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HUD No. 99-140
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Friday
Or contact your local HUD officeAugust 6, 1999

CUOMO AWARDS $4 MILLION TO HELP CREATE JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN YONKERS, NY

WASHINGTON – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced $4 million in assistance for Yonkers, NY to redevelop a vacant industrial building into a new biotechnology center. The project will create an estimated 335 jobs and stimulate more than $6.2 million in additional investment.

"One of the most important challenges facing cities today is cleaning up and revitalizing abandoned industrial and commercial sites that were the engines of America’s economic greatness in our past," Cuomo said. "Working in partnership with communities, we can transform these areas into generators of new jobs and new prosperity in our future."

Cuomo made the announcement today in a telephone conference call with Congressman Eliot Engel.

Senator Charles Schumer said: "This combination of economic development and housing funding will help to revitalize the job market, the physical facade and the spirit of Southwest Yonkers. Not only will it help bring back this city, but it will actually put Yonkers in the forefront of the fast-growing biomedical and biotechnology industries."

Congresswoman Nita Lowey said: "Brownfields grants from HUD give our cities’ abandoned buildings a second chance, turning vacant sites into productive centers. These critical funds will help revitalize downtown Yonkers, create jobs, and improve our local economy. I am proud to have helped local officials secure these critical funds and I plan to continue fighting to bring much-needed federal resources to Yonkers and all of Westchester County."

Congressman Eliot Engel said: "This HUD money is the federal government helping a local economy for the long run. It not only takes an abandoned building and develops it, it does so by creating 335 jobs. This is seed money which will lead to perpetual growth."

Yonkers will receive a $1 million Brownfields Economic Development Initiative grant and $3 million in loan guarantees to redevelop Purdue-Frederick Pharmaceuticals, a vacant industrial building, into a new center for biomedical and biotechnology companies. The 16,000 square-foot Nepperhan Valley Biotechnology Center, located in the Nepperhan industrial area, will be renovated primarily for use by young companies that are outgrowing incubator or other start-up space. The first floor of the building will be converted to street-level retail use.

In addition to the HUD assistance, businesses and other local, state and federal government agencies are expected to invest more than $6.2 million in additional funds in the Yonkers brownfield area. The total project is expected to create an estimated 335 jobs.

In order to ensure that low- and moderate-income area residents have access to jobs created as a result of the project, tenant companies will be required to participate in the City’s "First Source" program. Under this program, community-based employment and training organizations are given the first opportunity to refer candidates for available jobs.

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

The loan guarantees, also known as the Section 108 Program, provide communities with a source of financing for job creation, housing rehabilitation, and construction of public facilities and large-scale development projects.

Vice President Gore announced the Clinton Administration’s Brownfields National Partnership in 1997 to bring together resources of over 20 federal agencies to address brownfield cleanup and redevelopment issues in a coordinated approach. HUD works with other federal agencies to provide communities with financial and technical assistance to revitalize brownfields.

Cuomo accompanied President Clinton last month on the President’s New Markets Tour of economically distressed communities that highlighted the economic potential for investment in underserved markets. The President is proposing tax incentives and investment tools that will make it more attractive for corporate America to search for opportunities in such communities.

A recent HUD report titled New Markets: The Untapped Retail Buying Power In America’s Inner Cities showed that America’s inner city neighborhoods – with $331 billion in annual retail purchasing power – hold major economic potential for retail business growth. The report found:

  • Inner city neighborhoods possess enormous retail purchasing power – estimated at $331 billion last year, or one-third of the $1.1 trillion total for the central cities in which those neighborhoods are located. The report suggests that businesses not yet operating in inner cities should not ignore that large domestic market.
  • Despite their huge buying power, many inner city communities are "under-retailed," with sales that fall significantly short of residents’ retail purchasing power. The report makes clear that there a large inner city consumer market worth competing for.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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