Albany, NY - December 3, 2015 - Governor Cuomo announced the designation of 11 new Brownfield Opportunity Areas in communities across New York State. The program helps participants develop revitalization strategies focused on returning dormant and blighted areas into productive communities of economic growth and development. Projects in these areas will be given priority status for grants and the project developers may access additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credit incentives.
"These designations are a vital first step in transforming and revitalizing lands left to ruin in communities across the Empire State," said Governor Cuomo. "Despite being ignored for years, these sites each have tremendous potential for developing local economies and this new status gives these areas greater access to state resources needed to get projects underway as soon as possible."
The New York Department of State accepted the nominations for these Brownfield Opportunity Areas and has determined they meet the necessary requirements and criteria for designation.
New York State Secretary of State Cesar Perales said, "These new designations will spur the collaboration of public and private investment and will continue to serve as a model for reinvigorating local New York communities by improving and utilizing brownfield opportunity areas."
President of the New Partners for Community Renewal Val Washington said, "Community resolve and hard work are paying off with the increasing number of designated Brownfield Opportunity Areas across the State. Neighborhoods plagued with contaminated sites and a lack of economic vitality are now engaging investors in their revitalization. We applaud Governor Cuomo and Secretary Perales for the transformations that are taking place under their leadership."
The 11 new BOA designations are:
Western New York
Northwest Quadrant BOA, City and Town of Olean, Cattaraugus County – This consists of an approximately 904-acre area in the northwest quadrant of the City of Olean, with approximately 38 acres located in the Town of Olean in the vicinity of the Homer Street Industrial Park. The area is characterized by 48 potential brownfields and includes large industrial properties, Olean Creek waterfront, and retail and residential uses that comprise a portion of the downtown core. The primary community revitalization objectives include fostering economic growth in terms of new business, jobs and an expanded tax base and enhancing a gateway link between the Interstate 86 corridor and the City's central business district. A $360,000 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
City of Olean Mayor William Aiello said, "We are very pleased to have worked with the New York State Department of State on the City of Olean Northwest Quadrant BOA. The City and its community partners were able to utilize the BOA program from DOS to evaluate development alternatives for the former oil refinery and work with state partners to cleanup and assist with the development of this key strategic site. I thank the Governor for his assistance in bringing a BOA designation to Olean to further our revitalization efforts."
Lockport BOA, City of Lockport, Niagara County – This consists of a 490-acre area in the heart of the City of Lockport that is characterized by 52 potential brownfield sites located along the Erie Canal and surrounding neighborhoods, including the downtown central business district. The primary community revitalization objectives include: eliminating environmental contamination and blight associated with these brownfield sites; fostering economic growth in terms of new business, jobs, and an expanded tax base; and, enhancing tourism opportunities associated with the Erie Canal. A $370,800 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
City of Lockport Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said, "I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Secretary Perales for the designation of our BOA. We are very happy to have worked with the New York Department of State on this project, and we look forward to continuing our relationship as the City implements the BOA and continues the successful redevelopment of key sites in the city of Lockport."
Highland Community BOA, City of Niagara Falls, Niagara County– This consists of a 560-acre area characterized by at least 15 potential brownfield sites concentrated in the Highland community, an area with a mix of residential and historically industrial land uses. The primary community revitalization objectives include redevelopment in a manner that takes advantage of the proximity to major roadways, railroads, and a nearby airport; and enhancement of the area for residents and businesses. A $375,000 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, "Thank you Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of State for the resources to complete the Highland Community BOA in Niagara Falls, This successful planning project has provided the City with a blueprint for the successful redevelopment of key sites within the BOA, and an official designation will help the city realize its goals."
North End BOA, City of Geneva, Seneca County – This 430-acre area characterized by six potential brownfield sites includes older industrial and residential areas along the Seneca Lake waterfront in the City’s economically distressed North End. The primary community objectives include: cleaning up, marketing and re-use of brownfields and other vacant sites with commercial and industrial businesses that are appropriate for and will benefit the North End community, including a manufacturing and innovation hub, a neighborhood commercial center, and recreational facilities. A $67,500 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
City of Geneva Mayor John Alcock said, "The City of Geneva is honored to receive the BOA designation, which will allow the City to more aggressively pursue the BOA action steps, attract private investment, and enhance the quality of life for the Geneva community. The New York Department of State has been and will continue to be a tremendous resource for advancing our revitalization efforts in Geneva’s North End neighborhoods."
Endicott Johnson Industrial Spine BOA , City of Binghamton and Town of Johnson City, Broome County – This consists of a 230-acre area characterized by 17 potential brownfield sites. The area includes the historic manufacturing district at the western boundary of the City of Binghamton and extends into the Village of Johnson City. The primary community revitalization objectives are to: provide appealing opportunities for private investment on strategic sites; support and build upon existing and planned healthcare, cultural and educational assets, including UHS Wilson Medical Center, the Goodwill Theatre, and the future Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which will be constructed in the heart of the BOA; and ensure that redevelopment is undertaken in a manner consistent with the community's vision for the Endicott Johnson neighborhood. A $155,000 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
Brandywine Corridor BOA, City of Binghamton, Broome County- This consists of a 100-acre area characterized by at least 18 potential brownfield sites that includes the older commercial and industrial areas that provide a gateway to the City of Binghamton. Primary community revitalization objectives include promoting high quality urban design and quality of life, leveraging assets including transportation infrastructure, and sustainably redeveloping the area to generate a positive impact on the region’s economy. A $175,500 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
Broome County Executive Debbie Preston said, "These two areas are very important parts of our community, and this designation will help attract investment to them. The Brandywine Corridor is an important gateway into the City of Binghamton that holds a great deal of potential. The revitalization of the Endicott Johnson Industrial Spine is crucial to having a vibrant Village Center and surrounding area. We thank the Governor for these designations and know both will help make the areas more attractive for prospective businesses."
City of Binghamton Mayor Richard David said, "We are pleased with the designation of the Brandywine Corridor and the Endicott Johnson Industrial Spine as brownfield opportunity areas. We thank the Department of State for recognizing the tremendous value of these areas to the economic vitality of the Southern Tier's urban core. As designated BOAs, these areas will benefit from additional resources and incentives for redevelopment activities."
Village of Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie said, "The Village of Johnson City is excited to have the Endicott Johnson Industrial Spine BOA designated by the Secretary of State. This designation will lead to new interest in revitalizing this area, while building upon the investment that has already occurred. We thank the Department of State for its commitment to the revitalization of such an important portion of our community."
City of Cohoes, Cohoes Boulevard BOA, City of Cohoes, Albany County – This consists of an approximately 413-acre area characterized by over 180 potential brownfields and underutilized sites located in the Interstate 787 corridor and adjacent communities. The primary community revitalization objectives include: improving and building on the City's unique urban character as a place to reside, work and recreate; establishing conditions to attract appropriate commercial development in easily accessible areas adjacent to the City's historic downtown, business district and major transportation corridors; and improving recreational use opportunities associated with the Mohawk and Hudson River waterfronts. BOA Program grants totaling $225,046 financed planning activities.
City of Cohoes Mayor George Primeau said, "The City of Cohoes is excited to have received the designation of a Brownfield Opportunity Area. This is the culmination of over 10 years of planning and community involvement as we have navigated the BOA program. Revitalization of an older community takes time and this designation will help to give higher priority and preference for New York State funding in the designated area. The Brownfield Opportunity Area study provides a blueprint to implement capital and private projects. We hope that private landlords will be incentivized to redevelop their land with these benefits. The City of Cohoes is anxious to move these exciting projects forward."
Rotterdam Junction BOA, Town of Rotterdam, Schenectady County – This 570-acre area is characterized by at least three potential brownfield sites and includes commercial, industrial and residential areas as well as recreational and cultural amenities in the Rotterdam Junction hamlet between New York State Route 90 and the Mohawk River. Primary community objectives include: enhancing the existing character of Rotterdam Junction, preserving the Great Flats aquifer, attracting economic and recreational activity to the hamlet, enhancing the unique character of the five subareas within the BOA, and increasing visual and physical connectivity between subareas. A $150,000 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
Town of Rotterdam Supervisor Harry Buffardi said, "I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Secretary Perales for this BOA designation to the Town of Rotterdam. We are very pleased to work closely with the Department of State as our community in Rotterdam Junction is still recovering from the devastating flooding that occurred during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. Their assistance has been invaluable and will enable our Town to qualify for additional grant funding for our recovery and redevelopment."
New York City
Sunset Park BOA, Kings County– This consists of a 694-acre area characterized by over 50 potential brownfield sites located in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn on the East River waterfront. The primary community revitalization objectives include redevelopment of strategic sites to create local jobs, improved public access to the Sunset Park waterfront, preservation and enhancement of affordable housing, and greater climate resiliency. BOA Program grants totaling $308,076 financed planning activities.
Executive Director of UPROSE Elizabeth Yeampierre said, "It is with great excitement that we mark the designation of the Sunset Park Brownfield Opportunity Area by the Department of State. Our neighborhood contains one of New York City's last remaining working waterfronts, which has traditionally served as an economic hub for a local community of color. It is imperative that these industrial areas be preserved and revitalized with environmental and social justice in mind. From the inception of the Sunset Park BOA, UPROSE has ensured that the planning process be driven by a diverse and intergenerational group of stakeholders and guided by values of inclusion, equity, and solidarity. We owe this unique and transformational opportunity to our invaluable partnership with DOS and look forward to the prospects that lie ahead."
Director of the New York City Office of Environmental Remediation Daniel Walsh said, "We are delighted that the New York State Department of State has designated the Sunset Park BOA. This designation will ensure that state resources are focused in this important part of New York City and that community's vision for use of vacant and underutilized land will become an important driving force for future redevelopment. Congratulations to Elizabeth Yeampierre and UPROSE for their skill and dedication in achieving this important designation."
The Orchard Neighborhood BOA, City of Glen Cove, Nassau County – This consists of an approximately 109-acre area characterized by more than 10 potential brownfield sites and bounded by Cedar Swamp Road, the LIRR right-of-way, and the southern property line of the industrial parcels on Sea Cliff Avenue, and including the former Coles School. The majority of the BOA is in the City of Glen Cove, but the area includes a small portion of land in the Town of Oyster Bay. The primary community revitalization objectives include remediating contaminated sites; providing affordable housing; attracting private investment; increasing employment opportunities; and improving infrastructure. A $150,000 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello said, "I am pleased with the designation of our Orchard Neighborhood BOA. This program will allow us to implement planning strategies to put underutilized, blighted and vacant properties back to productive reuse as well as putting them back on the tax rolls. We are starting with the long vacant Coles Elementary School built in 1930 that sits on approximately 3.975 acres and is located not far from the Glen Cove Long Island Railroad Station."
Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto said, "I congratulate the City of Glen Cove for its work to revitalize the Orchard neighborhood through the New York State BOA program and am confident that the improvements will also benefit the Town of Oyster Bay, which borders the Glen Cove BOA."
New Cassel BOA, Town of North Hempstead, Nassau County – This consists of a 520-acre area characterized by 176 potential brownfield sites in the northwest portion of the Town of North Hempstead that encompasses the New Cassel hamlet and adjacent industrial areas. The primary community objectives include: cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields; increased economic activity and jobs; new housing opportunities; development of a distinctive attractive community with a strong sense of place and improved public safety; and improved community facilities such as open space and recreational facilities. An $180,000 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.
North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said, "We are thrilled to receive news of the designation by Governor Cuomo and the Department of State of the New Cassel Brownfield Opportunity Area, which will aid in our ongoing revitalization efforts in the Town. I thank Governor Cuomo and all the state agencies involved in this program, as we continue to work together to generate quality-of-life improvements and economic development for the benefit of residents and businesses in New Cassel."
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.