01.09.18

SCHUMER: KEY FEDERAL FUNDS SECURED TO ASSIST WITH REDEVELOPMENT OF FORMER BAE SITE

After Schumer’s Urging, FEDS Will Approve Broome IDA’s Application; Over $200K Coming to Help The Agency Plan for Future of Prime Johnson City Site 

Schumer Successfully Urged, Air Force to Demolished And Cleaned Up Dilapidated Manufacturing Site After Severe Flooding Left The Former BAE Facility Uninhabitable 

In October, Schumer Urged DOD To Make Good On Commitment To Help With Recovery Called On DOD To Approve The Agency’s Application And Provide Funding Assistance For Site Redevelopment To Further Economic Growth 

Schumer: Fed Approval Officially Turns The Page At Former BAE Site ; Site Now Ripe For Development And Opportunity To Improve Local Environment And Property Values 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced the Office of Economic Adjustment will approve the application submitted by The Agency, Broome County’s Industrial Development Agency, for federal funding to help plan and evaluate options for the development and rehabilitation of AF Plant 59, located at 600 Main Street in Johnson City in the Town of Union. This site, most recently occupied by BAE Systems Inc., was rendered uninhabitable after the facility was inundated with flood waters in September 2011. Schumer said the funding will help support a comprehensive feasibility study for the redevelopment of this site, identifying the best possible uses for it in coordination with federal, state, and local partner plans and recommendations. 

“Broome County has made tremendous strides to rebuild and rebound from the damaging flood of 2011. I am very pleased that the federal government has finally recognized their efforts by approving these vital funds to redevelop the now-vacant Johnson City site,” said Senator Schumer. “These funds will provide key support to enable The Agency, and other local partners to hit the ground running, jump-start redevelopment efforts and use this site to create jobs.”

Schumer said the location is one of the few remaining large developable sites within Broome County’s urban core and is in a very strategic location for a new opportunity: located within the Village of Johnson City, minutes from the site of the future, Binghamton University’s Health Sciences Campus. Schumer said the development of the site will greatly enhance opportunities for economic and business development in and around the Village of Johnson City, and that this vital funding is critical to assist with planning for the new development.

 “This property {600 Main St} is a critical economic development site in Broome County’s urban corridor,” said Kevin McLaughlin, executive director of The Agency. “Understanding the needs for this site and identifying its highest and best use will advance revitalization efforts in the Town of Union and adjacent to the growth of the Johnson City iDistrict. We are tremendously grateful for Senator Schumer’s assistance with securing these grant funds and for his continued understanding of the economic needs of Broome County and the Southern Tier. We are excited to move forward with the feasibility study and the RFP to gauge interest in the future of this property.”

After the flood waters receded, the site became an eyesore, a harsh reminder of the devastation the community had endured. Local resources were expended to maintain and secure a derelict site. Local property values were threatened, a major regional employer displaced, thousands of jobs were at risk, and a once vibrant site that supported local business was gone. Schumer went right to work, ensuring that the federal government brought all of its resources to bear to help the community rebuild. At his urging, the Air Force committed to the demolition and remediation of the site and the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) determined the site eligible for its assistance. Now with the cleanup concluded, community leaders are looking forward with anticipation for its “next chapter, “and it is one of the chief focuses for the revitalization efforts of the local government. This funding ensures provides critical support to evaluate options and determine the most effective opportunity for this critical “community sites.”

A copy of Schumer’s previous letter to OEA Director Patrick O’Brien appears below:

Mr. Patrick O’Brien

The Office of Economic Adjustment

Dear Director O’Brien

I write in support of the application submitted by the Broome County Industrial Development Agency for funding through the Office of Economic Adjustment. This funding is vital for the continued development and rehabilitation of 600 Main Street, the former site of Air Force Plant (AFP) 59, in Johnson City, New York. The funding will allow for the completion of a comprehensive feasibility study for the redevelopment of this site, identifying the best possible use for it in coordination with federal, state, and local partner plans and recommendations.

This site lies in the Village of Johnson City, just east of the City of Binghamton line. In 2011, a catastrophic flood devastated the region and the facility, home to a major aerospace and platform solution company, was inundated with 5-6 feet of water and rendered uninhabitable. Over a thousand jobs were at risk, a major tenant displaced, and a void created in an otherwise vibrant neighborhood.  In the wake of this flood, I have worked closely with the Department of Defense to ensure that the Federal Government brings to bear all of its resources in order to help the community rebuild. At my request, the U.S. Air Force committed to the demolition and remediation of the site and the Office of Economic Adjustment determined that the site is eligible for its assistance. I am happy to report that cleanup has concluded and community leaders are looking forward with anticipation to its next chapter. To that end, the site has been identified as a critical “community site” and is one of the chief focuses for the revitalization efforts of the local government. This location is one of the few remaining large parcels of land in Broome County’s urban core that is available for development and is in a strategic location for a new development opportunity.       

The development of the former AFP 59 site will significantly enhance opportunities for economic and business development in the Village of Johnson City, and this funding is critical to assist with planning to ensure the maximum benefit is realized with any new development. Furthermore, the funding request aligns perfectly with the mission of the Office of Economic Adjustment, to “create a positive environment for economic growth, innovative land use strategies, and enhanced quality of life.” As the community is poised to move forward with the future of the site, I urge for the quick approval of their application so they can hit the ground running. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff should you have any questions.                                                                                                                                                   

Sincerely,                                                             

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

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