Gov. Malloy: New Brownfield Program Focuses on Revitalizing Historically Significant Industrial Structures Around the State
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is accepting applications for a new round of funding of up to $1.5 million that will be awarded to advance the remediation and redevelopment of historically significant brownfield sites throughout the state.
"The historic properties we are targeting are often situated in strategic locations within our cities and towns, by the water or on visible intersections, and represent a unique opportunity for downtown and waterfront revitalization that is compatible with the existing character of the surrounding community," said Governor Malloy. "This program will consider our state's rich manufacturing and industrial history by incorporating innovative strategies that will highlight the many opportunities around the state to return legacy industrial sites to productive reuse in both urban and rural communities across Connecticut. By doing so, we will also alleviate blight, remove environmental contamination and put these vacant properties back on the tax rolls, all while creating jobs for residents - a win-win for both our state and local economies."
The Historic Brownfield Revitalization Program will provide grants of up to $300,000 per eligible applicant to assess environmental and structural and conditions, and conduct community-driven reuse visioning and planning exercises for historically significant brownfield sites. Through this round of funding, DECD's Office of Brownfield Remediation and Development (OBRD) and State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will work closely with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation to facilitate innovative strategies for the remediation, stabilization, and redevelopment of historically significant mills and other similar properties throughout the state. SHPO and the Connecticut Trust are currently conducting a study of nearly 400 historic industrial properties historic industrial sites located throughout the State.
"Our combined initiatives to preserve and reuse our historic industrial sites reflect our growing understanding that Connecticut's identity is encompassed in its industrial past not just its iconic town green," said Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation Executive Director Helen Higgins. "Creative and feasible re-use of industrial buildings will transform our state and infuse economic vitality in our towns and cities."
In previous rounds of remediation funding, DECD's Office of Brownfield Remediation and Development (OBRD) has received many applications to assess or remediate mill properties, but often there has been limited reuse planning done to consider innovative redevelopment strategies once remediation is complete. In many rural communities, historic mill villages represent the only high-density developments that provide an opportunity for context-sensitive revitalization that minimizes the impacts of economic development on open space, farmlands and other cultural and environmental resources.
As part of the Historic Brownfield Revitalization Program, DECD and the Trust will convene a workshop from 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM on October 23 at the Millworks complex, located at 156 River Road (Rt. 32) in Willington to discuss this new funding program as well as innovative strategies in historic reuse and rehabilitation design and redevelopment strategies. For more information on this workshop and to register to attend, please visit www.ctbrownfields.gov.
"Many of these historic sites are deteriorating to the point where absent intervention and investment they may need to be demolished for safety purposes," said DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. "And without a concerted effort to encourage detailed reuse planning, innovative opportunities for creative and adaptive reuse may be lost - opportunities which could result in residential, commercial, industrial or other uses."
"Connecticut has a long and proud industrial history with mills and factories located across the state in communities of all sizes," said Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee. "This program will allow these structures that were once so vital to the fabric of Connecticut life to be restored to productive use providing the benefits of environmental cleanup, protection of public health, economic development, and job creation."
"Our historic mill complexes, and the bustling villages that grew around and were integral to them, were once places where state-of-the-art products were made, and we hope to see them reborn as centers of economic vitality," said DECD Deputy Commissioner Kip Bergstrom. "The prospect of a vibrant mix of uses in these complexes - not exclusively living space, but also where state of the art products are created and sold around the world, alongside retail and amenities - is a richer, more exciting economic development scheme, and a prime example of how we achieve two important and sometimes contradictory objectives: economic reinvention and historic preservation."
"Historic sites present unique opportunities to bring new vitality and jobs to historic structures while also honoring Connecticut's industrial heritage," said DECD Director of Waterfront, Brownfield and Transit-Oriented Development Tim Sullivan. "Governor Malloy and Commissioner Smith have led an unprecedented commitment to brownfield redevelopment in Connecticut, and this new initiative will focus specifically on some of the most difficult-to-redevelop sites across the State."
Applications must be submitted to DECD electronically via firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 4:00 PM on November 17, 2014. Questions related to the application must be submitted to email@example.com by October 27, 2014; responses will be posted at ctbrownfields.gov by November 3, 2014.
The rating and ranking sheet for this funding round, which provides further details on application criteria, as well as the program application, are available at www.ctbrownfields.gov.