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Syracuse gets money to revitalize old industrial zones

Ryan Delaney
New York Secretary of State Cesar Perales discusses Syracuse's brownfields as Mayor Stephanie Miner looks on.

Syracuse will use money from a state program to take another step in the long process of redeveloping former industrial sites.

Syracuse is getting a $500,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) grant for work on 113 acres just south of downtown and a 478 acre strip through the east side of the city. 

The grant is for the development of a revitalization strategy, the second of three phases of the BOA program, according to Owen Kerney, the city's deputy director for planning and sustainability.

New York Secretary of State Cesar Perales was in Syracuse Wednesday to tour the two large zones the city is hoping to turn around.

"You can’t really encourage private investment, in fact any kind of investment, in a place where it looks devastated, where it looks polluted," says Perales. "So once we come up with a plan to clean it up, we think we’re going to be able to attract private investment."

Brownfields are lands contaminated with hazardous materials like oils and solvents, often from older industrial operations. They require environmental cleanup before new development can take place.

Phase three of the BOA program is cleaning up the sites. Syracuse is in the process of applying for that money, according to Kerney.