Location: Cortland, NY | Client: EPA Region 2 and SRI| Project Date: March – August 2012
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In 2012, the City of Cortland (pop. 19,059) defined the Southeast Cortland Brownfield Opportunity Area with the goal of advancing revitalization and redevelopment within a 540-acre area affected by 26 brownfields. The City and the Cortland County IDA identified strategic opportunities for hi-tech industrial redevelopment and job creation through the redevelopment of catalyst sites, including the vacant 75-acre Buckbee-Mears Facility.
Concurrent with the Southeast Cortland BOA designation, Skeo Solutions led a reuse planning process with funding from EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative to coordinate a reuse planning process with EPA Region 2, the City of Cortland and the Cortland County IDA to identify reuse options to facilitate site transfer and redevelopment. Skeo Solutions engaged local planning and economic development stakeholders in a process to identify redevelopment opportunities to help target marketing and economic development efforts, including: near-term reuse of an existing warehouse; potential for adaptive reuse of a 205,000-square-foot manufacturing building and new development on existing concrete slabs; potential for additional 12-acre industrial development; guidelines for managing prospective purchaser liability; and a set of bid package materials and set of actions to prepare the site for reuse. The reuse assessment helped market the property to potential buyers and in 2014, a local developer purchased the property and has restored over 230,000 square feet of industrial space for adaptive reuse – creating the Cortland Industrial Center.
This successful redevelopment project was recently highlighted at the 2015 New Partners for Community Revitalization Annual Brownfields Summit as part of a panel on “Getting a Project Done.”