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brownfield areas

April 9, 2015 - 9:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, brownfield areas, brownfield opportunity area.

The governor's office announced the designation of 12 brownfield opportunity areas today, including one in Batavia. Here's a portion of the press release. We've included the top overview portion of the press release and the section about Batavia.

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 10 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."

...

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.”

April 29, 2014 - 8:36am

City officials would love to see the Della Penna property on Ellicott Street cleaned up and turned into something useful, but with aging buildings and environmental issues, the property could sit dormant for many more years.

A $266,000 state grant could help resolve the future of the Della Penna property along with at least four other "brownfield" sites within the 366-acre core downtown area.

A brownfield site is vacant or underutilized land that was once developed and productive but has fallen into disuse because the property has unresolved contamination issues.

The city has created a Batavia Opportunity Area plan to help deal with these types of properties. City Council members learned more about the plan, 18 months in the making, on Monday night.

"Getting the city’s BOA plan certified will give additional tax credits for remediation and redevelopment of certain sites in the brownfield opportunity area,” City Manager Jason Molino said. “This is important and obviously we want to encourage redevelopment and remediation. There’s five strategic sites, all of them in the 366-acre downtown core area. Having those sites redeveloped would be very important for the city’s revitalization of Downtown.”

The plan is in its final draft stage. Once the council votes to accept the plan at a future meeting, the city can begin implementation.

With a certified plan in place, property is eligible for grants to developers who would clean up contamination and enable further tax credits for redevelopment of the site.

There will be a public hearing on the plan at the end of May.

There are confirmed environmental issues with the Della Penna property, the council was told. The council will be asked to pass a resolution authorizing an interim foreclosure on the property. Ownership would then pass to the Batavia Development Corporation and eventually then to a commercial developer.

The steps are necessary to apply to the state for the a brownfield clean-up grant. With environmental problems resolved, the property should be more attractive to a potential developer.

“I would not call it shovel-ready," Molino said. "It’s development-ready. Because there’s an unknown element taken out of the equation. If this property is accepted into the BCP Program, if remediated and developed, the developers are now eligible for tax credits for doing so. It adds a marketability to the site."

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