Equity, Sustainability and Resilience

Environmental Justice and Equitable Reinvestment

Partnership Building Opens the Door to Economic Repositioning – Massena, New York

Situation

The 270-acre General Motors (GM) Massena Plant once provided 2,000 jobs in upstate New York. Since the facility’s closure in 2009, the local community and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe have sought to identify a future use for the site that will replace the jobs and lost tax base. EPA has been working with the GM Massena Redevelopment Task Force for several years to seek common ground among diverse local reuse interests and to identify potential redevelopment opportunities.

Solution

Skeo facilitated discussions among EPA Region 2, Motors Liquidation Company and the Task Force to develop a reuse framework. It outlines several redevelopment scenarios based on regional market opportunities. The framework includes a phased approach to redevelopment that identifies immediate opportunities for parts of the site. We also convened an economic sectors roundtable, bringing the community together with experts in forest product development, technology innovation, supply-chain cluster development and tourism.

Outcomes

The project provided EPA with tools and a process for coordinating cleanup activities with community redevelopment goals. The site owner and the Task Force now have a redevelopment framework that can inform market research, support near-term redevelopment opportunities and target emerging industry sectors. The framework also made it possible for St. Lawrence County to secure a Brownfield Opportunity Area grant from the New York State Department of State. The grant is funding a Brownfield Opportunity Area Revitalization Plan for the site and adjacent properties. Since 2015, Skeo has led the Massena BOA consulting team. Current efforts are focused on building a coalition of partners and a unified development approach.

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“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt