Buckbee-Mears Co. Site Reuse

EPA and City of Cortland

Cortland, New York

Situation

Electronic components were produced at the 75-acre Buckbee-Mears Co. site in Cortland, New York, until 2004, when the site’s owner abandoned the facility, leaving 400,000 square feet of vacant manufacturing space. The company also left behind large quantities of hazardous chemicals; its closure resulted in the loss of jobs and local tax revenues. 
 

Solution 

In 2011, EPA, the City of Cortland and major secured creditors initiated an administrative settlement to resolve over $25 million in unrecovered costs associated with environmental response actions, a mortgage default and unpaid property taxes.  In preparation for the settlement, EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative funded Skeo Solutions to coordinate a reuse planning process with EPA Region 2, the City of Cortland and the Cortland County Industrial Development Authority to identify reuse options to help facilitate the transfer and redevelopment of the site. 
 

Outcome 

Skeo Solutions engaged local planning and economic development stakeholders in a process to:
 
  • Evaluate site conditions and redevelopment assets.
  • Identify key redevelopment opportunities.
  • Clarify the site’s suitability for reuse.
  • Develop targeted strategies to address potential barriers to reuse. 
 
The project’s July 2012 reuse assessment identified a set of redevelopment opportunities to help target marketing and economic development efforts, including:
 
  • Near-term reuse of an existing warehouse.
  • Potential for adaptive reuse of a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing building and new development on existing concrete slabs.
  • Potential for additional 12-acre industrial development.
  • Guidelines for managing prospective purchaser liability.
  • A set of additional actions to prepare the site for reuse.
 
Skeo Solutions also provided local economic development authorities with communication materials and a redevelopment framework to inform potential buyers about site reuse opportunities in advance of a foreclosure auction.

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