Huntington Station Gets “BOA” Brownfield Opportunity Area Designation
New York State has designated a 640-acre part of Huntington Station as a Brownfield Opportunity Area, augmenting revitalization efforts in the community by making projects eligible for tax credit incentives and giving them priority status for grants.
The Huntington BOA, which has the Huntington Long Island Rail Road station at its center, includes parcels on which the Town, in concert with Huntington Station Master Developer Renaissance Downtowns, have proposed two mixed-use buildings, a hotel, an office building and an artists’ residence.
In its application to the state, the Town noted that the BOA designation was part of the broader Huntington Station revitalization effort to create a “cohesive and inviting place enlivened by new neighborhoods and business activity.” The application described the area as including at least 27 potential brownfield sites and is comprised of garages, surface parking lots, and vacant or underutilized parcels located around the train station. The primary community revitalization objectives include: commercially-viable mixed-use development that builds on the proximity of the LIRR station, including a hotel, commercial, retail and residential development and parking; streetscape improvements; and remediation and redevelopment of the brownfield sites.
“The Brownfield Opportunity Area designation will help augment and speed the ongoing revitalization efforts in Huntington Station and help restore what was a vibrant community a half century ago,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “This designation will help the Town take advantage of the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credits and get preference in applying for grants and financing, which should provide significant boosts in implementing the Town’s plans.”
Renaissance Destination Area
In announcing August 22 that Huntington Station was one of 12 new BOA sites across the state, bringing the total to 38, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said, ““The designation of Brownfield Opportunity Areas facilitates the restoration and development of devastated communities across the state. Each of these sites possesses tremendous potential for economic development and job creation, and these designations will equip local partners with the resources they need to implement their vision for community revitalization.”
The Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program is administered by the New York Department of State. New York State provides a tax credit incentive to encourage private-sector cleanup of brownfield sites that are located within designated Brownfield Opportunity Area, when a Brownfield Opportunity Area site is enrolled in the Brownfield Cleanup Program and its redevelopment is consistent with the community’s vision for the revitalization as set forth in its nomination or plan. This incentive of up to 5 percent of eligible redevelopment costs through the brownfield redevelopment tax credit is available to eligible taxpayers with projects on Brownfield Cleanup Program-enrolled Brownfield Opportunity Area sites that the Secretary of State determines are in conformance with the goals and priorities established in the nomination or plan that was approved by the Secretary for the area.
Huntington’s application followed a study financed by $340,000 in state grants. The study had two phases: The first used environmental, land use, market and community input to identify four sub-areas for more analysis. The second identified a priority redevelopment area along with priority actions. Community input was obtained as part of both phases. After the BOA process was begun, Renaissance Downtowns was retained as the Huntington Station Master Developer. The BOA program was re-crafted to take Renaissance’s role into account and worked in conjunction with Renaissance.