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Cuomo's dirty dozen: new brownfield sites created.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 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.

The 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 then 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 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.

Separate from the sites receiving BOA designation today, the 2015-16 State Budget extends the Brownfields Cleanup Program for ten years, and includes reforms to protect taxpayers and promote brownfield redevelopment.

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 include a 132-acre area characterized with 224 potential brownfield sites 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.

Port Morris Harlem Riverfront in the Bronx is a 200-acre area where community revitalization objectives include redeveloping 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.

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.

"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."
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Title Annotation:Andrew M. Cuomo
Comment:Cuomo's dirty dozen: new brownfield sites created.(Andrew M.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Apr 15, 2015
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