New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 18, 2017 announced environmental remediation has been completed on the 500th tax lot under NYC oversight since his administration began in 2014, achieving 75 percent of his OneNYC cleanup goal 18 months ahead of schedule. The remediated land has been redeveloped with more than 27 million square feet of new building space and represents private investment of $8.2 billion in new construction — remediation since 2014 has cleaned up a total of 138 acres of land and removed more than 300 underground storage tanks, according to his office.
“We are cleaning up vacant lots and revitalizing neighborhoods across the city, and hitting our goals a year-and-a-half ahead of schedule,” said the mayor. “New York’s city cleanup program is a commitment to combating pollution that disproportionately affects already disadvantaged communities. Our environmental remediation program is also a boon to the economic vitality of neighborhoods, creating jobs and cleaning up land to welcome new businesses and housing.”
More than half of the 577 remediated lots are in moderate- and low-income communities, and the properties have been vacant for an average of more than 10 years. Eighty-one of them are located in the coastal flood zone.
The 500th remediated tax lot is located on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and West 127th Street in Central Harlem. The property has been redeveloped with a 10-story building that is now the home for Harlem Dowling-West Side Center for Children & Family Services and The Children’s Village, 47 units of affordable housing, and 12 units of supportive housing for youth at risk of homelessness as they transition out of foster care. The project was funded by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development and the NYC Housing Development Corporation and is a joint venture with affordable housing developer Alembic Community Development.
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“We have limited available land for new development, and it is vitally important to rehabilitate our vacant and abandoned land. This administration recognizes the disproportionate impact of environmental pollution in low-income communities and has focused city resources in disadvantaged areas to pursue greater equity in environmental quality and economic opportunity,” said First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris. “We will continue to build new programs and find innovative ways to improve our environment and help communities achieve their grass-roots vision for reuse of vacant land.”