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City of Rochester

South Genesee River Corridor- A Brownfield Opportunity Area

A "brownfield" or "brownfield site" is defined in New York State Environmental Conservation Law Article 27, Title 14, as any real property, the redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a contaminant.

Brownfield Opportunity Area Program Overview

The New York State Brownfield Opportunity Area Program (BOA) is administered and managed through the New York State Department of State (DOS). The program provides financial and technical assistance to complete area-wide strategies for neighborhood revitalization and brownfield redevelopment. It is important to note that the area-wide strategies developed as part of this project are not limited to brownfield sites. The BOA program recognizes that brownfields, underutilized properties, and vacant sites can all have negative impacts on neighborhood vitality, property values and quality of life. The program provides a funding source to facilitate community and neighborhood-based economic development, while creating strategies to improve overall conditions and South Genesee River Corridor brownfield opportunity areaopportunities for reinvestment and revitalization.

The South Genesee River Corridor (the former Vacuum Oil site) was chosen by the City for entry into the Brownfield Opportunity Area program. See the area's limits on the map.

Find out more about the New York State BOA program 

Phases of the Program

The New York State BOA Program includes three phases: pre-nomination, nomination and implementation. The South Genesee River Corridor BOA is currently in the nomination phase of the program; meaning that the City is performing a planning level study to gauge feasible and realistic redevelopment scenarios for the property that considers a range of existing conditions, including economic and market conditions, as well as environmental ones. Ultimately, the City will be working with the local community to identify future land uses and a conceptual master plan for the future of the study area.

South Genesee River Corridor/Vacuum Oil Site Project Goals

  •  Inventory and assess existing conditions in the neighborhood associated with brownfield, vacant and underutilized sites;   
  • Develop a vision and community consensus on the future of the neighborhood, including specific uses of strategic sites identified during the process; 
  • Determine viable redevelopment alternatives for sites of strategic importance; 
  • Coordinate with local community members, regional partners, and state and federal agencies; and  
  • Develop public-private partnerships that will help Rochester leverage investment in the study area to spur revitalization throughout the neighborhood and enhance this strategically located study area.

Benefits of the BOA program

  • Consensus based planning 
  • New business growth 
  • Expanded job opportunities 
  • Predictable redevelopment process   
  • Investment opportunities  
  • Sustainable development 
  • Expanded open space assets 
  • Improved quality of life
  • Site-specific tax credit 


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