What is a BOA anyway?
NYS Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Step 1 Pre-Nomination Study
Similar to the hundreds of cities that made this great nation a global force in innovation and industry in the early 20th Century, the Village of Gowanda has suffered the same economic decline that defines “rust-belt” cities across the Northeastern United States, Great Lakes Region and Midwest. Despite decades of deindustrialization and the consequences that accompany a deteriorating economy, Gowanda has proven to be resilient and even defiant in the face of adversity. Unfortunately, the Village‘s notable successes and its resiliency have received little public recognition. From the adaptive reuse of the former Center Street Elementary School into the Academy Place community facility and senior apartments, the restoration of the historic Hollywood Theater, the cleanup of the former Peter Cooper site and development into the Zoar Valley Gateway Park, and the remediation of the AVM Superfund Site, Gowanda is truly “On the Move” toward a future full of opportunities.
To help focus its revitalization efforts, the Village of Gowanda has undertaken a number of significant efforts which have resulted in the potential for additional plans for moving forward with individual aspects of community redevelopment. The Village understands that, in order to succeed, the community must continue to be reshaped—in ways that reflect national trends favoring expansion of cultural, educational, recreational, entertainment, and residential uses, and to tap specific regional opportunities and growth trends associated with expanded tourism.
In an effort to capitalize on these positive trends and augment existing studies, the Village of Gowanda was awarded Smart Growth and Safe Routes to School grants, and is in pursuit of a Passenger and Freight Rail and an additional Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) grant. Outlined below is a summary of the Gowanda Study Area, which is the subject of a Step 1 BOA, Pre-Nomination Document grant.
The Pre-Nomination Study will clearly define the Brownfield Opportunity Area as well as provide an in-depth and thorough description of existing conditions, identify new development opportunities and re-use potential for properties located within the Brownfield Study Area with an emphasis on the identification and re-use potential of strategic sites that could be catalysts for revitalization.
Key BOA Project objectives include:
- Clear identification and definition of a manageable study area.
- Formation of partnerships throughout public outreach and a visioning process.
- Preparation of a preliminary analysis that identifies compelling opportunities for revitalization and describes other public and private measures needed to stimulate investment, promote revitalization and enhance community health and environmental conditions.
Based on the overall analysis, the Project Team will create and present key findings and recommendations for implementation of the redevelopment and community revitalization objectives. This analysis will include:
- Overview of existing land use and zoning
- Number and size of brownfield sites
- Identification of landownership
- Other known information about the environment
Commitment to, and from, the community will be vital to achieve both these objectives and for the ultimate success of the project. The program will build on other initiatives, some of which are concurrent with the BOA Step 1 Study. The purpose of this Citizen Participation Plan is to ensure that the local community is given a voice in the redevelopment planning for the Study Area. This will be accomplished primarily through public and stakeholder meetings, small-scale events, and media advertising. In addition, a Steering Committee comprised of members of local business owners, citizens, and community groups has been formed to assist in communicating events and milestones to the community.