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  • 8 Mar 2019 9:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The New York City Brownfield Partnership (NYCBP) kicked off its 2019 Redevelopment Roundtable series, a.k.a. a 90-minute information download from experts about all the NYC, NYS, federal and industry trends and hot topics relevant to site revitalization in NYC. The event was sponsored by Tenen Environmental and Bousquet Holstein PLLC, and graciously hosted by Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in their conference room space on the 29th floor of One New York Plaza in lower Manhattan. All participants received a 7-page hyperlinked agenda for the topics covered at the Roundtable. The links provide terrific reference materials, but the invaluable knowledge came first-hand from the individuals who spoke, who based on their experience are able to hone in on what is critical, and what is “next.”

    Examples of critical information shared at the Redevelopment Roundtable include:

    • the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation’s 2018 end-of year metrics and information on clean soil transfers;
    • the effect of Federal tax credits, certain nuances of transaction economics in context of remediation, and some uncertainties regarding the impact of properties located in “Opportunity Zones” that may also be qualified for federal or state tax credits;
    • concerns about NYSDEC’s interpretation of whether a site is “contaminated enough,” how “underutilized” is being defined, and how “industrial use” is being defined for the purposes of the BCP and state tax credits. Is DEC’s presumption that everyone is trying to exploit the tax credit program? Are their interpretations and application of definitions meant to combat that?;
    • infrastructure’s impact on redevelopment was added as a new topic to the Roundtable agenda, with examples ranging from airports to commuter rail service to overstressed water and sewer infrastructure.

    The two topics that generated the most discussion were regional topics: emerging contaminants, specifically PFAS and PFOS and management of fill. Federal examples, NYS, NYC, PA and NJ actions, activities and examples were offered for both topics.

    The event was completely sold out and enthusiastically attended, and time was also built into the schedule to enjoy refreshments and network with very friendly like-minded brownfield professionals before and after the program.

    The NYC Brownfield Partnership is always looking for venues and sponsors for upcoming Roundtables, which are scheduled for June 18, August 6 and December 3, 2019. For more information contact Sue Boyle (sboyle@geiconsultants.com).

    Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Joelle Freeman of AKRF for preparing this reporting template.

  • 4 Mar 2019 9:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    To many in a local community, the former brownfield properties are the “disaster” from which to “recover.”

    But when a disaster actually strikes a local community, the former brownfield properties kind of blend in with the rest of the havoc that’s been wreaked on the community.

    The point of all this? The city of Binghamton, N.Y. is turning a very long and twisting corner with the commencing of construction in January that, in the end, will amount to a $20.5-million affordable housing development at Canal Plaza, which is part of a Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) and is being partly funded by equity raised by New York State Brownfield tax credits.

    DEC commissioner Basil Seggos recently said that “the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program is a powerful tool for putting blighted areas back into productive use, and we are proud to partner on the Canal Plaza project that is building on the momentum to revitalize Binghamton’s North Side and strengthen this community for future generations.”

    The project is poised to deliver 48 apartments and new commercial space and it’s being built on a former brownfield—at the same time responding to a regional need for quality and affordable housing, as this initiative also includes 12 apartments intended to provide supportive services for New Yorkers with mental illness.

    In summer of 2011, a large portion of the city of Binghamton found itself in catastrophe mode in the wake of Hurricane Irene, which then was compounded by a tropical storm that produced mass flooding. About 7 ½ years later, the city is implementing its vision to create a more resilient community, according to city leaders.

    This project delivers on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s promise to bring quality affordable housing opportunities to this city in addition to creating essential support services to its north side.

    The city of Binghamton has been working for years to get to this point by acquiring a tax-foreclosed property from Broome County, landing $534,000 in grant funds to demolish a blighted plaza and render it shovel ready, tackling environmental site issues and now finally securing tax credit financing to begin construction.

    The 2011 impacts started with Hurricane Irene before the tropical storm added additional hardship on this city of 45,000 situated south of Syracuse and west of Albany. “Building new affordable homes is an essential ingredient to creating opportunity and revitalizing our cities,” Gov. Cuomo recently said. “With the addition of Canal Plaza, we are creating affordable housing opportunities while providing services that support our vulnerable neighbors as we work to ensure that the Southern Tier continues to soar.”

    Canal Plaza is being constructed in the Waterfront Revitalization Plan Area and also sits in the North Chenango River Corridor BOA. Canal Plaza will provide housing to low-, very low- and extremely low-income households. Social services will be administered on-site to tenants of the supportive housing units.

    The project is being supported by a variety of funding and financing sources, including $1.1 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. New York State Homes and Community Renewal is providing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate more than $12.8 million for the development, and $1.3 million from HCR’s Housing Trust Fund Corp.

    It is also receiving $2 million from the Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund, nearly $2.3 million in equity raised by brownfield tax credits allocated by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), $100,000 from city of Binghamton HOME and a $48,000 incentive grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

    The development will additionally include three commercial suites totaling 15,000 square feet, with one of the suites occupied by Catholic Charities of Broome County for the operation of Encompass Health Home, which will deliver assistance to Medicaid-eligible adults and children with chronic medical and/ or behavioral health conditions.

    It’s been a long road back for this community, and it illustrates the protracted process of disaster recovery. In that summer of 2011, Tropical Storm Lee stalled over the Southern Tier and dropped more than 11 inches of rain during a 24-hour period. Flash flooding damaged homes, businesses and infrastructure. High groundwater levels caused basements and ground floors of homes, businesses and municipal facilities to flood, even though those structures were behind levees. And flooding closed many critical roads, leaving residents with no access to medical facilities, supplies or emergency services.

    President and founder of 3D Development Group Bruce Levine noted that the city has been making significant investments in the North Side neighborhood “and Canal Plaza will further the revitalization. The collaborative effort between HCR, DEC, the city of Binghamton and the development team is what took this project from a concept to where we are today with the groundbreaking.”

    For years, residents of Binghamton have voiced concern about the shortage of affordable housing options, so the redevelopment vision completely reflects the community consensus.

    Binghamton mayor Richard David made a commitment to focus on new affordable housing projects that would provide safe, quality living environments for families. “It’s the key to stabilizing neighborhoods and Binghamton’s continued revitalization. This project will have a transformative impact on the city’s North Side, anchoring and supporting redevelopment on the State Street commercial corridor and beyond,” he said.

  • 19 Jan 2019 9:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    Holistic, comprehensive brownfields redevelopment achievement is what every savvy public and private team strives to accomplish.

    New York City brownfield practitioners can certainly provide a master’s class in across-the-board execution as you oversee a portfolio of potential, ongoing and finished projects that, in a word, are prolific by their very scale.

    About 420 miles north of the Big Apple is Dunkirk, N.Y., a community of about 12,500 that itself is accomplishing holistic brownfields execution on a much smaller scale.

    Solid and well-thought-out site selection. Check.

    Job creation and tax re-generation after years of property sitting idle. Check.

    Carbon footprint reduction from a transportation and logistics standpoint. Check.

    A model initiative for other teams to look to as inspiration in the future. Check.

    The Krog Group, a regional New York State leader in brownfield redevelopment, harbored a vision to return a longtime fallow Dunkirk footprint to productive reuse—in turn providing jobs for the community and sustaining and growing businesses in the city.

    According to a recent report in the Dunkirk Observer, the construction of a cold storage warehouse to serve Fieldbrook Foods is underway, and appears ready to be fully operational come fall 2019. Fieldbrook Foods produces a comprehensive portfolio of private-label ice cream products and frozen novelty items.

    The economic development department for the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency recently billed this project as a “big win for the city of Dunkirk” and the county. “After years of blight, this project will result in the cleanup and repurposing of a large brownfield site, resulting in a beautiful, modern new facility that addresses our long-standing shortage of available local cold storage space,” according to a statement.

    The revitalization project includes acquisition, remediation, new construction and equipping of a new 80,000 square foot freezer warehouse. After decades as a contaminated eyesore in Dunkirk, the dilapidated 167,400 square foot Edgewood warehouse has been demolished to make way for the cold storage facility for Fieldbrook Foods.

    Property remediation and abatement was—perhaps still is—performed as part of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Brownfield Cleanup Program. Site preparation is complete and concrete foundations are underway.

    Here are some key takeaways from this perspective:

    Logistics are a compelling aspect of this project. That’s because the new freezer is being positioned within one-half mile of the Fieldbrook production facility, providing increased operating efficiencies and reduced transportation costs for the company. This bodes well for carbon footprint reduction and overall efficiencies to take shape.

    The site selection process with any brownfield project is no automatic, so due diligence and hard work helps crystallize matters. Along these lines, Dunkirk mayor Wilfred Rosas and the city Department of Development team were instrumental in securing the project location by ensuring these necessities. The development is located within what is known as the “Roberts Road Redevelopment Site,” which also includes former brownfield sites Roblin Steel and Alumax Extrusions—both previously remediated. The end use was the exact and ideal one to suit the specific footprint.

    Job creation and a boost to the municipal tax rolls. This was a double win. Approximately 150 construction jobs were generated and six to 10 new permanent warehouse jobs created over a three-year period. Chautauqua County, city of Dunkirk and the Dunkirk City School District will each receive real property tax revenue for a parcel that had not contributed to the property tax base over a sustained period of time. In addition, the new jobs result in purchased goods and services in the local community, generating additional state and local sales tax revenue.

    One ambitious project begets another. There are other new projects on the agenda in this local region as the city’s development department can hold up the Fieldbrook Foods cold storage warehouse as a success story to serve as impetus for future redevelopments. Developers like local success stories to help them see the possibilities.

    Cohesive teamwork rules. This effort was the result of a collaborative effort between the city, county, CCIDA and the food company. There can be gaps in the teamwork effort from time to time when it comes to urban infill projects. Being on the same page eliminates a lot of pain points.

    Indeed, pushing all the right buttons is what all brownfield stakeholders envision as their holy grail. New York City brownfields practitioners can certainly look within to derive inspiration for achievement within this context. They can also look outward across The Empire State since there are nuanced lessons learned with every successful project—big, medium or smallish. Dunkirk’s effort is the latest example.

  • 7 Jan 2019 9:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    When it finally comes to fruition—following cleanup efforts and subsequent build-out—the Special Flushing Waterfront District project appears poised to deliver an acute revitalization boost to a Flushing, N.Y, footprint, with burgeoning benefits seen cross the top three pillars of brownfield benchmarking: Economic, social and environmental.

    It’s all courtesy of land-use strategy blueprinted by local Flushing Willets Point Corona LDC, which intends to create a vibrant extension of the business district, anchored by mixed-use and affordable housing end use. Moreover, the plan will see the manifestation of new open space, enhanced waterfront access, improvements to pedestrian flows and vehicular movements and long-term improvement of water quality benefitting Flushing Creek.

    The group, which has already completed a series of recommendations for land use actions along 40 acres on the Flushing waterfront, secured a Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) designation last summer by the Cuomo administration—making it one of 47 BOA awardees across the state. Estimated at $1.5 million and assisted by the Department of City Planning (DCP), the Flushing BOA grant finances a host of planning activities for the area, including cleanup of deteriorated sites as well as Flushing Creek.

    This redevelopment effort involved substantial outreach by engaging the local community for input and consensus-building. The LDC and DCP collaboratively strove to satisfy both private interests and public need, incentivizing property owners to redevelop underutilized sites while ensuring that such redevelopment yields tangible public benefits.

    The proposal is defined by revitalization, rehabilitation and community-oriented redevelopment of underutilized, vacant, and environmentally challenged areas near the Flushing waterfront.

    Anchored by the mixed-use redevelopment and affordable housing, the game plan also involves creation of new public walkways and open space along the waterfront, plus the extension of pedestrian and vehicular circulation systems from the downtown to the waterfront, according to Flushing Willets Point Corona LDC.

    Among the specification are a decided emphasis on establishing a transportation-oriented component that promotes walking and enhances overall point-to-point connectivity. Not only does the grant money empower the environmental cleanup of the core brick-and-mortar area plus abandoned parcels, but a comprehensive cleanup of the Flushing waterway will ensue as well.

    Alexandra Rosa, executive vice president for Flushing Willets Point Corona LDC, described the Flushing Willets Point Corona LDC waterfront plan and BOA designation as consistent with what city planning has been seeking. “When you are approved as a BOA, the development on the sites are approved for enhanced tax credits for eliminating some of the environmental issues,” said Rosa. That gives stakeholders the incentive to build and the community gets the revitalization it needs simultaneously, Rosa added.

    It will be interesting to watch the project evolution unfold throughout 2019 as it provides a well-timed shot in the arm to an area truly requiring it.

  • 29 Nov 2018 9:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By David L. Shaw, Olean Times Herald(NY)

    The G. W. Lisk Company is applying to be added to the state’s brownfield cleanup program for environmental cleanup of its site.

    The company, established in 1910, is on 26 acres at 2 South St. in the village directly south of Clifton Springs Hospital. It produces solenoids, linear variable differential transformers and flame arrestors and has historically performed metal plating operations.

    As part of its plating operations, the company used tri-chloro-ethylene (TCE), cadmium, nickel, zinc and hexavalent chromium. Environmental tests performed in 2014 found the presence of chlorinated solvents in the groundwater along the property boundary with Clifton Springs Hospital.

    For the entire article, see

    http://www.oleantimesherald.com/news/state/g-w-lisk-applies-to-be-on-state-brownfield-list/article_d13aa5d0-73ce-5f93-a8d3-49275237fef5.html

  • 29 Nov 2018 9:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    Railfield redevelopment opportunities have been expanding more each decade, due mainly to the significant reduction of miles maintained by the consolidated U.S. rail system, which has decreased by at least 50%. In its wake is an extensive legacy of underutilized, contaminated, and sometimes abandoned rail properties.

    In the NYC metropolitan area, a railfield redevelopment is potentially in the works if it gets the green light from state regulators.

    With traces of mercury remaining in soil at the Inwood LIRR station (Nassau County)—contaminants borne by rectifiers used to power the rail line station until 1979—the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has been reviewing an application from a realty company, Coland Realty, that would incorporate a section of the Far Rockaway Long Island Railroad line, which incorporates the Inwood station, into the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program, according to a recent report in the Long Island Herald.

    The New York State Department of Conservation is investigating the site in relation to the Coland application submitted Oct. 10. The public comment period ended Nov. 9 and now the goal of the Brownfield Cleanup Program is to encourage private-sector cleanups and promote redevelopment through tax incentives.

    According to the DEC, the primary contaminant is mercury, which originated from the rectifiers that powered the Inwood station. “This type of contamination is something that is common at various LIRR owned properties,” said a DEC spokesman.

    If the stakeholders involved in this effort want to look for guidance on proceeding the right way, there are several resources to tap. For starters, EPA offers a site profile guide, entitled “Technical Approaches to Characterizing and Cleaning up Brownfields Sites: Railroad Yards,” to assist stakeholders in characterizing rail properties.

    And success stories are out there as well. In Cambridge and Somerville, Mass., for instance, a former rail freight yard owned by Guilford Transportation Industries was transformed into a 45-acre mixed-use development. Guilford initiated the development after declining freight traffic in Boston made the property redundant. The project included commercial and residential development with some of the property devoted to greenspace and a regional bicycle trail. Ultimately, the initiative integrated an underused industrial property to the communities around it.

    Determining if the site is eligible for the NYS cleanup program is the first step towards cleaning up the mercury. “If the application is deemed eligible, the DEC and the applicant will enter into a Brownfield Cleanup Agreement, which will provide for the investigation and cleanup of the site,” a DEC spokeswoman said. “Once the agreement is executed, the applicant will submit a work plan to investigate and clean up the site (as part of a Remedial Investigation Work Plan). The work plan will fully delineate the nature and extent of contamination at the site. Prior to the start of work at the site.”

    The stigma of potential redevelopments along railroad lines has typically been a bone of contention with local residents. One local resident expressed these concerns about the Inwood LIRR station situation by stating that “it’s pretty scary knowing it’s right here by the train tracks. I hope they take care of it quickly, I know being around mercury isn’t good for you.”

    The DEC and the state’s Department of Health was in the process of implementing measures to protect and minimize the effect the work has had—and will have—on local businesses, residents and commuters, including monitoring the air for dust vapors and odors.

    The advice to those involved would be to proceed prudently. Residual contamination including herbicides, petroleum products and byproducts, metals and creosote, is often present on these properties.

    Looking at the historical protocols, a majority of rail companies perform an environmental review on every property transaction as an evaluation process to determine if there are significant contamination concerns.

    Similar to other brownfields redevelopment projects, liability concerns about environmental contamination on the property are a common roadblock for the rail companies in addressing properties. Rail companies often recommend that local governments work with them and state environmental agencies on liability issues. Often, if contamination is found during the investigation process of the project, liability rests with the rail company, which creates a major disincentive for the rail companies to proceed.

    Rail companies have an interest in working with municipalities during the planning process of redevelopment of rail properties that have become obsolete, allowing the companies to provide early input into reuse options as they have valuable knowledge about potential contamination concerns. Rail companies recommend that local governments spend significant time exploring whether the end use is appropriate based on the cleanup level prior to planning redevelopment.

  • 13 Nov 2018 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Tyler Marko, Long Island Herald (NY)

    The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is reviewing an application from Coland Realty LLC that would incorporate a section of the Far Rockaway Long Island Railroad line that includes the Inwood station, into the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program.

    The New York State Department of Conservation is investigating the site. The program application was submitted on Oct. 10, and the public comment period ends on Nov. 9. The goal of the Brownfield Cleanup Program is to encourage private-sector cleanups and the promotion of redevelopment through tax incentives.

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    According to the DEC, the primary contaminant of concern is mercury, which originated from the rectifiers that were on Redfern Avenue at the Queens borders and powered the Inwood station until 1979. “This type of contamination is something that is common at various LIRR owned properties,” said DEC spokesman Bill Fonda.

    For the entire article, see

    http://liherald.com/fivetowns/stories/remediating-an-inwood-and-far-rockaway-site,108993

  • 31 Oct 2018 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There will be about 29,000 tons of contaminated soil removed from the property to make it safe for construction.

    By Alex Costello, Long Beach Patch (NY)

    After many years of delay, the brownfield site on the southern tip of Harbor Isle is scheduled to be remediated.

    The former Cibro Petroleum site, located off Island Parkway South, will be cleaned by the Posillico Development Company, which is planning to build condos on the site.

    For the entire article, see

    https://patch.com/new-york/longbeach/harbor-isle-brownfield-be-cleaned-make-way-condos

  • 26 Oct 2018 9:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    It’s a discovery of the most unsavory kind, one that public officials often brace for. And it’s a dilemma that urban redevelopment stakeholders in New York City’s five boroughs should eternally be vigilant about due to the breadth and depth of brownfield assets.

    The unwanted discovery? Learning that you’re now dealing with a much larger portfolio of abandoned and contaminated properties—above and beyond what prevailing estimates had indicated from city survey reports.

    It’s a dilemma that can hopefully be mitigated by garnering access to New York State’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) program, set up to promote revitalization efforts and crafting strategies for redevelopment.

    This subject has a nearby example as a lesson learned: In Brookhaven, N.Y. planning officials in late summer identified more than 633 potentially contaminated properties—more than double what they had anticipated—that are ripe for remediation efforts in the greater Bellport area, according to a September report in Newsday.

    Most of the brownfield parcels served as the sites of warehouses and auto and manufacturing businesses, where oils, liquids and antifreeze leak into soil and groundwater along Montauk Highway in North Bellport, Hagerman and East Patchogue, planning officials said.

    Initially, Brookhaven expected to survey 302 parcels of land for incidence of contamination. During a study, officials determined additional properties needed to be inspected, Brookhaven Town planner Joseph Sanzano told Newsday.

    Of the 633 identified properties, 24% are in developed commercial areas, 18% are in industrial areas, 10% are in residential communities and the remaining parcels are on vacant land, planning officials said.

    This area represents a large footprint: Brookhaven, the most populous of the 10 towns of Suffolk County, is the only community in the county that stretches from the North Shore to the South Shore of Long Island.

    When so many undisclosed and unexpected parcels are deemed to be potentially contaminated, heavy lifting commences. When 300 parcels originally thought to be surveyed doubles in size, communities brace for a higher level of liability and a robust investigation schedule must commence—Phases 1, 2 and 3. Brookhaven officials said perceived threats to soils and groundwater could deter potential developers from investing in “this residential, socio-economically challenged community,” according to the Newsday report.

    That’s what’s in store, but a little history of the area: The Greater Bellport Land Use Plan was adopted by Brookhaven officials in 2014, at which time officials applied for and were awarded about $300,000 in state grant money to conduct a study. Brookhaven was awarded the grant from the New York State’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) program to promote revitalization efforts in the Bellport community. Strategies for redevelopment and the potential impacts of redevelopment were evaluated.

    Since the adoption of the community-based Greater Bellport Land Use Plan four years ago, the town has implemented many recommendations, including soliciting the BOA designation, addressing chaotic auto related uses, identifying brownfields, regulating zombie homes, adopting new zoning to define the hamlet centers, and monitoring compliance with all local, state, and federal environmental regulations in the hamlets of Bellport, Hagerman and East Patchogue.

    These area-wide initiatives in planning/remediation and implementation of these recommendations were shaped by the unique vision that was established for by community fathers.

    The BOA designation, like other state-wide and nationwide, provide the leverage to secure additional opportunities for grant funding for planning, infrastructure and other amenities.

    Community input was a key fulcrum of this effort. The town recognized the importance of community input towards transforming neighborhoods; thus, community members and stakeholders were asked to provide revitalization input through a community survey.

  • 10 Oct 2018 9:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Redevelopers can use everything from old government facilities to brownfield sites to capitalize on the need for last mile warehouses.

    by Joseph A. Panepinto Sr., National Real Estate Investor

    Amazon launched the age of e-commerce when it shipped its first bookout of a garage in 1995. Since that beginning, consumers have grown to embrace the ‘e-tail’ lifestyle. Millennials are now driving the demand for everything from toilet paper to make-up delivered to their doorstep. To accommodate this growth, e-retailers are snapping up industrial-use land and buildings as close as possible to the consumers they need to serve.

    Access to the ”last mile” of delivery in urban locations has become one of the most critical factors in site selection. Facilities must not only be the right size, they must also have access to a highway and/or waterway, appropriate zoning, an accessible employee base and be as close as possible to their customers.

    Traditionally, open plan, one-story buildings have been used as warehouses. Today, buildings of several forms can be utilized, including former big-box stores; industrial sites in various stages of remediation; under-used office space; and, in one instance in Chicago, an underutilized parking garage.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.nreionline.com/industrial/e-commerce-industry-s-last-mile-needs-create-new-demand-old-warehouse-space

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