City looks for a remedy for a gateway property

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 9/14/21

The City of Newburgh’s Planning and Development office released a Request for Proposal (RFP) last Thursday to garner interest from a developer to take on remediation and purchase of …

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City looks for a remedy for a gateway property

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The City of Newburgh’s Planning and Development office released a Request for Proposal (RFP) last Thursday to garner interest from a developer to take on remediation and purchase of Dennis’ Sunoco, located at 842 Broadway.

The property was the livelihood of Dennis Derry, a well known local mechanic from Newburgh. It was destroyed in a December 2018 fire. Six months later, on June 2, 2019, Derry passed away at the age of 66.

With the property still in disarray, its future is in question. According to the RFP document, the property sits at the City of Newburgh’s western border with the Town of Newburgh.

City of Newburgh’s Director of Planning and Development, Alexandra Church, addresses the reasoning behind the amount of time it took for the city to move forward with the project.

“The city did not have site control, so we did not own it, we cannot go onto someone else’s property to do things like this,” said Alexandra Church. “We also had a concern, although we may have had a right to take the property for various non-payment of taxes or other such issues, we did not choose to at times because of the potential for environmental contamination. In New York State, there is liability for someone who knowingly takes ownership of a parcel that has environmental contamination and so we needed to wait for our attorneys to clear that process.”

According to the RFP, the property itself is estimated to be just under an acre with 203.5 feet of entry space facing Broadway. In 1945, the building itself was built at 3,360 square feet. According to the RFP, $112,400 stands now as the minimum offer price. This amount is based on the current 2021 assessed value.

With the damage done by the fire, the property became and still remains an environmental hazard for the community. Not only above but below ground as well.

For the City of Newburgh, the RFP states that it is near completion of a tax foreclosure proceeding. With this completion, the city will have title to the property.

The RFP states that for the cleanup procedures, the city is working with The New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund, remediating the ground portion. With this completed, the property will once again be available for redevelopment. For the above ground cleanup, interested parties will enter a Site Development Agreement with the City of Newburgh and headstart that cleanup. When all cleanup is complete between both parties, the transfer of titles will go to the developer.

While there is no definitive timeline listed in the RFP, below ground cleanup would begin several months after the completion of the above ground clean up.

With this RFP, it states that the city hopes to find a developer who will take on this project and bring about economic redevelopment. According to the RFP, the city has approximately 28,000 residents that can directly benefit from the ideas and visions of the developer.

Listed within the RFP, the documents and data that need to be submitted and completed are a Private Owner Development Application, a project development plan, the purchase price of the property, a marketing plan with funding and project costs listed and a list of development teams with development experience.

According to the RFP, The City of Newburgh will evaluate proposals and determine the best course of action with the property within their listed criteria. The criteria for the development and developer are listed as follows: the social and economic benefits that will result from this project, the projects overall quality and sustainability following the developers design and development plan, the long-term fiscal impact and the experience of the developer up til now.

The City of Newburgh will also have the ability to reject any proposals if they so choose.

If a developer is interested in the property, the RFP states that proposals must be submitted by Nov. 2, 2021 with 3 hard copies and 1 digital copy on a flash drive. These proposals can be submitted through the mail or in person. The RFP asks that these proposals be sent or brought to the City of Newburgh Comptroller’s Office at City Hall.

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