New York Blight Has A $300-Million Enemy

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Jim loathes dilapidation

“Restoring New York’s Communities” has a pleasant ring to it, especially now that the phrase has been backed by $300 million in state funding. Assemblyman Jim Brennan, who represents Brooklyn and chairs the Assembly Committee on Cities, says the initiative will help restore blighted communities by funding the reconstruction of deteriorated real estate.

“Think of where the fire was in Williamsburg,” he explained. “The city can use this money to knock it down and prepare the land for development.”

Priority for state grants, he said, will go to sites contaminated by toxic waste (via the Brownfield Opportunity Areas program). Mr. Brennan pointed to former industrial sites within Red Hook, Gowanus and Williamsburg: “The city can do a $20 million project that would knock down some vacant industrial structures, acquire the land, clear the site of toxic contamination, and then have a development project.”

Like affordable housing? “Sure, or a commercial development. Or a box store.”

Max Abelson

New York Blight Has A $300-Million Enemy