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  • 17 May 2016 10:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The NYC Brownfield Partnership is proud to recognize the following outstanding New York City remediation projects through their annual Big Apple Brownfield Awards.

    Supportive/Affordable Housing: Third Avenue Residence

    The Big Apple Brownfield Award for Supportive/Affordable Housing is presented to Third Avenue Residence, a 7-story low income/supportive housing residential building located in the South Bronx. The Site, which began as a vacant lot, was remediated through OER’s Voluntary Cleanup Program to the strictest (Track 1) standards. The residence provides housing for low income individuals from the surrounding area, people who are in recovery from mental illness and people who were formerly homeless. Due to the high quality site remediation orchestrated by the project team and the OER project manager (Horace Zhang), Third Avenue Residence will provide a helping hand to the South Bronx community for years to come.

    Accepting the Big Apple Brownfield Award on behalf of the Third Avenue Residence team is Rachel Ataman of Hydro Tech Environmental.

    BOA Connectivity: 2477 Third Avenue Bronx

    The Big Apple Brownfield Award for Brownfield Opportunity Area Connectivity is presented to 2477 Third Avenue, a 4-story hotel also located in the South Bronx. As part of the Port Morris BOA process, brownfield stakeholders in this South Bronx community identified 2477 Third Avenue, a previously abandoned gas station, as a ‘Strategic Site’ for hotel development. Half of the Site was remediated under DEC’s Brownfield Cleanup Program and the other half under OER’s Voluntary Cleanup Program. The tremendous collaboration amongst the project team, DEC’s project manager (Sarah Quandt), and OER’s project manager (Zach Schreiber) played a big role in ensuring the success of the remedial aspect of the redevelopment.

    Accepting the Big Apple Brownfield Award on behalf of the 2477 Third Avenue Bronx team is Bharat “BL” Patel of Jiten LLC.

    Economic Development: 2040 Frederick Douglass Boulevard

    The Big Apple Brownfield Award for Economic Development is presented to 2040 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, a 12-story, mixed-use residential/commercial building located in Harlem. The Site was developed as the result of of the 2003 South-Central Harlem Rezoning and was remediated under DEC’s Brownfield Cleanup Program. As a condition of development, 100% of construction contracts were awarded to WBE/MBE firms, which resulted in the creation of 300 temporary jobs. Additionally, the new development will create upwards of 100 permanent jobs, most of which will be staffed by the community through the NYC EDC. The project team worked hand-in-hand with DEC’s project manager (Dana Mecomber) to achieve successful remediation of this previously condemned site.

    Accepting the Big Apple Brownfield Award on behalf of the 2040 Frederick Douglass Boulevard team are Nelson Bermeo, Elysa Lomangino, and Lilach Musman of Artimus Construction.

    Environmental Protection: Brooklyn Bay Center

    The Big Apple Brownfield Award for Environmental Protection is presented to Brooklyn Bay Center. This former illegal dumping ground was remediated under OER’s E-Designation Program. Remediation included the removal and/or excavation of 19 underground storage tanks, petroleum-impacted soil and free product, soil contaminated with hazardous levels of arsenic, and upwards of 33,000 cubic yards of screened trash. The resulting development is a beautiful waterfront esplanade and public park located along the Brooklyn shoreline and an adjacent retail building that has brought about 250 jobs to the surrounding community. This fantastic turnaround would not have been possible without the thoughtful work undertaken by the project team and the OER project manager (Zach Schreiber).

    Accepting the Big Apple Brownfield Award on behalf of the Brooklyn Bay Center team is John Gavras of GZA.

    Green Building: 345-353 State Street

    The Big Apple Brownfield Award for Green Building is presented to 345-353 State Street located in Brooklyn. This site, which was once comprised of dilapidated residences and a parking structure, was remediated under OER’s Voluntary Cleanup Program. The new development has been granted LEED Gold Status for homes and includes seven, 4-story townhouses, each with a cellar and a rear yard. The townhomes include an aggressive energy package comprised of high efficiency appliances, insulated windows, and an innovative foundation and wall system that was constructed using Insulated Concrete Form. This energy efficient development has proven to be 25% more efficient than NYC code requirements and 10% more efficient than Energy Star Ratings. Remediation of this lot was successfully coordinated by the project team and OER’s project manager (Hannah Moore).

    Accepting the Big Apple Brownfield Award on behalf of the 345-353 State Street team is Erica Johnston of Hydro Tech Environmental.

    Open Space Award: Bush Terminal Park

    The Big Apple Brownfield Award for Open Space is presented to Bush Terminal Park, an exquisite new public space that will jumpstart revitalization of Brooklyn’s industrial Port of New York. This development sits atop what was once a Class 3 Inactive Hazardous Waste Landfill. Site remediation was achieved through the Clean H2O and Clean Air Bond Acts. The Bush Terminal Park of today provides enhanced waterfront access and enjoyment to the surrounding residential community and promotes a strengthened ecosystem of tidal pools, the shoreline, and loosely wooded areas of the park. This beautiful waterfront escape from urban life would not be what it is today if not for the tirelessly coordinated efforts of the project team and the DEC project manager (Nigel Crawford).

    Accepting the Big Apple Brownfield Award on behalf of the Bush Terminal Park team is James Peronto of TRC Engineers.

  • 18 Mar 2016 10:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On March 9, 2016, NYSDEC proposed a new definition of “underutilized” for use in determining whether a site is eligible for tangible property tax credits under the NYS Brownfield Cleanup Program.  To learn more, click on the following link to an article authored by Partnership Board member, David J Freeman, Gibbons P.C.

    http://www.rpelawalert.com/2016/03/articles/developmentredevelopment/nysdec-proposes-new-definition-of-underutilized-for-tangible-property-tax-credits-at-new-york-city-brownfield-sites/

  • 24 Sep 2015 10:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On April 28, 2015, the New York City Brownfield Partnership hosted the seventh annual Big Apple Brownfield Awards (BABAs) at New York Law School.  The event was well attended by developers, consultants, attorneys and representatives from the non-profit and government sectors.  In addition to highlighting seven exceptional New York City redevelopment projects, the Partnership also recognized the collaboration between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York City Office of Environmental Remediation in promoting and furthering brownfield redevelopment in New York City.  The award was accepted by Robert Cozzy, Director – Remedial Bureau B, DER, NYSDEC; Jane O’Connell, Chief, Superfund & Brownfield Cleanup, NYSDEC Region 2; and Shaminder Chawla, Deputy Director, NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation

    The keynote address was delivered by New York City Council Member Donovan Richards Jr., Chair, Committee on Environmental Protection.

    The attendees were welcomed on behalf of Partnership President Deborah Shapiro by Executive Director Sue Boyle, who reviewed the year’s accomplishments, including the first networking event for Young Brownfield Professionals, the efforts of the Partnership’s Legislative Committee regarding the proposed revisions to the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program Regulations, the update of the 2014 study on the impact of the BCP on site remediation and redevelopment, and the expansion of the Partnership’s pro bono program.

    Mimi Raygorodetsky, Chair of the Events Committee, introduced the award segment, and Michele Rogers and Kendra Logan, the event Co-chairs, introduced the following winning projects.

    Sustainable Remediation Award

    52-01 Queens Boulevard, Queens, NY. The redevelopment of this property transformed it from a vacant industrial space to a vibrant, mixed-use space. Through participation in OER’s Clean Soil Bank Program, approximately 95 percent of excavated material was beneficially re-used within the five boroughs, with much of the soil used to build a new park at Bush Terminals, Brooklyn. With so little reliance on out-of-state landfills, the development’s carbon footprint and expenditures were reduced significantly and the use of a vapor barrier and ventilated parking garage to minimize soil vapor impacts will significantly minimize the energy costs associated with continued operation and maintenance of an active system.

    Green Building Award

    Chelsea Park, Manhattan, NY. One of the most impressive features of this LEED- Silver certified building is the tenant-accessible green roof. Incorporating this feature reduced the heat island effect, reduced storm water runoff and provides outdoor space and panoramic views. Other green features of this development include low-flow fixtures throughout the project, thereby achieving a water use reduction of 30 percent. Through a high-efficiency condensing boiler, BMS management system, energy star appliances, LED lighting, and high quality air sealing techniques, this project achieved a 24 percent energy savings. Construction wastes were diligently tracked with over 75 percent of generated material diverted from landfills and incineration facilities.

    Community Outreach Award

    551 Tenth Avenue, Manhattan, NY. 551 Tenth Avenue, a former auto repair shop located in Hell’s Kitchen, lies adjacent to Saint Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church and Rectory, a structure that has been standing since the earlier part of last century. Throughout construction, the 551 Tenth Avenue team went the extra mile to protect the church’s integrity, utilizing vibration monitoring and stained glass window protection, and holding weekly meetings with church staff. The church’s basement event space remained easily accessible during construction, with the developer providing additional parking and support for church events. Most notably, six floors of the 52-story mixed-use building will be dedicated to community use as schools, dorms and non-profit offices and the western façade of the new structure will be dotted with light sources mimicking the sun shining through the affected church windows.

    Environmental Protection Award

    Former Nessen Lamps, Bronx, NY. This Bronx property is fully occupied by a former manufacturing building that has been most recently utilized as a public school.  The property has historically been used as a garage with gasoline storage, a drug company and a lamp factory.  The Site building also served as a public school through 2011. The need to work within the existing building, (immediately adjacent to a residential apartment building and aboveground and underground NYCT subway structures), combined with complicated geology and elevated levels of chlorinated VOCs, necessitated ongoing coordination of various technologies to address environmental concerns and successfully complete the investigation and remediation over an accelerated timeframe.  Subsequent to development of a conceptual site model, multiple remedial technologies were implemented to eliminate all exposure pathways and remediate the Site in accordance with the approved remedial plan and applicable regulatory requirements.

    Collaboration Award

    44 Withers Street, Brooklyn, NY. The 44 Withers Street site is a former gas station and auto repair shop located in the Green Point section of Brooklyn with soil contaminated with petroleum and high levels of heavy metals.  A spill was reported during the due diligence investigation and the developer proactively contacted NYSDEC and NYCOER, and explained the need to make decisions within the small amount of time allotted to close on the property.  Considering the data in the context of the proposed development scenario, both agencies assisted the developer to lay out a remedial scenario that propelled the property sale and eventual redevelopment forward in this extremely short time period.  As a result, this formerly vacant lot is now the location of three four-story residential buildings with dedicated commercial space. 44 Withers Street is a prime example of what can be accomplished when all parties involved collaborate openly and effectively.

    Economic Development Award/Brownfield Opportunity Area Award

    One Fulton Square, Queens, NY. The winner of both the Economic Development and Brownfield Opportunity Area awards, One Fulton Square is located in downtown Flushing, Queens. Historically, the Site contained an auto body repair shop, garage, and a gasoline station.  Prior to remediation, the Site was a vacant lot and a parking lot, which was being operated since 2001.  The Site is now occupied by a 168-room Hyatt Place hotel built atop of a three-level glass retail podium. The new Hyatt boasts two fully equipped gyms, a yoga studio and a rooftop swimming pool. It will also have approximately 1,000 square feet of meeting space. A separate office condominium will contain 22 professional and medical offices, 43 residential condominiums, and 300 parking spaces. The retail space encompasses 330,000 square feet and the entire project is one million square feet in size. This $125 million project is in its final stages of completion.

    This project will produce approximately 940 new jobs and has employed 250 construction workers, creating a positive effect on the community and creating millions of dollars in tax revenue generation.

    The project is located within the Flushing Willets Point Corona Local Development Corporation (FWCLDC) Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA). The Flushing BOA Plan is intended to further the community’s vision for the Flushing area by updating and integrating stakeholder’s ideas and concerns, leading to the formulation of recommendations for spurring reinvestment in the area. One of FWCLDC’s principal objectives for the BOA program is to encourage greater connectivity and linkages between Flushing’s waterfront and downtown Flushing. In August 2011, FWCLDC designated One Fulton Square a BOA Strategic Site because of its location straddling Flushing’s waterfront and downtown Flushing and its role in attracting additional investment in the area.

    Big Apple Brownfield Award

    Hour Apartment House III, Queens, NY. Hour Apartment House III is located in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens – a neighborhood characterized by a mix of industrial, residential and commercial spaces.  Prior to redevelopment, the property was occupied by three small buildings, which housed offices for the non-profit organization, Hour Children, as well as residences and a thrift store.  As part of site redevelopment, impacts to soil, groundwater and soil vapor were remediated and in the process an NYSDEC spill was closed.  The resulting structure is a 25,000-square-foot, sustainably designed building that serves a dual purpose: it serves as headquarters for the non-profit Hour Children and it provides much-need affordable housing to formerly incarcerated mothers and their children.  The housing is welcoming and bright and it is obvious that much thought went into the design of these spaces, which function as a stepping-stone for families post-incarceration.

    The Partnership also recognized the 2015 Abbey Duncan Brownfield Scholars and the 2014-2015 Brownfield Interns.

    2015 ABBEY DUNCAN BROWNFIELD SCHOLARS:

    Kevin Barrow, New York University

    Sara Perl Egendorf, Brooklyn College

    Raiana Phuong Frey, New York University


    2015 BROWNFIELD INTERNS:

    Alyssa Baldassini, Brooklyn Law School

    Sarah Baldwin, Fordham Law School

    Jack Donelan, University of Tennessee

    Garrett Gissler, Columbia University

    Catherine Hatt, Pace Law School

    Mary Lorper, SUNY Binghamton

    Catherine Lyster, Pace Law School

    Brian McGrattan, Columbia University

    Michelle Sarro, Vermont Law School

    Rebecca Sorenson, New York Law School

    Haijun (Navy) Su, CUNY Queens College

    Yi Xiao, NYU Polytechnic University

    Ruijie Xu, NYU Polytechnic University

  • 20 Apr 2015 10:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The New York City Brownfield Partnership, a non-profit public-private partnership promoting the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in New York City, has just released an update of its groundbreaking 2014 study analyzing the impact of the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) on the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in New York State. Both the 2014 study and the update were authored by Barry F. Hersh, Clinical Associate Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, with financial support from the Partnership.

    The update, which analyzes newly-available data from tax years 2013 and 2014, confirms the conclusion of the 2014 study: that the most seriously-criticized aspects of the BCP were, to a significant degree, addressed by changes made to the program in 2008 by the state legislature.

    The key conclusions of the 2015 update include the following:

    – Sites admitted into the BCP since 2008 tend to be smaller, more geographically diverse, more likely to be located in low income areas, and more likely to have industrial or affordable housing end uses than sites admitted in the 2003-2008 period.

    – The post-2008 projects are, at least to date, substantially less expensive to the state treasury than those admitted in the 2003-2008 period. The average tax credit cost for those sites to date is approximately $6 million, compared to $13 million for pre-2008 projects.

    – A much greater percentage (36%) of credits of tax credits for post-2008 projects have been earned as a result of site cleanup expenses rather than development costs (64%). The comparable percentages for pre-2008 projects are 6% (cleanup expenses) and 94% (development expenses).

    For further information about the updated study, please contact Deborah Shapiro, President of the New York City Brownfield Partnership, at (646) 388-9544, or David J. Freeman, Chair of the Partnership’s Legislative/Policy Committee, at (212) 613-2079.

    Click here to view the full study.

  • 7 Apr 2015 10:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    David J. Freeman, Director, Real Property & Environmental Law Gibbons P.C.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the New York State Senate and Assembly have reached an agreement with respect to extension and reform of the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), a significant development in view of impending expiration of tax credit eligibility on December 31, 2015.

    The essential elements of the deal are as follows:

    • All sites currently in the Program, and those which are admitted prior to December 31, 2022, will be eligible for tax credits if they obtain their Certificates of Completion (COCs) by March 31, 2026.
    • Sites admitted on or after the later of (a) July 1, 2015 or (b) the date on which the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposes regulations defining “underutilized” (see below) will be subject to newly-enacted limits on tangible property (development) credits.
    • Sites admitted prior to June 23, 2008 will be “grandfathered” into the existing tax credit scheme if they obtain their COCs by December 31, 2017. Sites admitted from June 23, 2008 until the later of (a) or (b) above will be grandfathered if they obtain their COCs by December 31, 2019. If they fail to meet those deadlines, they can still obtain tax credits under the Program, but only under the more stringent guidelines applicable to newly-admitted sites.
    • Despite efforts to restrict the types of expenses that qualify for site cleanup credits, eligibility for such credits remain broadly defined. The one major new limitation is that applicants will not be able to count expenses of foundations that exceed the cost of cover system requirements under applicable regulations.
    • Sites in New York City that are newly-admitted, or that are currently in the program but fail to obtain their COCs in time to be grandfathered, will need to meet one or more of the following criteria to qualify for development credits:

    – being located in an Environmental Zone;

    – meeting the definition of “affordable housing”; or

    – being “upside down” (i.e., with the projected cost of investigation and cleanup exceeding 75% of the value of property if uncontaminated) or “underutilized” as defined by regulations to be promulgated by DEC by October 1, 2015. Since this will be the only category under which many New York City sites can potentially qualify for development credits, how DEC defines ”underutilized” will be of critical importance to the regulated community.

    • Development credits will be increased for qualifying sites that are in Environmental Zones or Brownfield Opportunity Areas, achieve Track 1 cleanup standards, provide affordable housing, or are used primarily for manufacturing activities.
    • Payments to “related parties” (those with 10% or more common ownership) have been limited, but by far less than under prior proposals. Only payments of “service fees” (defined as fees calculated as a percentage of project or acquisition costs) will be disallowed, and even such fees can count toward development credits if and when actually paid.
    • “Brownfield site” will be newly defined as a site which has contamination in excess of standards set by DEC based on the reasonably anticipated use of the property.
    • There will be a new, streamlined cleanup program for sites willing to forego tax credits.
    • Class 2 (significant threat) sites will be eligible for entry into the BCP if being cleaned up by a Volunteer (a party not responsible for the original contamination) and DEC has not identified a viable responsible party who can pay for the cleanup.
    • DEC oversight fees will be waived for Volunteers, and DEC is authorized to negotiate reasonable flat fee arrangements for other BCP participants.
    • State hazardous waste disposal taxes and fees are waived for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or court-ordered cleanups under the federal Superfund law, and for cleanups under written agreements with a municipality having a memorandum of agreement with DEC.

    Legislation embodying these terms expected to be passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by the Governor by April 1, the beginning of the state’s fiscal year.

    Please contact the Partnership at info@nycbrownfieldpartnership.org if you would like additional information.

    This article is based on the blog originally posted on the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Law Alert blog site at www.rpelawalert.com.

  • 26 Jan 2015 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On January 26, 2015, the New York City Brownfield Partnership released a statement regarding the New York State Bar Association Environmental Law Section’s January 8, 2015 “Memorandum and Recommendations Regarding Proposed Extension and Reform of the Brownfield Cleanup Program.”

    The memorandum was prepared by David J. Freeman and Larry Schnapf, members of the Partnership’s Board of Directors.

    Click here to view the full memorandum.

    The New York City Brownfield Partnership (the Partnership) supports the efforts of the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association to create broad dialogue on the proposed extension and reform of the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), as expressed in the Bar Association’s memorandum dated January 8, 2015.  The Partnership agrees with the conclusion that the BCP needs to be revised and extended to continue environmental cleanup and economic revitalization throughout New York State.  We offer our assistance to join the Bar Association’s work with the Governor’s office and the New York State Legislature to continue and enhance the state’s brownfields efforts.

    The Partnership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, serves as a primary resource for information on brownfields and brownfield redevelopment in New York City.  Our efforts advance public awareness and understanding of the benefits, opportunities, and best practices of brownfield redevelopment by fostering collaborative relationships among brownfield developers, property owners, government agencies, and community groups.   We promote excellence in brownfield redevelopment by honoring successful brownfield projects through our annual event called “the Big Apple Brownfield Awards”,  support the education and training of brownfield professionals through our scholarship program, and provide pro-bono counseling to community residents, groups and corporations, that require assistance in understanding the implications of brownfield remediation and cleanup in their communities.

    Due to the Partnership’s commitment to New York City brownfield efforts, we are particularly supportive of recommendations 4, 10 and 11 in the Bar Association’s January 8, 2015 memorandum, all of which will enhance the efforts of the New York City Office of Environmental Remediation (NYCOER) and benefit the entire State. Creating an expedited cleanup process  for properties that do not pose a significant environmental  threat  and for applicants who are willing to waive the tax credits but want/need to obtain liability release  (Recommendation 4), exempting sites under municipally-run cleanup  programs from the hazardous waste program  fee and special assessment (Recommendation 10), and allowing municipally-submitted sites with  tax lien sales into the BCP (Recommendation 11) will all enhance the brownfield cleanup and property revitalization efforts in New York City.  These recommendations are consistent with our support of NYCOER’s programs and the overall goals of the Partnership.

    The Partnership enthusiastically supports the continuation of and improvements to the New York State BCP and reiterates our support for the Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section’s efforts to bring brownfield stakeholders, including the Partnership, together to continue discussions regarding the important issues contained in the Section’s January 8, 2015 “Memorandum and Recommendations Regarding Proposed Extension and Reform of the Brownfield Cleanup Program”.

    Contact Deborah Shapiro, NYCBP President at (212) 696-0670 or dshapiro@nycbrownfieldpartnership.org for further information.

  • 23 Oct 2014 10:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    EPA Announces FY2015 Funding for Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants – Proposal Submission Deadline is December 19, 2014

    Funding opportunities include Brownfields Assessment Grants and Brownfields Cleanup Grants. Click HERE for more information.

  • 4 Aug 2014 10:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    EPA is announcing the availability of funding to eligible entities wishing to develop an area-wide plan for brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse. This funding is for research, technical assistance, and/or training activities directed to one or more brownfield site(s) located in a specific area (such as a neighborhood, district, local commercial corridor, community waterfront or city block).

    Each project funded under this grant must result in an area-wide plan which includes specific plan implementation strategies for assessing, cleaning up, and reusing the brownfields site(s) as well as related brownfields and project area revitalization strategies. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 20 projects in total, funded at up to $200,000 each. Please note that applicants who received a BF AWP grant from EPA in Fiscal Year 2010 or 2013 (FY10 or FY13) are not eligible to apply under this competition. The proposal submission deadline is September 22, 2014.

    EPA will provide two guidelines outreach webinars. The same information will be presented at each webinar. For information on how to join each webinar click here. The Webinar times/dates are:

    – July 30, 2014 from 12:30 – 1:30pm EDT

    – August 14, 2014 from 2 – 3:00pm EDT

    More information on EPA’s BF AWP Grant program can be found on the EPA Brownfields Website.


  • 23 Jun 2014 2:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On May 13, 2014, over 65 people joined the Partnership for a guided tour of the High Line Park, focusing on six ongoing or completed brownfield development sites along the park that are being remediated for reuse. The highlighted projects and speakers included:

    Hudson Yards, a large mixed-use development at 30th Street (Jason Hayes, Langan)

    507 West 28th Street, a residential development (Joe Good/Langan)

    76 11th Avenue, a former MGP site (Mike Burke/Langan, Mike Perciballi/Posillico)

    820 Washington Street, new location for the Whitney Museum (Axel Schwendt, AKRF)

    The tour was led by Dan Walsh, Director of the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation (OER). Additional background was provided by Partnership Board member Gary Rozmus (GEI Consultants), who spoke about CSX’s decision process prior to allowing the defunct rail line to be used for recreational purposes.

    The tour concluded at the Biergarten, at the Standard Hotel under the High Line. Based on the participants’ feedback, this is an event that will definitely be repeated!


  • 23 Jun 2014 2:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On April 28, 2014, the New York City Brownfield Partnership hosted the sixth annual Big Apple Brownfield Awards (BABAs) at New York Law School.  The approximately 200 attendees included developers, consultants, and attorneys as well as representatives from the non-profit and government sectors.  In addition to highlighting six exceptional New York City redevelopment projects, the Partnership also recognized Jody Kass, Executive Director and co-founder of New Partners for Community Revitalization, for her contributions to brownfield redevelopment. The keynote address was delivered by John Gearrity, Assistant Commissioner, New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (NYCHPD) who, in keeping with New York City’s “Poem in Your Pocket” initiative, read the following:

    An Ode to Brownfields:

    I sometimes sit and wonder Why,

    Why – do we have such love for Brownfields

    They may represent a time of great industrialization,

    They may represent an age when people flocked to our shores seeking opportunity

    But a Brownfield is a remnant, a brownfield is an eyesore


    They remind us of divestment, of urban flight and selective-segregation

    A time when it was acceptable to use, rather than to nurture

    A time when it was acceptable to exhaust, rather than to conserve

    A time when it was acceptable to hate and fear, rather than to love and embrace


    So why do we love them, is it because they have taught us.

    Taught us that when we communicate, we find that we can collaborate

    Taught us that when we work together, we find we don’t need to stay apart

    Is it because they show us

    They show us thru mutual respect, we can overcome disparity

    They show us – that by acknowledging the shortcomings of our past, we make for a stronger future


    That must be why we love them


    The attendees were welcomed by Deborah Shapiro, President of the Partnership’s Board of Directors, who recapped an eventful year that included sponsorship of a study examining the impact of the brownfield cleanup tax credits on cleanup and redevelopment of NYS brownfield sites, educational activities undertaken by the Legislative Committee and continued work by the Pro Bono Committee in advising property owners.  She concluded by thanking current members for their support, and encouraging those who are not members to consider joining the Partnership.

    David Freeman, Past President of the Board of Directors, introduced the award segment, and Mimi Raygorodetsky and Kris Almskog, the event Co-chairs, introduced the following winning projects.

    Economic Development Award

    2329 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Manhattan (H&H Builders, Inc.). This redevelopment site was formerly used for printing, dry cleaning, as a photo lab and for various types of manufacturing.  The historic fill on the property was contaminated with dry cleaning solvents, and fuel oil tanks were buried on the site. The 20,000 square-foot property was remediated under the New York City Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), with cleanup activities including removal of impacted soil, treatment of contaminated groundwater via hydrogen-releasing compounds, and installation of a vapor barrier and depressurization system. A Track 1 cleanup was achieved and the site is now a vibrant commercial center, generating 150 full time and 25 part time permanent jobs.

     Affordable/Low Income Housing Award

    Putnam Court, Brooklyn (Dunn Development Corporation).  A former illegal parking lot and auto repair facility, this project was remediated through the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) E-designation program. Results of Phase II sampling indicated levels of metals (including barium, lead and mercury) above the pertinent NYSDEC Part 375 levels and the presence of semi-volatile compounds in historic fill material, and low-level volatile compounds in soil vapor.  Remediation included site-wide excavation concurrent with foundation ex The project, located in an area where gentrification is displacing the local population, has provided 59 rent-stabilized housing units, 34 of which are supportive housing for mentally ill, formerly homeless adults, who are provided full-time on-site support services by a Brooklyn-based social services agency.

    Innovation Award

    Former East Coast Industrial Uniforms, Brooklyn (39 Skillman Street LLC/Riverside Developers). Remediation of this former manufactured gas plant (MGP) and dry cleaner was accomplished using innovative remedial techniques integrated with construction activities.  In order to address chlorinated solvent and petroleum contamination concurrent with development and construction, a series of manifolded chemical oxidant injection galleries and well points were installed within the basement and living area of a residential building and routed into a parking garage area to allow remote access.  The property now contains three new six-story apartment buildings, designed to address the needs of the local Orthodox community.

    Environmental Protection Award

    264 North 10th Street, Brooklyn (250 North 10th Street, LLC c/o LCOR, Inc.).  Located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, this site was formerly used as a chemical works, iron works, rubber products factory, bag filter manufacturer, auto painting shop, and metals manufacturing. Contamination on the 50,000-square foot property included elevated SVOCs and metals in soil and groundwater and elevated VOCs in soil vapor. The redevelopment plan includes a six-story residential building with an open common area connected to the base level parking garage. Site remediation, conducted under the New York City VCP, included removal of underground storage tanks and contaminated soil, installation of a vapor barrier, and development of a parking garage with a high volume air exchange system.

    Green Building Award

    Former Brooklyn Rapid Transit Rail Yard, Brooklyn (The Domain Companies).  A New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) site, this property was formerly occupied by a rail car barn, warehouse, and rag distributor.  The site was addressed as a Track 1 cleanup, involving remediation of semi-volatile organics, metals, and petroleum via removal of contaminated soil and groundwater, chemical oxidation, and beneficial reuse of 10,500 tons of soil.  The property is currently being developed as a mixed-use, mixed-income rental development and has been designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification, Energy Start Certification and Enterprise Green Community Standards.  “Green” features include Energy Star appliances, high-efficiency HVAC and hot water systems, and use of green materials for all interior components.

    Community Outreach

    Borinquen Court, Bronx (West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing). Remedial investigation of this 1.8-acre senior and disabled housing complex indicated significant impacts related to the site’s historic use as a gas station auto repair shop and car wash. Remediation was conducted under the NYS BCP and included removal of underground tanks and contaminated soil, and construction of composite cap to prevent future exposure. This project involved close collaboration with local housing and community groups and significant upgrades to the property. Borinquen Court is an excellent example of how community outreach can restore a needed project while remediating and restoring a property under the NYS BCP. The project is unique in that it entailed the preservation and refurbishment of existing low-income residences through collaboration among local community groups, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and NYC HPD and NYC Housing and Development Corporation (HDC).

    As in prior years, the Partnership also recognized the 2014 Abbey Duncan Brownfield Scholars and the 2013-2014 Brownfield Interns.

    2014 Abbey Duncan Brownfield Scholars:

    • Cody Bachu, CUNY Queens College
    • Marlon Ramlogan, CUNY Queens College
    • Satwika Reddy, CUNY Queens College

    2014 Brownfield Interns

    • Barbara Ang, CUNY Queens College
    • Bianca Caraballo, NYU Polytechnic University
    • Maggie Chan, NYU Polytechnic University
    • Yi Jean Chow, Harvard University
    • Katelyn Ciolino, Brooklyn Law School
    • Meaghan Colligan, Pace University School of Law
    • Garrett Gissler, Columbia University
    • Catherine Hatt, Pace University School of Law
    • Aaron Hopkins, Rutgers University School of Law
    • James Huang, Stony Brook University
    • Yili Jiang, CUNY Queens College
    • Marcus Johnson, CUNY Queens College
    • Catherine Lyster, Pace University School of Law
    • Brian McGrattan, Columbia University
    • Rebecca Sorenson, New York Law School
    • Haijun Su, CUNY Queens College
    • Yong Yu, Columbia University
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