FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG LAUNCHES NEW YORK CITY BROWNFIELD INCENTIVE GRANT PROGRAM
Achieves Key PlaNYC Milestone
Report Outlines New Financial Incentives to Encourage Cleanup and Redevelopment of Contaminated Properties
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith today launched the Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation's Brownfield Incentive Grant (BIG) Program, which will provide financial incentives for the study and cleanup of brownfield properties in New York City. Brownfields are vacant or underutilized properties that remain undeveloped because of complications caused by environmental contamination. Deputy Mayor Goldsmith announced the program in a speech at the New York City Brownfield Partnership's annual Big Apple Brownfield Award Ceremony held at the New York University Law School.
"As our population continues to grow, turning contaminated land into usable space will allow us to develop new housing, create more open space, and spur new job growth," said Mayor Bloomberg. "By awarding grants to those committed to cleaning up and developing brownfield sites, we can start revitalizations that may not otherwise have occurred, and that will bring real benefits to local neighborhoods."
"When Mayor Bloomberg launched PlaNYC in 2007, he committed to help unlock the potential of contaminated properties in New York City," said Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. "The Brownfield Incentive Grant is the first in a series of new programs for brownfields, and each will help land owners and developers cleanup contaminated properties and bring them back into productive use."
The new grant program will make over $9 million in City funds available over the next several years to fund environmental investigations, environmental cleanups, and brownfield planning by community based organizations throughout the City. The program will be administered by the Office of Environmental Remediation, a new office established by Mayor Bloomberg in June 2008 to implement the brownfield goals of PlaNYC, the City's long-term vision for a greener, greater New York.
"Brownfields are a long-term blight on our communities because the added cost to manage contamination discourages land owners and developers, who then look elsewhere for clean properties to develop," said Dr. Daniel Walsh, Director of the Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation. "Grants from this new program will help to offset some of the environmental cleanup costs, end the cycle of blight, and begin a new era of brownfield revitalization in our City."
"Assisting brownfield projects with small grants in the early stage is a great way to encourage the expeditious cleanup of these sites and provide an incentive for developers to invest in these challenging sites," said Steven Spinola, President of The Real Estate Board of New York. "The grant program will provide a catalyst to clean up our environment and create jobs for New Yorkers."
"We applaud the City for these thoughtful and fiscally responsible new brownfield resources which will be particularly important for projects in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and communities of color," said Jody Kass, Executive Director of New Partners for Community Revitalization, a nonprofit organization working to advance area-wide approaches to brownfields redevelopment in New York.
"Historically, brownfields have been managed exclusively by states. It is great to see New York City become the first city to take an advanced leadership role in this important issue," said Andrea Kretchmer, Chair of the Board of Directors of the New York City Brownfield Partnership. "The BIG program facilitates brownfield investigation and redevelopment for both private and non-profit developers."
For more information on the NYC Brownfield Incentive Grant Program, visit www.nyc.gov or contact the Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation by calling 311.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958