A long vacant property at 105 Metropolitan Avenue is about to get a new tenant, with help from the City’s Brownfield Cleanup Program. Next summer, the former residential site, which was demolished in 1986, will become the headquarters for ayton Performance, a consulting firm, specializing in race car engine electronics.
Brownfields are sites previously used for industrial or commercial uses that have incurred mild environmental damage. Although 105 Metropolitan was residential, the property received the designation due to the presence of a historic underground storage tank located within 400 feet of the site. The tank, it is believed, was used by a gas station.
At a press conference on Monday, August 20th, to introduce the site’s new tenants, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the City’s Brownfield Program had approved its 50th cleanup since its 2011 inception. By returning these contaminated properties to usable states, the city expects to add approximately 4.8 million square feet of new development, including 966 units of affordable housing and more than 2,000 permanent jobs.
Bloomberg also announced the extension of a collaborative agreement with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), through 2016, giving developers liability protection from the state, for cleanups completed through the program. The city and state believe this protection will incentivize developers to invest in the cleanup and development of properties with environmental issues.
“The City’s Brownfield Cleanup Program is creating new opportunities for businesses to take advantage of prime real estate across the city,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, at Monday’s press conference. “They say ‘you can’t make more land,’ but in New York City we’re proving them wrong.”
ayton CEO and native New Yorker, Ethan Bregman, was thrilled to acquire space in his hometown, rather than Detroit, Indianapolis or another auto racing hub. “Here in Williamsburg, I can prove that New York is not only Wall Street, but also [a place that gives us] the ability to follow our hearts, and to use our minds and hands to create physical, technological wonders that can go on to compete and win on the world stage,” he declared. “Here in Williamsburg, I’m surrounded by [like-minded] people and can interact with them every day.” Bregman made it a point that he plans to give back to the community, with Automotive High School tops on his agenda.
Cleanup at 105 Metropolitan is expected to be completed by the end of the summer. Construction of the ayton facility should last around a year, after which ayton will move into its new home, to continue work on its project consulting on Honda’s IndyCar engine. The new facility will bring eight new jobs, including three permanent high-tech positions, to the previously unused site.
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