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HUD No. 99-141
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Friday
Or contact your local HUD officeAugust 6, 1999

CUOMO AWARDS $6.8 MILLION TO HELP CREATE JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN BOSTON

WASHINGTON – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced $6.8 million in assistance for Boston to redevelop an old industrial site in the city’s Roxbury neighborhood into a commercial development and parking facility. The project will create an estimated 1,200 jobs and stimulate more than $8.7 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 U.S. Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, Congressman Michael Capuano and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

Senator Kennedy said: "With major investment by HUD and the City of Boston in the Dudley neighborhood and the rest of the Empowerment Zone, we cannot afford to let sites like this remain vacant. This is just one of a number of projects now underway to build a new Dudley Square in the City of Boston. The cleanup of the sites such as these means that many more of our communities can participate in the economic growth and prosperity of the nation."

Congressman Capuano said: "This brownfields grant allows the City of Boston to clean up the contaminated Modern Electroplating site in Dudley Square and transform it once again into a functional tract of land. This is good news for the environment and for the neighborhood. I commend Mayor Menino, Senator Kennedy and Senator Kerry for their leadership on this important initiative.

Boston will receive a $1.75 million Brownfields Economic Development Initiative grant and $5.05 million in loan guarantees to redevelop the Modern Electroplating site in the Dudley Square, Roxbury neighborhood. The City of Boston and the Boston Redevelopment Authority will use these funds to turn the site into a commercial development and parking facility, and eliminate an environmental hazard that endangers future development in the Dudley Square commercial district. The State Department of Health is also expected to relocate its headquarters office to the Dudley Square neighborhood as a result of the redevelopment.

On top of the HUD assistance, businesses and other local, state and federal government agencies are expected to invest more than $8.72 million in additional funds in the Boston brownfield area. The total project is expected to create an estimated 1,200 jobs. In addition to the city, key partners in the project include BankBoston, the State Department of Capital Asset Management and the State Brownfields Trust, the City Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund, Raymond Dudley, LLC and the Economic Development Administration.

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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