Log in
  • 20 May 2019 10:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    The late great Tom Petty said it best in a song, “the waiting is the hardest part,” and welcome to the world of the brownfield practitioner.

    You have a project where due diligence has been duly performed, and you have put all the ducks in proper order in a prudent, environmentally protective, and ethical way. You have performed necessary compliance with local officials, perhaps the checklist also folds in state requirements as well. But still waiting for approval to push the needle further on your vision remains a work in progress.

    In Penn Yan, N.Y, a local developer is eager start some ground-breaking on a residential project at the former Penn Yan Marine Manufacturing property.

    Keuka Moorings developer Chris Iversen is seeking to lock down approvals involving a Condominium Offering Plan from the New York Attorney General’s office that’s critical for the project to get off the ground.

    In Penn Yan, Iversen said that the Condominium Offering Plan is detailed and thorough enough to appease decision-makers. It includes information about intended construction, shared property elements, cost to purchase a unit, annual operations and maintenance costs, the rules of governance, sponsor obligations and the purchase process.

    Iversen said the Keuka Moorings Plan discloses the brownfield history of the property, and the restrictions and obligations for future use of the property. Other information includes the developer’s experience, quotes from insurance providers, and more. All of the information must be made available to potential buyers.

    “It is the AG’s responsibility, not to pass judgment on the worth of the unit, but to gauge if the Offering Plan fully discloses all the information necessary for a buyer to make an informed decision and the attendant risks,” he explained in an email to the AG’s office.

    He also wrote: “We suspect there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of our project, wherein we are offering three different models for sale, models of different sizes, interior layouts and prices, which buyers may select to locate on any of our 42 lots. We don’t know how to answer (the) demand to know the total cost of the project since we don’t know the makeup of the units that will be bought, and we don’t know how to respond to (the) demand to know the month, day and year when the project construction will be completed since we don’t know how quickly the market will absorb the units.”

    No doubt, the local and state officials have their own vetting to do, with viable concerns about any major initiative. And at press time, obtaining the state of New York’s input about the Keuka Moorings Plan wasn’t available.

    Iversen had reached out to Penn Yan Village and Yates County officials this spring to garner support that came in the form of letters to the AG’s office around the project, which has been stalled for over a year while Keuka Outlet Development seeks approval.

    No doubt that a protracted timeline of the Penn Yan redevelopment is a similar narrative that a good number of New York developers can empathize with. The key is to add to the vision of the project, some additional levels of perseverance and resilience. We will provide updates on the Keuka Moorings project as they materialize during the summer. Stay tuned.

  • 20 May 2019 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to present the following winners of the 2019 Big Apple Brownfield Awards.

    Supportive/Affordable Housing: Reaching New Heights Residence and the Apartments at Landing Road, Bronx, NY

    The 2019 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Supportive/Affordable Housing is presented to Reaching New Heights Residence and the Apartments at Landing Road located in the Bronx. The development team, comprised of Bowery Residents’ Committee, Edelman Sultan Knox Wood Architects, GZA Geo-Environmental, and Leonard J. Strandberg and Associates, created a game-changing building that combines permanent affordable housing and a shelter for the homeless in one project. By co-developing a shelter and housing facility in one effort, Bowery Residents’ Committee has created a new paradigm in shelter creation, while also addressing the affordable housing issue. The group is using the surplus revenue paid by the city to operate the shelter part of the building and reinvest it by subsidizing the rents of the housing portion’s units above, effectively tackling two problems at once. This once vacant lot, which was remediated through OER’s E-Designation program, is now a lovely building that all residents are proud to call home.

    BOA Connectivity: Pitkin-Berriman, Brooklyn, NY

    The 2019 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Brownfield Opportunity Area Connectivity is presented to the Pitkin-Berriman development located in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. Developed by Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, a 35-year-old community-based organization, this formerly vacant lot was transformed into a seven-story, mixed-use building with 60 affordable housing units, a senior day center, ground floor community space, and open space comprised of a playground, gardens, and walkways. The building is located within the East New York BOA, and as part of community engagement, CHLDC identified local residents’ priorities and concerns through a satisfaction survey completed by 623 local residents at numerous events. The survey responses, which endorsed the construction of affordable housing units and community centers, provided the basis for two community visioning events, dubbed the Verde Summit, and ten community meetings. The project team, which also included Heitler Houstoun Architects, worked with the Dept. of City Planning to rezone the site and with OER to remediate the site through their Voluntary Cleanup Program.

    Community Outreach: Melrose Commons Supportive Housing, Bronx, NY

    The 2019 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Community Outreach is presented to Melrose Commons Supportive Housing located in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. This previously abandoned property was developed into a nine-story permanent supportive housing building by The Bridge, one of NYC’s most experienced and comprehensive human services organizations. The new building’s 58 fully-furnished studio apartments house formerly homeless adults with special needs including veterans. A large multi-purpose room is used for socialization, cooking, and nutrition classes, and raised planter boxes in the rear yard are used for a horticultural training program. We reach out to fill job positions to qualified community residents and post open positions with Community Board 3 and local community organizations. Throughout planning and construction, the project team, consisting of The Bridge, Magnusson Architecture and Planning, The J. Pilla Group, A. Larovere Consulting, Sherman Law, AKRF, and Bright Power, successfully navigated OER’s E-Designation program and embraced green development, which resulted in the receipt of an Enterprise Green Communities grant and Reso A funding from the Bronx Borough President.

    Economic Development: Oak Point Property, Bronx, NY

    The 2019 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Economic Development is presented to Oak Point Property located in the Bronx. The team responsible for transforming this once illegal dumping ground into a state-of-the-are commercial property with a 2.5-acre waterfront nature preserve and greenway, includes Steve Smith of Oak Point Property LLC, Ken Cohen of Pantheon Properties, Land Use Ecological Services, Phillip Habib & Associates, Stanley Fleishman with Jetro/Restaurant Depot, McInnis USA, Ana Lavdas of AAL Construction Services LLC, and TRC Environmental Corporation. Construction of the site bolstered the local economy by creating upwards of 300 short-term jobs. This economic development is sustained by the creation of over 200 permanent jobs at the Jetro/Restaurant Depot facility and the McInnis USA 24/7 operational cement terminal. Prior to opening the commercial properties, the first round of employment opportunities were extended to the local community including many veterans who now hold living-wage jobs at the cement terminal. In addition, truck traffic in the community is decreasing as the cement terminal delivers 90% of its product via ships. The shoreline greenway encompasses a portion of the Magic Mile, which is a proposed one-mile waterfront walkway with space for exercise, quiet reflection, fishing, games, historic exploration, and water activities. NYSDEC oversaw remediation of this once defunct and now thriving property.

    Environmental Protection: Former Liberty Brass (The Sunnyside), Long Island City, NY

    The 2019 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Environmental Protection is presented to Former Liberty Brass, aka the Sunnyside, located in Long Island City. Extraordinary measures were taken to remediate this former brass fitting manufacturing plant in Sunnyside to achieve a conditional Track 1 cleanup within the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program. The cleanup resulted in the removal and proper disposal of approximately 30,000 tons of material. Challenges included the excavation of several deep hot spots of TCE-contaminated soil to the limits of technical practicability and the installation of an upgradient reactive barrier and source area in-situ chemical oxidation injections during the latter stages of the project. The success of this project may be attributed to great communication among the project team and with NYSDEC to ensure that the remedial requirements were achieved to ensure a conditional Track 1 cleanup. Through carful coordination, the project team comprising Curbcut Queens Boulevard, PW Grosser, Knauf Shaw LLP, and Sordoni Construction, transformed a vacant manufacturing building into a 12-story commercial building, which houses a Regal Theaters multiplex cinema, as well as, 100,000 square feet of office space that will be leased to medical and non-profit tenants.

    Green Building: 3365 Third Avenue, Bronx, NY

    The 2019 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Green Building is presented to 3365 Third Avenue located in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. Developed by Bronx Pro Group, this will be the Bronx’s first certified Passive House project. The new eight-story, mixed-use building, which includes 30 affordable rental units and an early childhood education center, will have an energy reduction savings up to 90% when compared to conventionally-built structures. The design and construction of the building, by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects and C&S Construction, respectively, minimized environmental impacts and embraced green alternatives, which led the building to achieve a LEED Platinum rating. In addition, AKRF oversaw remediation of the site through OER’s Voluntary Cleanup Program. In large part to the Bronx Pro Group’s commitment to transitioning the Morrisania section of the Bronx from industrial use into a mixed-use community, a once vacant lot is now a beautiful new building that will serve the neighborhood for years to come.

    Distinguished Award Winner – Dan Walsh

    Dan grew up in Rockland County, N.Y. He graduated with a geology degree from Binghamton University and after a short time playing minor league baseball, Dan started his career at Columbia University’s Lamond Doherty Observatory. He then took a position as staff scientist at LMS Engineering collecting aquatic and benthic samples on the Hudson River and New York Harbor for environmental impact studies.

    Dan met his wife Jeanne while working on the Hudson River and they were married in Nyack, NY. They have a son, Zachary Hudson Walsh. After graduating from UMass with a M.S. in hydrogeology and geophysics, he took at job with DEC working at the World Trade Center as a geologist. He was responsible for cleanup of hazardous and solid waste sites and petroleum spills in NYC and he led the cleanup of the Fresh Kills Landfill for DEC. Dan estimates that he has been involved in approximately 10,000 land cleanup projects in NYC in his career.

    He obtained a Ph.D. from RPI in geochemistry where he studied the history and chemistry of landfills in NYC and took an adjunct appointment to the faculty at Columbia (Lamont). While serving as director of the NYC Solid Waste Division for DEC, on September 11, 2001, he was appointed Chief of Operations for NY State’s environmental response to the World Trade Center disaster. He served on that project for its entire 11-month duration. He resumed work for DEC as director of the NYC Superfund and Brownfield Program and played an active role in implementing the NYS 2003 Brownfield Law and launching the state Brownfield Cleanup Program.

    In 2008, Dan was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as founding director of the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation. After working to establish the NYC Brownfield Law in 2009 and a landmark agreement with DEC on state authority delegation to NYC, his office founded the NYC Voluntary Cleanup Program in 2010. This program is the only city-run land cleanup program in the U.S. and during his tenure the VCP became the second most productive brownfield cleanup program in the U.S., behind only California state in number of projects completed. In 10 years at OER, he founded several novel urban programs, including the NYC Clean Soil Bank, the NYC Green Property Certification, the NYC Brownfield Partnership, SPEED and EPIC. Dan is indebted to the many superb staff members who he has served with at OER and DEC, including his colleague of over 30 years, Shaminder Chawla.

    In 2018, Dan left government service to expand his academic research, teaching and work with students at Columbia University and to establish a consulting firm that provides advisory services on land remediation and reclamation and materials management. He remains a national advocate for municipal environmental governance and serves in various science advisory roles including USEPA and 100 Resilient Cities.

    The NYC Brownfield Partnership Would Like to Thank…


    Baruch College


    • Brown Duke & Fogel, PC
    • GEI Consultants, Inc.
    • Oak Point Property


    • Alpha Analytical
    • AWT Environmental Services
    • Brookside Environmental
    • Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast
    • Clean Earth
    • Roux


    • AKRF
    • Pine Environmental
    • PVE
    • PWGC
    • Ramboll
    • Rigsby Search Group, LLC
    • Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland Perretti
    • Schnapf Environmental Law
    • Sordoni
    • Tenen Environmental
    • vEKtor Consultants
    • York Analytical Laboratories


    • Capitol Environmental Services
    • Langan
  • 1 May 2019 10:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Angelo Lampousis, Ph.D of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the City College of New York (CCNY) knows his undergraduate students: they turned out in force during their spring break to hear about hot topics in brownfields and site remediation in the NY metropolitan area. Dr. Lampousis also knew that the 3 professional organizations each have scholarship programs and a real desire to reach students to share with them the options in the exciting environmental professions in the region.

    The session held on April 23, 2019, at CCNY’s beautiful campus was an energetic gathering of students, LSRPs, laboratory professionals, city government professionals, attorneys, and environmental consultants. It was informal and very interactive and was sponsored by Alpha Analytical. The attendees from CCNY and the 3 organizations were joined for about an hour by John Manzo, ASTM instructor, and students from an Environmental Site Assessment course he was teaching across the hall. He told ASTM headquarters that “I know everyone benefited from attending the brownfield event yesterday, including myself.”

    The hot topics session was moderated by Sue Boyle of GEI Consultants; she serves as the executive director of each of the organizations so she was up to date on the hottest topics. Topics covered included PFOAs; the use of fill at redevelopment sites and its movement within the region; NYC’s new greenhouse gas bill and the retrofitting of older buildings; Opportunity Zones and the newly proposed IRS regulations as well as updates on other brownfield incentives offered in the northeastern US; area wide development of brownfield sites—whether you call them BOAs or BDA, or collaborative cooperatives; and environmental justice and gentrification concerns.

    What came out of the morning session? The organization of a webinar on Opportunity Zones put on by the NYCBP and BCONE one week after the CCNY breakfast: it was the first webinar presented by either group and the rapid registration process validated the interest in the topic. It will be posted to each organization’s website for members-only. In addition, a dozen or more students volunteered to assist LSRPA, BCONE and the NYCBP with upcoming events. Dr. Lampousis and Ms. Boyle are already comparing 2019 and 2020 calendars to schedule the next hot topics sessions. And, last but not least, we captured the energy of the day in photos!

    April 2019 Event Photos










  • 9 Apr 2019 10:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer

    As cities become denser and land for traditional parks becomes scarcer, thinking outside the box for solutions is vital to bring greenspace to neighborhoods and allow residents to reclaim underutilized assets.

    Former rail line redevelopments—ground level or elevated—are one potential solution, but they can be rife with challenges. One decade after going live as part of an ambitious multi-tier redevelopment blueprint, the New York High Line Network continues to be regarded as the gold standard of railfield reuse done masterfully.

    It’s not an easy undertaking: Recently, we reported on successful railfield projects that have capitalized on an opportunity. In Cambridge and Somerville, MA, for instance, a former rail freight yard owned by Guilford Transportation Industries was transformed into a 45-acre mixed-use development, with some property set-aside devoted to greenspace and a regional bicycle trail. Ultimately, the initiative integrated an underused industrial property to the communities around it.

    Indeed, railfield redevelopment has had a chance to expand more each passing decade, all 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.

    I recall 10 years ago, while serving as editor for the former Brownfield Renewal magazine, hearing the auspicious comments at the USEPA Brownfields conference in New Orleans about The High Line, a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and “rail trail” created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan in New York City. The rail system became obsolete in 1980.

    A collaboration between James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf, the abandoned spur was redesigned as a “living system,” drawing from multiple disciplines, which include landscape architecture, urban design and ecology. Since opening in 2009, the High Line has become an icon of contemporary landscape architecture. (Editor’s Note: The New York City Brownfield Partnership held a terrific event a few years ago that included a guided tour of the High Line and a description of the remediated and redeveloped brownfield sites adjoining the park. The tour was led by the New York City Office of Environmental Remediation and NYCBP members who worked on the adjoining sites).

    Built on the southern viaduct section of the New York Central Railroad line, The High Line was inspired by the 3-mile-long Promenade plantée (tree-lined walkway) in Paris, which was completed in 1993.

    The first phase of High Line opened in 2009, with the final three components going live by 2014. What High Line has done is serve as a model for other similar projects to proceed more confidently with a working roadmap for success in place, including the aforementioned Cambridge/Somerville Guilford Transportation Industries effort.

    (NYCBP also recently chronicled the Nassau County railfield effort that’s in the works if it gets the green light from state regulators, and located at the Inwood LIRR station.)

    The High Line’s success has inspired cities throughout the United States to redevelop obsolete infrastructure as public space. Moreover, the project has spurred real estate development in adjacent NYC neighborhoods, increasing values and prices along the route, in what could be described as “a halo effect.”

    Projects in the High Line Network transform underutilized infrastructure into new urban landscapes—redefining what a park can be. And to think it all started as an unlikely plan to save an elevated railway on Manhattan’s West Side.

    These days, working in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Friends of the High Line manages and operates the park, raising nearly 100% of its own annual operating budget.

    The High Line hosts more than 400 free programs a year and hosts rotating world-class art exhibits through its High Line Art program. In 2016, the High Line saw more than seven million visitors—one third of them New York City residents.

    As part of its ongoing commitment to the neighborhood surrounding the park, the High Line offers employment opportunities that give teens important training in professional skills—from horticulture to environmental justice.

    Environmental X Factor

    Don’t sleep on the environmental challenges these types of efforts bring. The environmental piece can be a minefield on a railfield. Looking at the historical protocols, a majority of rail companies often perform environmental reviews on every property transaction as an evaluation process to determine if there are significant contamination concerns.

    Similar to other brownfields redevelopment projects, liability concerns over incidence of contamination, such as arsenic and mercury, are a common roadblock for 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 them to proceed.

    Rail companies have an interest in working with municipalities during the planning process, allowing companies to provide early input into reuse options since 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.

    The High Line Network collaborated with an array of community leaders, organizations, elected officials and supporters to create an extraordinary public space together.

    And, in June 2017, the High Line Network publicly launched a new website (network.thehighline.org) that includes profiles of the 19 projects that are part of the network. The site is the first of its kind to collect news from across the web on the growing field of infrastructure reuse, and showcase it in one place.

    It will be interesting to see where this evolving footprint goes during the next 10 years of its existence. As they say, stay tuned!

  • 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


  • 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.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software