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  • 12 Jun 2018 5:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    States threatened with brownfield funding dilemmas—which is most of them—might get a much-needed shot in the arm soon: It comes in the form of federal-sponsored tax breaks for brownfield projects.

    But in late April, a potential “knight in shining armor” emerged: Bipartisan legislation was introduced in the U.S. House that would authorize tax deductions toward the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields—a huge potential shot in the arm for New York City’s large portfolio of brownfield properties that need capital infusion.

    The proposal is armed with New York-level endorsement as Rep. Peter King is a cosponsor of H.R. 5579, calling the tax incentive “an essential piece” for reviving the many contaminated sites. “Rather than spreading deductions over time, this legislation will encourage private-sector involvement in the cleanup and rehabilitation of brownfields properties,” King said in a statement about the legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH).

    Clearly, the U.S. Senate and House need more folks who “get it,” like King and Turner. That is, understanding the magnitude of impact that brownfield properties have on the fortunes of local communities.

    Rep. Turner witnessed up close and personally the impacts of funding for local brownfields when he served as mayor of Dayton, Ohio. “I developed brownfields to reinvest in our city and spur economic growth, including the building of the Dayton Dragons stadium,” Rep. Turner said. “I know firsthand how important brownfields are for communities looking to rebuild. Our bill extends the brownfields tax credit to help cities like Dayton continue to grow.”

    The Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Incentive Reauthorization Act of 2018, H.R. 5579, would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend expensing of environmental remediation costs through 2021. Sound familiar to some of you? It should. Brownfield practitioners know the historical narrative. The brownfields tax incentive was first ratified as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, permitted taxpayers to deduct remediation expenditures for the cleanup of a property that was used for a trade, business or to produce income. A two-year extension occurred in 2009 and then expired on Jan. 1, 2012 and hasn’t been reauthorized since.

    U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) joined Turner in introducing H.R. 5579, which has been referred to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. “I hear time and time again from business owners, developers and local leaders across central and northwestern Connecticut that the high costs of cleanup deter initial private sector investments,” Rep. Esty said in a news report. “Cities and towns throughout Connecticut have strong industrial histories and are now in the process of transitioning to new sources of economic growth, which is critical to creating good-paying jobs right here in our state. I’m doing what I can to be a strong partner in these efforts.”

    If enacted, H.R. 5579 would reauthorize the tax incentive through Dec. 31, 2021, and provide four years of certainty for potential developers, according to the congressman’s staff.

    Let’s hope that Reps. King and Turner get majority buy-in from the U.S. House because the clock is ticking on the position, and fate, of a good number of New York City brownfield projects. H.R. 5579 is one integral means to supporting that end.

  • 7 May 2018 4:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On May 1, 2018, the NYC Brownfield Partnership held its annual Big Apple Brownfield Awards at the New York Law School, recognizing the following outstanding New York City remediation projects:

    Project Location:

    The Residences at PS 186 / The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem

    Project Team:

    • Impact Environmental
    • Monadnock

    The 2018 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Community Outreach is presented to The Residences at PS 186/The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem located in West Harlem in Manhattan, NY. This project is a full renovation of the former PS 186 school building, which has been converted into a 78-unit affordable residential apartment building developed by Monadnock Development LLC. This previously abandoned property was remediated under the city voluntary cleanup program overseen by Impact Environmental and now offers affordable housing for families earning no more than 60% of the Area Median Income. In addition, the ground floor was converted to a 10,000-square foot community facility utilized by the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem. Previously, The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem served an average 1,500 local children but with this new location the club’s capacity increases to 2,000 individuals. Community outreach will also extend to the Washington Heights community. Located within the West Harlem Rezoning Area, The Residences at PS 186/The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem has achieved the goals of the rezoning effort to allow for mixed-use development opportunities while preserving the character of West Harlem neighborhood.

    Project Location:

    25 Kent, Bronx, NY

    Project Team:

    • EBC
    • AMC Engineering
    • SPR
    • 19 Kent Partners LLC
    • Lehrer LLC
    • TG Nickel

    The 2018 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Economic Development is presented to the 25 Kent development located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York. The team responsible for this development worked with the Department of City Planning and the non-profit organization Evergreen to design and construct the new 10-story building in accordance with the Mayor’s Industrial Action Plan and the recently proposed Enhanced Business Areas. The property was originally developed in the 1860’s as part of the Charles Pratt Astral Oil Works Refinery which was later taken over by John D. Rockefellers Standard oil company which continued refinery operations there in the 1940’s. The property was later used as a construction equipment storage facility from 1950 through 2014. The Site is now home to a new mixed-use, commercial/industrial building that includes 380,300 square feet of retail, light manufacturing, and office space, as well as, 14,400 square feet of public open space and two subsurface parking levels. This is the first new office building constructed in Williamsburg in over 60 years and will certainly serve as a road map for future projects to be developed in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Industrial Business Zone.

    Project Location:

    One Flushing, Queens, NY

    Project Team:

    • Monadnock
    • Roux Associates
    • SPR

    The 2018 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Environmental Protection is presented to One Flushing located in Downtown Flushing, Queens. Developed by Monadnock Development, Asian Americans for Equality and HANAC, this project transformed a former pay-to-park municipal parking lot into a 10-floor multi-story building which houses parking in the cellar, retail and community space on the ground floor and 232 affordable residential units. The Site was transferred from the OER Jumpstart Program to the DEC Brownfield Cleanup program. Implementation of a remedy by Monadnock Construction with oversight by Roux Associates included excavation of 25,000 tons of fill, excavation of 2,000 tons of petroleum impacted soil and removal of an underground storage tank. In addition, in-situ chemical oxidation was applied during construction activities directly to the base of a petroleum source area in order to remediate groundwater. The project achieved a Track 1 Unrestricted Use Cleanup in 2017.

    Project Location:

    Seaside Park & Ford Amphitheater, Coney Island, NY

    Project Team:

    • FLS
    • iStar
    • GKV Architects
    • Newbanks NY
    • Hunter Roberts

    The 2018 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Open Space is presented to Seaside Park & Ford Amphitheater located on the Coney Island boardwalk. The 126,000-square-foot site previously comprised a bus parking lot and vacant roller skating rink inside the landmarked Childs Building. Following remediation, the Childs Building exterior was restored and its now storm-hardened interior houses a 700 person restaurant and a 350 person rooftop terrace. Furthering its incorporation into the development of the amphitheater it houses the stage, ADA restrooms and provides space for the back-of-house functions such as dressing rooms. The covered 5,000 seat amphitheater is able to host a mix of ticketed and free community events via a partnership with its operator Live Nation, the non-profit Coney Island USA, and various other non-profit arts and cultural organizations. The remainder of the site was developed as Seaside Park, a landscaped accessible community space and a multi-age playground. The community is prone to flooding and the dense vegetation planted in the park acts as a long-needed coastal resiliency measure. This new development effort between the EDC and New York City based iStar Incorporated embraces the legacy of Coney Island as an affordable entertainment destination for both the seaside community and what is hoped to be an even greater influx of tourists during the summer months.

    Project Location:

    La Casa Del Mundo, Bronx, NY

    Project Team:

    • 3475 Third Avenue Owners Realty LLC
    • WCD Group
    • Real Builders
    • Kings Point Heights
    • OCV Architects
    • AtoZ Consulting Engineers

    The 2018 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Supportive/Affordable Housing is presented to La Casa Del Mundo located in the Bronx, NY. Developed by KingsPoint Heights LLC, this development has created multiple affordable housing options for the local community. The former warehouse/storage facility was remediated with oversight from the WCD Group LLC and redeveloped into a 12-story affordable housing residential building with commercial space on the ground floor. All 101 units in the building are income restricted and to be occupied by families earning 60% or below the Area Median Income. La Casa Del Mundo was constructed through the New York City Housing Development Corporation and Housing Preservation and Development Extremely Low and Low-Income Affordability program. The design of the building, by OCV Architects, emphasizes sustainability and meets the Enterprise Green Community Criteria. This project transformed an underused space to provide much needed affordable housing in the Bronx.

    Distinguished Service Aware Winner - Schenine Mitchell

    Schenine Mitchell works as an Environmental Scientist in the Emergency and Remedial Response Division and as a Brownfields Project Officer for several Brownfields Assessment, Area Wide Planning, and Environmental Workforce and Job Development Training Grants. Schenine serves as the Lead Regional Coordinator of both the Area Wide Planning and Environmental Workforce and Job Development Training Programs. Equally important, Schenine serves as the Federal liaison to the Regional Inter-Agency Working Group on Brownfields.

    Schenine also assists with field work for the development of solar panels on decommissioned landfills and brownfields. Schenine has partnered with The City College of New York (CCNY) to work with volunteer summer interns from their Environmental Science and Engineering Programs. This led to collaboration with CCNY on using GIS in an analysis of the economic and environmental impact of the EPA’s Brownfields Program in NY and NJ. Schenine presented this research at the 2017 Environmental Information Association Conference and Expo.

    Schenine holds a B.S. in International Environmental Studies with a Minor in Political Science from Rutgers University (Cook College) and a M.A. in Environmental Management from Montclair State University. She has been a two-time recipient of the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund. She is currently pursuing a PhD. in Environmental Management at Montclair State University with an interest in doctoral research on inter-agency collaborations and brownfields redevelopment.

    The NYC Brownfield Partnership Would Like to Thank…

    EVENT PARTNER:

    New York Law School, Center for Real Estate Studies

    PLATINUM EVENT SPONSORS:

    • Aarco Environmental Services, Corp.
    • BCONE
    • Brown Duke & Fogel, P.C.
    • GEI Consultants, Inc., P.C.
    • Roux

    10TH ANNIVERSARY GIFT SPONSOR:

    York Analytical Laboratories

    GOLD EVENT SPONSORS:

    • SPR
    • Tenen Environmental

    SILVER EVENT SPONSORS:

    • AKRF
    • Alpha Analytical
    • AWT
    • Blue World
    • Brookside Environmental
    • Rigsby Search Group LLC
    • Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP
    • Schnapf, LLC

    AFTER-PARTY SPONSOR:

    Langan

  • 25 Apr 2018 4:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Steve Dwyer

    Across its five boroughs, New York City has developed a strong fluency for converting former brownfields into affordable housing reuses. The message is this—keep it up, New York, stay the course, because the strategy is paying prime dividends.

    It’s a point of fact that the scale of vacant properties across New York City’s five boroughs is massive, with many end use redevelopments flashing diversification all depending on the footprint, the specific need and other factors.

    Affordable housing has become a very viable option in New York City and beyond, as other cities are following suit on their pursuit of this end-use strategy. Other cities in other states might have taken a page from Via Verde, a mixed-income housing development in the Bronx acclaimed for using energy 30% more efficiently than comparable buildings, saving residents money.

    There are several myths dogging affordable housing that many groups advocating for this end use are always eager to dispel. For instance, Community Housing Partners Corp. (CHP) finds that affordable housing is “affordable in the sense of being less costly to live in because it is supported by financing from a variety of public and private sources—not because it is cheaply built or operated.”

    Building affordable housing near jobs supports the increased use of public transportation, shortens commutes and lessens congestion. The National Personal Transportation Survey found that low-income households make 40% fewer trips than other households. Studies show that affordable housing residents own fewer cars and drive less often than those in the surrounding neighborhood.

    One key is critical mass: The larger an urban footprint—such as NYC—the better the chance to leverage an idea such as affordable housing. Think about it: When critical mass is achieved—paving the way for a “brownfields by the bunches” approach to redevelopment—affordable housing quadrants located within a city schema helps avoid housing “disbursement” in favor of unification.

    The consolidation of affordable housing components across a city grid fosters public transit, biking and pedestrian options. This assists owners or renters to avoid having to either a) acquire an automobile or b) allow them to rely less on that vehicle.

    Another urban legend is that this type of project can lead to over-crowded schools, but studies show that traditional single-family home neighborhoods have two to three times the number of school-aged children than those residing in apartments, according to CHP.

    Like other similar studies, one from Wayne State University tracked property values before and after affordable housing was built and found that affordable housing often has a positive effect on property values located in higher-valued neighborhoods while also improving values in lower-valued neighborhoods—a double benefit.

    New York City got the memo about the power of this redevelopment concept a long time ago. For proof, take a look at several former Big Apple Brownfield Award winners: The Hour Apartment House III in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens now provides much-need affordable housing to formerly incarcerated mothers and their children.

    In 2017, Big Apple Brownfield Award winners that made their mark by underscoring and helping champion the affordable housing conversation included Webster Residence and Park House, which features units with rents affordable to households with incomes below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Over 50% of the Webster Residence units and 12% of the Park House units are reserved for formerly homeless persons with special needs.

    West Tremont Residences was built upon a collaborative effort between the city and state—resulting in 61 apartments available to senior citizens at affordable housing prices. Elton Crossing (Melrose C – Family), saw the creation of a mixed-use commercial and residential building to house low and moderate income families in the Bronx, to great success.

    Affordable housing is an idea that will continue to be championed across the country—and rightly so. Give New York City an assist as it’s clearly the poster child for how effective this redevelopment concept can be if executed with a unified team approach.

  • 22 Feb 2018 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Steve Dwyer

    In January, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced the New York FY 2019 executive budget, and it was armed with a proposal that would defer taxpayers’ ability to claim certain tax credit amounts.

    In short, brownfield projects would be hit particularly hard. Due in large part to the brownfield credits, the market has been willing to take on significant risk associated with cleaning up contaminated sites throughout New York.

    Let’s look at this as a hypothetical: Proposed, passed or struck down, what if such a proposal were to be enacted. What is the recourse for New York practitioners to stanch the loss of such critical funding?

    The 2019 state budget proposal from January is indeed is a wakeup call to redevelopment practitioners in New York state, a call to arms activate Plan B in the name of generating project funding.

    One way would be making greater use of private capital resources as a hedge against public-side fiscal budgetary cutbacks.

    Any type of l tax deferral provision would negatively affect credits under the New York Brownfield Cleanup Program, the New York credits for low income housing and the rehabilitation of historic properties, the alcoholic beverage production credit, and others. In total, thirty‐five tax credits would be subject to this provision.

    Under this type of action, brownfield projects in progress would be in danger of disruption or failure due to the delay of the credits, which are critical to the projects’ financial viability. If enacted, the proposed deferral would jeopardize dozens of brownfield cleanups seeking to meet NYSDEC program deadlines.

    This is a major step backward for what had been a blossoming initiative. During the summer of 2017, representatives of local and state government described a reinvigoration of the New York State Brownfield Opportunity Area program. In particular, New York City’s unique programs had encompassed more than 500 site remediations and several innovative grants and initiatives.

    Under any type of rollback to much-needed tax credits, brownfield projects would be significantly affected, and this would encompass:

    •     Projects receiving a Certificate of Completion from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 2018-2020;
    •     Projects with qualified tangible property (including buildings and depreciable assets) placed in service on brownfield sites in tax years 2018‐2020; and
    •     Certain completed projects with 25 or more full‐time employees on site that are claiming the tax credit for remediated brownfields.

    With a public-side vacuum always lurking for this industry, private real estate capital resources are regarded as trending north. The HUD budget at one point last year stood at $57 billion. Commercial real estate is estimated to contribute $465 billion to the GDP and housing including both construction and consumption is now estimated back up to roughly 18% of GDP.

    As various capital-oriented “certainties” morph into “uncertainties”-within an urban redevelopment context-having a backup plan is not only prudent but greatly advisable. Who anymore can rely on the capriciousness of state and federal support? Crafting a private-side game plan is at least a hedge to warding off a disastrous outcome.


  • 22 Feb 2018 10:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Environmental due diligence is a critical component of any property transaction where potential environmental risks are a concern—minimize risks and protect yourself from…

    by Sylvia Carignan, BNA Environmental Due Diligence Guide

    President Donald Trump’s sweeping infrastructure plan proposes to rewrite long-standing funding options for cleaning up brownfields and superfund sites.

    The plan, released Feb. 12, seeks new ways to provide federal funding for contaminated site cleanup, potentially speeding progress toward redeveloping those sites. At the same time, the president’s budget plan would slash the traditional funding route for brownfields.

    The proposed infrastructure reforms would create new loan and grant programs but also require legislative action.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.bna.com/trump-proposes-new-n57982088681/

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Legislation Included in Executive Budget Would Bolster Efficiency for Brownfield Opportunity Area Program; Maintain Funding at $2 Million.

    by LONGISLAND.com

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced legislation that would streamline the application process of and maintain state funding at $2 million for the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program in New York State. The Brownfield Opportunity Area Program provides grants to local governments and community-based organizations to address the complex changes related to concentrations of brownfields and vacant and underutilized properties in downtowns and in neighborhoods. The grants support realistic, community-driven plans for redevelopment, providing a roadmap to transform blighted properties into vital community assets. In the FY 2019 Executive Budget, the Governor has outlined proposed changes to streamline the process and continue funding for the program.

    “This program has helped communities in every corner of New York transform blighted and neglected properties into economic engines,” Governor Cuomo said. “By reforming and streamlining this process, we will help ensure more local governments have access to tools and resources they need to help New York continue to thrive.”

    The Governor’s FY 2019 Executive Budget includes reforms to the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program that would:

    • Streamline planning by eliminating the existing pre-nomination step and creating a single-step community-based process to achieve Brownfield Opportunity Area designation;
    • Allow for existing plans or plans developed outside the Brownfield Opportunity Area process that meet general criteria to qualify for the program; and
    • Allow existing Brownfield Opportunity Areas to apply for financial assistance for pre-development grants.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.longisland.com/news/01-22-18/governor-cuomo-announces-reforms-to-brownfield-opportunity-area-program-in-fy-2019-executive-budget.html

  • 2 Nov 2017 10:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ver 50 people from across the industry were in attendance on October 30th as Melissa Herlitz and Jean You of the NYC DCP gave a presentation on the “Flood Resilience Zone Text Update.”

    According to the FEMA Flood Map – Citywide Flood Risk – New York’s City’s flood risk is high. The floodplain affects a large geography and most community and council districts.

    • 100 Year Floodplain (FEMA 2015 PFIRM)
    • Population: 400,000
    • Buildings: 71,500
    • 50 of 59 Community Boards Buildings
    • 45 of 51 Council Districts


    Planning a Resilient NYC



    Photos from October 30, 2017 Presentation 

     


  • 30 Oct 2017 10:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Kenneth Laks, CPA Journal

    New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program was initiated over a decade ago to encourage private enterprise to redevelop contaminated properties and revitalize their surrounding communities. The program was recently extended, providing greater certainty that the incentives will continue to exist in the future, albeit at a lower level. Financial advisors of taxpayers with qualifying property should become familiar with the new requirements and engage the services of engineering consultants to maximize the potential tax benefits.

    In April 2015, New York passed its annual budget, which included a 10-year extension of the Brownfield Cleanup Program. The state tax credits available for developers who clean up and build on contaminated sites were supposed to expire at the end of 2015, but now have the necessary funding to continue.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.cpajournal.com/2017/10/23/new-life-new-york-brownfield-redevelopment-credit/

  • 8 Sep 2017 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Maya Rajamani, dnaInfo (NY)

    A developer who secured an $8 million tax credit for cleaning up a contaminated lot on the West Side plans to build a 57-story tower at the site.

    Silverstein Properties last week filed for permits to construct a mixed-use tower on the site of a former Mercedes dealership at 520 W. 41st St., between 10th and 11th avenues, city Department of Buildings records show.

    In 2016, Silverstein received $8,028,106 in publicly funded tax credits through the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program for cleaning up the site, a state Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman said on Monday.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170815/hells-kitchen-clinton/silverstein-41st-street-permits-filed-brownfield-cleanup-program

  • 4 Aug 2017 10:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Carl MacGowan, Long Island Newsday (NY)

    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority must file a new plan to contain or remove contaminated soil from a former Yaphank rail yard because of a change in the state’s hazardous waste site cleanup program, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.

    A previous remediation plan — in which the soil would be left in place and covered with an asphalt and concrete cap, proposed by the MTA in 2012 — is no longer valid because it was filed under the DEC’s Voluntary Cleanup Program, which is being phased out, DEC spokesman Sean Mahar said.

    For the entire article, see

    http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/state-mta-must-file-new-cleanup-plan-at-yaphank-site-1.13902885


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