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  • 15 Jun 2020 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Recently proposed regulatory standards in PA generally more stringent and add PFAS, but the proposed increase in lead standard for non-residential use is getting some attention.

    Pennsylvania is proposing to relax its non-residential standard for the concentration of lead allowed in the surface soils of obsolete contaminated properties adhering to its voluntary cleanup program. Such sites, like the South Philadelphia refinery complex, have potential for redevelopment as commercial or industrial ventures.

    Read more...

    Posted June 15, 2020

  • 15 Jun 2020 3:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Press Release from Village of Port Chester

    A more than two year community-led process results in Port Chester adopting in an innovative, ground-up form-based code that sets the course for the community’s future

    At the May 20, 2020 Village of Port Chester Board of Trustees meeting, Port Chester became just the second large municipality in New York State to adopt a municipality-wide form-based code after the City of Buffalo.

    The new form-based zoning code was borne out of the Village’s 2012 Comprehensive Plan, which looked to replace its outdated 1975 zoning code with a new zoning code that would focus growth around the train station, while protecting the Village’s residential neighborhoods. 

    Port Chester’s new code is purely form-based. “Form-based zoning prioritizes the character of neighborhoods, districts and corridors within the community as the central organizing framework of the Village.  With a focus on how the size, shape and design of buildings relate to each other and to the ‘public realm,’ or streetscape, this type of zoning works to create a vibrant streetscape with a mix of uses where appropriate, and balances transportation options to include walking, biking and transit in addition to driving in a car”, stated Brian Wright, Principal of Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative or TPUDC, the zoning gurus out of Franklin, Tennessee that led the Village’s effort. TPUDC has worked on a number of form-based codes around the country, including Burlington, VT, Birmingham, AL, and Mt. Pleasant, MI, among others. Also part of the TPUDC team was Fisher Associates, who worked on the Green Code out of The City of Buffalo. While Port Chester drew inspiration from best practices nationwide, it tailored its new zoning code to local needs, said Eric Zamft, Director of Planning & Economic Development for the Village. “We took our consultant’s experience and mixed it with our own local flavor,” stated Zamft.

    The code adoption was the result of over two years of community outreach and engagement – under the “Plan the Port” initiative. Plan the Port included over 50 meetings with community members, key stakeholders such as local businesses and not-for-profits, the development community, as well as with each of the Village’s development-related volunteer boards and commissions. This was highlighted by a 10-day visioning and planning event early on in the process entitled “PlanapaloozaTM”. “Central to all of these conversations was an open and honest dialogue about where the community should head into the future,” stated Zamft. “We all coalesced around the objective to ‘Allow the RIGHT type of development in the RIGHT types of places.” Zamft added that Plan the Port was innovative in its engagement, particularly with the Village’s Latino community, as well as how it handled the impacts of potential future development. 

    As part of the required environmental review of the new code, a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) was produced that identified potential impacts and offered mitigation. “The Form-Based Code GEIS is unique in that it tackles socioeconomic impacts head-on, such as affordable housing and displacement, and requires that mitigation measures be taken,” stated Christopher Steers, Village Manager. “In addition, it significantly streamlines the review process so that developers and property owners know exactly what it takes to obtain an approval.”  

    “I am elated with the adoption of the form-based code by the Board of Trustees. Its adoption was the result of the hard work of numerous people and really proves that grass roots efforts pay off,” stated Richard ‘Fritz’ Falanka, the Village’s Mayor. “This type of zoning greatly improves the ability for the Village to attract development while maintaining our historic village character. While change does not happen overnight this zoning will help initiate change and much needed growth, especially as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    “Port Chester can truly say it is ‘Open for Business’,” stated Steers.

    “This is a better code with a better process and is a much better reflection of the community’s values and goals,” Falanka said. “Its Port Chester’s time.”

    The newly adopted code can be found on the Village’s website at:

    http://www.portchesterny.com/planning-economic-development/files/zoning-code-adopted-may-20-2020

    All of the project documentation can be found on the Village’s website at:

    http://www.portchesterny.com/planning-economic-development/pages/form-based-codegeis

    Additional information on the project can also be found at:

    http://www.plantheport.com

    Posted June 15, 2020

  • 11 Jun 2020 10:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Dana Schulz, 6sqft.com

    After receiving approval from the city, last week, developer BRP Companies revealed renderings for their Bayfront Redevelopment Project in Jersey City along the Hackensack River. Located on a former brownfield site, the 100-acre project will be built in phases, eventually resulting in 8,000 units of mixed-income housing (35 percent of which will be affordable), said to be the largest such project in the region. This fall, construction will kick off on the 16-acre first phase, known as Cove Pointe, which will bring 1,092 units of housing, with 382 set aside as affordable and workforce housing.

    Located on the west side of Jersey City off Route 440, the Bayfront Redevelopment Project site was formerly occupied by the Mutual Chemical Company, later taken over by Honeywell, who ran a chromate chemical plant and was found guilty of dumping toxic waste on the land in the 1990s. According to an article in the Hudson Reporter, in 2005, a judge ordered Honeywell to clean up the site, and in 2018, Jersey City acquired the entire property from the company for $100 million with the goal of increasing the affordable housing requirement from five to 35 percent.

    For the entire article, see

    https://www.6sqft.com/with-8000-units-jersey-city-project-will-be-the-tri-states-largest-mixed-income-housing-development/

    Posted June 11, 2020

  • 11 Jun 2020 10:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Susan E. Golden Hilary G. Atzrott, Venable LLP

    Local Law 97 of New York City's Climate Mobilization Act requires certain buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2024. The City is moving forward to implement the law, although certain elements have been affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. Venable's prior summary of Local Law 97 is available here.

    Read more...

    Posted June 11, 2020

  • 09 Jun 2020 1:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has an opening for a Staff Attorney 2 position. Applications close on June 16th. Learn more here: https://www.jobapscloud.com/CT/sup/bulpreview.asp?R1=200601&R2=0088AR&R3=001

  • 08 Jun 2020 10:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    State level funding in RI establishing a good track record in Rhode Island @ecori

    By ecoRI News staff

    The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) recently awarded $2 million in matching grants under the state’s Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund to nine projects in four municipalities. The funding was made available by the 2018 Green Economy Bond, which Rhode Island voters approved last November.

    Read more...

    Posted June 8, 2020


  • 08 Jun 2020 10:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Good project summary from Buffalo describing plans to transfer a legacy industrial property into a data center campus. @buffnews

    by The Buffalo News Editorial Board

    The state Department of Environmental Conservation made the right call on the Tonawanda Coke property. A private brownfield cleanup plus a parallel state Superfund remediation will get the toxin-filled land cleaned to the highest standard while restoring part of the property to be put back into productive use. That is a win-win.

    Read more...

    Posted June 8, 2020


  • 18 May 2020 11:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Brownfield property for sale gets some press in Buffalo with a good description of local area, and a good summary of financial incentives from the State, the County and a utility. @queenseyes @buffalorising

    A significant property in N. Tonawanda is on the market. The 235 River Road portfolio is being listed by Hanna Commercial Real Estate for $889,000. While there are two buildings on the site, this property is calling for a fresh, significant mixed use development due to its close proximity to the water. Anything built up at this property would have views onto the water. The parcel is also in close proximity to Riviera Theatre and The Canal, with immediate access onto Tonawanda Island.

    Read more...

  • 18 May 2020 11:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    @NJBIA has summarized recent panel recommendations for @NJEDA economic incentives, including brownfields funding, with focus on how to manage caps on incentives and tax credits. @bobconsidine

    By Bob Considine

    A legislatively appointed panel charged with making recommendations on how New Jersey should structure its economic development incentives released its final report today amidst a stalemate between Gov. Phil Murphy and the Legislature.

    The bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies, led by State Senators Senator Bob Smith and Joseph Pennacchio, made 25 recommendations to control the costs of the program, increase transparency, and improve the public benefit of incentives offered to businesses to create jobs and invest in New Jersey.

    Read more...

  • 12 May 2020 10:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Steve Dwyer and Connor A. Jaffe*

    It’s been one year (May 2019), since the New York City Council ratified what is known as “local law 97,” seen as the centerpiece of the city’s Climate Mobilization Act (CMA). One overarching and lofty goal is reducing citywide carbon emissions 40% by 2030 and a whopping 80% by 2050. 

    It will be interesting to see at what level of fallout has occurred -- and will -- during the ensuing years. 

    Some background: LL 97 recognizes both that the city’s buildings are the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for nearly 70% of total citywide emissions in 2014, and that the technology and the overall affinity exists to enable the city to reach this ambitious emissions reduction targets. 

    Drilling down further, LL 97 requires buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to meet strict greenhouse gas emissions limits starting in 2024, and is expected to reduce cumulative emissions from large buildings at least 40% citywide by 2030 through building retrofits. In addition, the CMA establishes a new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to enable retrofits through long-term financing, and requires the installation of solar PV and green roofs on new buildings and major renovations.

    So what does it all spell for the BCONE and NYC Brownfield Partnership? We know that because many brownfield redevelopers and their constituents (environmental remediation consultants, architects, etc.) are hard wired to advocate for and then execute sustainable building construction—it’s in their DNA—there’s a good chance our membership owns or holds stakes in buildings that A.) might already be fully in energy-efficiency compliance or B.) are facing minor capital expenditures to fully comply to LL 97. 

    (It’s hard to say without a consensus in place; thus, it would be ideal for BCONE to build that consensus about what’s at stake for members, all based on feedback to the organization over the subsequent months. This isn’t a news theme that’s going away.)    

    The motivators driving LL 97 are sound. The law components focus on the city’s largest buildings to promote energy efficiency, beneficial electrification and renewable energy while creating new, good-paying jobs. It also discourages continued reliance on polluting fossil fuels, cuts down on harmful air pollution that causes respiratory illnesses, and saves building owners money over time by lowering operating expenses.

    Here are some points of discussion, questions and potential end results that could emanate from this law, ones that could be instructive to the coalition as you wade through the weeds: 

    • One potential outcome of the law is that if building owners find they can’t retrofit buildings because it will break the bank, will this result in building foreclosures?  The razing of older structures in Manhattan and the other boroughs? What percent of the high-rise portfolio falls within this designation? 
    •  For projects that had been/are in progress—and the COVID-19 health pandemic is now another profound X factor to add to the mix on top of everything else—how much is this law affecting a developer’s building construction blueprints? What is the additional role of brownfield architects to modify project specs? This factor is particularly impactful for brownfield projects in NYC that had already begun groundbreaking in, say, 2017 or ’18—and now must make serious adaptations to building function and design once they learned of LL 97 last spring. 
    • What additional costs does a NYC developer face in having to adhere to the law, reflected in the in-progress projects? Did many developers already prepare for this law in advance, perhaps reading the tea leaves? And if they did, has it served them well? 

    Assistance Is Available   

    Several energy efficiency design contractors are working to empower building managers to boost efficiency and cost-savings through an intelligent, intuitive building energy management platform.

    Along those lines, the NYC Retrofit Accelerator (found on the web at www.retrofitaccelerator.cityofnewyork.us) offers free, personalized advisory services that streamline the process of making energy efficiency improvements to buildings. The retrofit accelerator can help owners develop an effective strategy to comply with the Climate Mobilization Act.

    The Accelerator offers free help, simple fixes and compelling results, according to its website.  Retrofit experts can help building owners make building improvements, working one-on-one to understand each building owner’s needs and help draft long term capital plans to save energy. The NYCRA can also connect owners with qualified contractors to do the job; assist in finding cash incentives and financing to help underwrite upgrades; and train building staff to allow building to runs efficiently in a sustained fashion. 

    Because we know it’s difficult to quantify to the letter what is exactly at stake for members regarding LL 97, feedback to the organization over the subsequent months is paramount. Please feel free to email the BCONE staff (sboyle@geiconsultants.com) or myself (steve.dwyer59@att.net) and let us know how this one-year-old law is impacting your business due to retrofit obligations needed to be performed.  

    Highlights of Local Law 97

    • The Climate Mobilization Act is expected to: Reduce New York City’s overall emissions 10 percent by 2030
    • Requires buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to meet greenhouse gas emissions caps, beginning in 2024
    • Applies to 50,000 buildings across New York City (those larger than 25,000 square feet) across 22,000 properties
    • Sets emissions limits based on occupancy classifications of spaces within a building
    • Eliminate 6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the equivalent of taking
    • Remove 1.3 million cars from the road every year
    • Create 26,700 green jobs by 2030
    • Prevent 50 to 130 premature deaths annually by 2030 prevent 150 hospital visits annually by 2030.  

    *Note on the Co-Author:  Mr. Jaffe is a senior studying Finance and Real Estate at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder. BCONE’s Steve Dwyer assisted Mr. Jaffe with his independent research on LL97.

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