revitalization Project. The work that went into our Brownfield Opportunity Area was carried forward to a new Comprehensive Master Plan for the City and part of the designated Brownfield Opportunity Area is within Elmira’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative target area. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the State of New York on projects within our Brownfield Opportunity Area that have the potential to address brownfield sites, create jobs, improve our neighborhoods, and revitalize our community.”
Waterfront Heritage Brownfield Opportunity Area, City of Amsterdam, Montgomery County: The Waterfront Heritage Area Brownfield Opportunity Area encompasses approximately 104 acres of land along the Mohawk River waterfront and the City’s downtown, and is characterized with 14 brownfield, vacant or underutilized sites. The primary community revitalization objectives to be achieved include: strengthening the downtown’s commercial core and tax base with new residential, commercial, and office uses; identifying rail transportation options; and establishing a definitive pedestrian and vehicular connection between the Southside neighborhoods, the waterfront and downtown. Key recommendations contained in the Brownfield Opportunity Area Nomination focus on projects and other actions that will become catalysts for the redevelopment of the area, including the redevelopment of the Chalmers site, extension of streetscape improvements, installation of a high-quality telecommunications infrastructure, relocation of the Amsterdam Train Station into the commercial core as a multi-modal and mixed-use facility, and the celebration of the ethnicity of the community through the creation of a “Restaurant Row.” Brownfield Opportunity Area Program grants totaling $172,982 financed the planning activities.
Michael Villa, Mayor of the City of Amsterdam said, “We are looking forward to our Waterfront Heritage Area being designated as a Brownfield Opportunity Area. Working with the New York Department of State, we have developed a revitalization strategy for our downtown and waterfront areas of the City, which will serve as a guide to future development. To date, we have already made $32 million in public and private investment in our Brownfield Opportunity Area, and with the financial incentives conferred by the formal Brownfield Opportunity Area designation, we look forward to building on these initiatives and creating a brighter future for Amsterdam.”