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ALBANY-With a more than $3-billion waterfront redevelopment project in the approval process and expecting significant brownfield redevelopment incentives from New York State, Yonkers Mayor Philip Amicone testified before a joint session of the Assembly and Senate Environmental Conservation committees on Tuesday that those funds are critical in attracting investment to urban areas across New York State.

Amicone, along with Bill Struever, a partner in the multibillion-dollar Struever-Fidelco-Cappelli redevelopment project that is currently before the Yonkers City Council, submitted testimony to the Senate panel arguing against a plan forwarded by the Spitzer administration that would eliminate brownfield incentives that reimburses developers of up to 22% of the project cost. Those incentives are currently granted in addition to tax credits given for the environmental cleanup of the brownfield site.

The Spitzer plan would add funds in the form of brownfield tax credits for reimbursement of costs associated solely with the environmental cleanup component of project, city official say. They note that the current program has been a key factor in the attraction of private investment and the subsequent redevelopment of contaminated former industrial sites in Yonkers’ Downtown and waterfront area and therefore the development cost incentive component should be maintained.

Amicone, who serves as president of the New York chapter of the National Brownfield Association, testified, “the Brownfield Cleanup Program is one of the most important factors that have contributed to our success in redeveloping the Downtown. Without it, most of the new projects that have been built or are being built would not have happened and that means the new jobs and revenues that come with those projects would not have happened either. Maintaining this program is absolutely critical to our continued vitality because we need the jobs and economic growth.”

Amicone cited the Hudson Park rental apartment project and the Main Street Lofts development as two successful endeavors that were keyed by the state’s brownfield program.

At a topping out ceremony for the second phase of the $200-million Hudson Park project staged earlier this month, developer Arthur Collins, co-founding principal of Collins Enterprises of Greenwich, CT, called on state lawmakers to keep the brownfield program as is, asserting that without the brownfield credits and other incentive programs, developments such as Hudson Park North would not have been possible.

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