FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SoBRO Receives Two Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program Grants to Revitalize Port Morris
April 25, 2011: The New York State Department of State awarded SoBRO two Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program grants for planning, analysis and predevelopment activities in the Port Morris neighborhood of the Bronx adjacent to the Harlem River and the East River. The awards will allow SoBRO to advance efforts to clean up “brownfield sites”—dormant and environmentally contaminated lots of land— for their eventual redevelopment into areas of commercial and/or residential use. SoBRO’s Harlem River and East River projects were among only four initiatives funded in New York City and 21 projects funded across New York State. The two awards, totaling $807,800, represent a major investment in the community revitalization of the South Bronx.
SoBRO’s first BOA project involves the completion of an Implementation Strategy for a 200-acre area containing 10 brownfield sites in Port Morris near the Harlem River. The project’s objectives include establishing development and financing plans to realize the removal of hazardous substances from former industrial properties, predevelopment efforts aimed at redeveloping the land into commercial and/or residential properties, and increasing waterfront access to the Harlem River.
For the second BOA project, SoBRO will complete an in-depth assessment and evaluation for a 145-acre area with approximately 20 brownfield sites located in Port Morris near the East River. The project will help identify strategies to remove environmentally hazardous substances and study the most effective ways to redevelop and reuse the land to energize the local economy. SoBRO was awarded $374,000 for this initiative.
The work on these BOA sites will enable future investments to flow into the South Bronx from both public and private realms. “The BOA program has been an instrumental tool in engaging property owners and the local community in a meaningful planning process that facilitates revitalization of underutilized lots in the historically underserved neighborhoods of the Bronx,” explained Phillip Morrow, SoBRO’s President and CEO. “Leveraging this program allows us to bring critical and sustainable economic development practices to address sites that are among the most challenging yet have tremendous potential for positive impact into our communities. We commend New York State for prioritizing this important program, and pledge to continue our efforts to bring Brownfield sites back to productive uses for the Bronx.”
The BOA program is sponsored by the New York State Department of State in partnership with the Department of Environmental Conservation. To date, more than 100 BOA revitalization strategies are underway, supported by over $32 million in New York State funds. For more information about this year’s BOA program, visit the Department of State’s website at www.dos.state.ny.us. For more information about SoBRO, visit www.sobro.org or contact us directly with the information provided below.