Designation Will Bring Renaissance to About 185 Acres Surrounding the St. Mary’s Medical Campus
BOA to Provide Tools to Revitalize Blighted Area and Spur Economic Development
Secretary of State Rossana Rosado today announced the designation of the City of Rochester’s Bull’s Head as a Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA), which covers approximately 185 acres of the city in the area surrounding the St. Mary’s Medical Campus, now home to Rochester Regional Health. This designation gives Rochester the tools to fast-track neighborhood revitalization efforts and foster redevelopment of key sites transforming them from liabilities to catalysts for economic growth while addressing environmental justice.
“The Brownfield Opportunity Area designations have played an important role in revitalizing communities around the state,” said Secretary of State Rosado. “With this designation, the City of Rochester advances a revitalization strategy to spur redevelopment and enhance environmentally sustainable neighborhoods in the region.”
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Rochester and other urban communities are experiencing a rebirth due to public and private investment in addressing legacy contamination so that properties can be redeveloped to benefit the local economy, the region’s environment, and the well-being of residents. The BOA designation for Bull’s Head will target these benefits and create a brighter, healthier future for the City of Rochester.”
The City of Rochester received a $284,745 planning grant through the state’s BOA program to put forth a comprehensive revitalization strategy to promote effective redevelopment and enhanced environmental quality. The Bull’s Head BOA boundary encompasses 185 acres and includes the former Taylor Instruments site and St. Mary’s Medical campus. The key recommendations contained in this BOA nomination focus on projects and other actions that will become channels for redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization within the Brownfield area.
The recommendations include:
- Utilizing “complete street” approaches to improve the public areas for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit;
- Developing a business recruitment program and encouraging the hiring and training of residents;
- Facilitating testing and remediation of brownfield properties;
- Redeveloping the Bull’s Head Plaza with mixed use buildings;
- Adding amenities and recreation facilities to Lynchford Park.
Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, “This environmental designation is a critical development in the revitalization of the Bull’s Head area that will advance our work to restore this historic neighborhood to its place of prominence as Rochester's western gateway. I want to thank Secretary of State Rossana Rosado for recognizing the value of this project and assigning this designation. We look forward to working with the Department of State and our community partners as we continue our efforts to create more jobs, safer, more vibrant and affordable neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens."
Senator Jeremy Cooney said, “This is an important step for the continued development of downtown Rochester. The revitalization of Bull’s Head into a family-centric and thriving neighborhood is essential to the area’s growth. Rochester needs more safe and accessible public spaces that are friendly to pedestrians/cyclists for our community to enjoy. I applaud the NY Department of State for their efforts to help economic development in Monroe County, and I look forward to seeing progress in downtown Rochester.”
Assemblymember Demond Meeks said, “The designation of Bull’s Head as a Brownfield Opportunity Area represents a great chance to invest in a safer, healthier, and more affordable Rochester. I look forward to working with New York State to ensure this development project improves the lives of our citizens as we continue to enhance communities in our city.”
New York State also provides a tax credit incentive to encourage private-sector cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in designated BOAs that conform with the community's vision for the revitalization of their neighborhood. This tax credit bonus is available to projects on properties enrolled in the Brownfield Cleanup Program, administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The Secretary of State determines if projects are in conformance with the goals and priorities of the designated BOA.
The BOA designations help communities implement strategies to revitalize and rebuild neighborhoods affected by dormant and blighted brownfield properties and environmental injustices. Municipalities and not-for-profits may also apply for BOA pre-development grants to advance projects within the designated BOAs.
Developers, property owners and others with projects and properties located within the designated Brownfield Opportunity Areas will be eligible to access additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax incentives to develop projects aimed at transforming dormant and blighted areas in their communities and putting them back into productive use. In addition, projects within each designated Brownfield Opportunity Area will be entitled to receive priority and preference for certain State grants.
The BOA program and this designation supports Governor Cuomo’s Health Across All Policies Executive Order, which requires state agencies to incorporate public health and health disparities in communities of color into all programs, policies and spending. BOA plans contribute to public health by creating walkable, bikeable streetscapes, such as “complete streets” for physical activity; safe and accessible public spaces for outdoor recreation and social interaction; access to fresh, nutritious food; and access to nearby health services, among others.
Further information, including designation details and nomination planning documents associated with the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program, as well as information about the Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credit incentive for projects in designated BOAs, can be found on the Department of State website, here.