Potential For Brownfield Development Along Rochester's Waterfront
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When you look at the spot, it doesn't look like much.
“A lot of this industrialization happened before people thought about pollution problems,” said Tom Richards, (D), Rochester mayor.
A one-time oil refinery.
"You have to figure out how you're going to clean it up."
Contaminated, and abandoned. Not necessarily the type of place you'd see immediate potential, but city leaders do.
"We got a lot of promise here. We've got work to do."
What's attractive about the old Vacuum Oil site at the end of Flint Street, is its location.
"When we rethink the way we can use this waterfront, when we can go back to it, it shows the wonderful potential we have in the city. It'll be used in a different way and a different context."
"You can't ask for better potential than what we have right here,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D).
Gillibrand proposed a bill that would help cities like Rochester develop spots like the old oil refinery by helping with one of the project's great unknowns: Cleanup cost.
"I don't know, but it's millions of dollars,” Richards said.
The federal legislation would ease the blow by offering grants of up to a half million dollars per project.
"Everyone here is doing their part: working together with a common vision and purpose. Now it's up to Congress to do its part," Gillibrand said.
City Leaders say they're in the process of trying to figure out the next step here. Whatever development takes place, they say it'll be what the neighborhood wants.
"This is a beautiful spot,” Richards said.
Anyone who knows anything about development knows waterfront property is prime property. Even in Rochester, at an old oil refinery, there's hope.
"So if we can get it cleaned up, I think there's gonna be great demand for it,” Richards said.