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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-590
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Friday
Or contact your local HUD officeNovember 13, 1998


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced nearly $1.2 million in assistance for Ithaca, NY to help the city buy, clean up and redevelop the Ithaca Boating Center and create 106 jobs.

The assistance comes from a HUD program that transforms polluted and abandoned commercial and industrial sites known as brownfields into productive businesses, housing and recreational developments.

Cuomo said Ithaca will receive a $350,000 Brownfields Economic Development Initiative Grant and $800,000 in Economic Development Loan Guarantees for the Ithaca Boating Center project.

HUD will fund the costs of environmental clean-up and leverage substantial private investment to bring the project to completion. The loan guarantees will also provide funding for the purchase of restaurant equipment and furniture. Total estimated project costs are $2.4 million.

"The assistance we're announcing today is an investment in a cleaner environment and a brighter future for Ithaca and its people," Cuomo said. "Around the nation, we are taking polluted sites once given up for dead and bringing them back to life. They will be reborn to provide new jobs for workers today and for our children tomorrow."

"Working in partnership with neighborhood residents, businesses and other government agencies, we are proving that the best days of these brownfields are not in the past, but in the future," Cuomo added. "Brownfields can be cleaned up, they can be made safe, and they can once again become powerful engines for job creation and economic growth."

Cuomo participated from Washington via television satellite in an Ithaca news conference with Mayor Alan J. Cohen to announce the assistance to the city.

The brownfields project in Ithaca is part of the Canal Corridor Initiative, which is revitalizing Inlet Island and the Cayuga Inlet waterfront by spurring economic development and creating a waterfront promenade.

The Canal Corridor Initiative, which was begun by Cuomo, is providing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal assistance to communities in upstate New York to spark economic growth, job creation, increased tourism, housing construction and infrastructure improvements along the Erie Canal and connecting waterways.

Mayor Cohen said: "Secretary Cuomo's visionary Canal Corridor Initiative program enabled us to put together an exciting public-private waterfront project. The deal almost fell apart when environmental contamination was discovered. This grant is critical to keeping alive a project that will be the key to revitalizing our waterfront district."

Brownfields include abandoned factories and other industrial facilities, gasoline stations, oil storage facilities, dry cleaning stores, and other businesses that dealt with polluting substances.

Mayors across the country have made brownfields redevelopment a top priority. Dee Dee Corradini, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Mayor of Salt Lake City, said: "This HUD program is a unique effort to help cities economically revitalize and reintegrate formerly contaminated urban properties into their communities. Mayors look forward to working with HUD to implement the FY99 round of this key program."

Since 1993, the Clinton Administration has taken a series of actions to clean up and redevelop brownfields and return them to productive use, including: providing seed money to communities for revitalization; removing regulatory barriers to redevelopment; and providing a targeted tax incentive to businesses that purchase and clean up these sites.

In May 1997, Vice President Gore announced the Clinton Administration's Brownfields National Partnership, which brings together the resources of more than 20 federal agencies to address brownfields cleanup and redevelopment issues in a coordinated approach. Through the National Partnership, HUD is working closely with other federal agencies to provide communities with the financial and technical assistance necessary to revitalize brownfields.

Federal Housing Finance Board Chairman Bruce A. Morrison said that two weeks ago the Board adopted a regulation expanding the authority of Federal Home Loan Banks to make advances for economic development targeted to brownfields. "We look forward to continuing to work with HUD to bring the nation's cities together with the Federal Home Loan Banks and their community bank members to develop brownfields as productive economic assets in our urban areas," he said.

More information about brownfields redevelopment activities is available on HUD's web site or by calling 1-800-998-9999.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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