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New York City Breaks Ground on Brownfield Cleanup Project

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A vacant gas station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn will be replaced with a 6-story residential building, with a ground floor for stores and a diner.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg started the New York City Brownfield Cleanup Program as a part of PlaNYC in August of 2010.

The program offers incentives, such as liability protection, to developers to clean up contaminated sites, known as brownfields. At the site in Brooklyn, Triangle Court, LLC will be developing the building, which upon completion will receive a NYC Green Property certification.

At a news conference Monday, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn emphasized the importance of cooperation between the city and state in getting the project off the ground. “This project is a case study in how legislative action and working with the community can lead to positive on the ground changes in our neighborhood,” Quinn said.

Joe Martens, the State Environmental Conservation Commissioner, said, “[the project will create] new jobs, a cleaned-up site, an eyesore gone [and] additional tax dollars to the city.”

There are seven other projects in the city, and all together they will create almost six hundred permanent jobs, and about as many construction jobs.

In addition to these projects, New York City has created other tools to make brownfield properties more competitive to develop. The Brownfield Incentive Grant (BIG) awards lower cleanup costs for developers. SPEED the City’s online Searchable Property Environmental Electronic Database, is a real estate search engine. The site was started in late 2010 and makes it easier to find properties to clean up and develop.  The brownfied chapter of the revised PlaNYC is to be released on April 21.