U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer launched his two-pronged plan to begin redevelopment of the long-blighted Hudson Valley landmark known as the Glenwood Power Plant by the end of this year, potentially generating hundreds of new jobs and bringing new economic activity to this waterfront parcel for the first time in decades. Schumer fought successfully at year's end to extend the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), and urged the Department of Treasury to strongly consider an allocation for the project. The developers are pushing for over $20 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation, which will mean millions in financing for the redevelopment of this project. Schumer also urged support for the developer's application to the National Park Service for historic tax credits, which could provide a 20 percent credit to the project's investors. Both of these opportunities, if realized, could allow the project construction to begin in 2013. The redevelopment would allow for the construction of a new hotel and recreation area on the Hudson River waterfront, jumpstarting new economic activity in downtown Yonkers.
"The transformative plan to redevelop the century-old Glenwood Power Plant on Yonkers waterfront will create hundreds of jobs, boost the local economy, and honor the city's legacy, and I'm urging the federal government to get on board," said Schumer. "The Glenwood Power Plant will now have the chance it deserves to be rehabilitated into a force for good as a mixed-use convention center, with restaurants, hotels and more on Yonkers's waterfront. That is why at year's end I fought to extend the Department of Treasury's New Markets Tax Credit program, aimed at revitalizing and reinvesting in urban areas, and now I am calling on the Treasury to ensure that Yonkers gets its fair share and prioritizes this project. In addition, I'm urging the National Parks Service to support these Yonkers developers in their pursuit of the maximum historic tax credit. With these federal credits, the power plant can avoid the wrecking ball and help honor the city's legacy by spurring development along the city's waterfront and the creation of hundreds of jobs."
"Senator Schumer's commitment to secure an enhanced federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit program and to extend the New Markets Tax Credit program offers catalytic economic and community revitalization projects such as the redevelopment of the abandoned 1907 Glenwood Power Plant on the Yonkers waterfront incentives they need to attract private capital to complex projects," said Developer Lela Goren. "The redevelopment of the Power Plant -- an abandoned blight to the community for over 40 years -- will become a model for public-private partnership. These government programs have made our vision financeable, economic growth and thousands of jobs possible. With the Senator's leadership on these innovative government programs, The Power Plant, a place of historical and cultural importance that was on the verge of vanishing forever, will become a destination for culture, business and leisure on the majestic shores of the Hudson River for all New Yorkers."
"Thank you to Senator Schumer for recognizing the transformative impact the Glenwood Power Plant redevelopment will have on downtown Yonkers. These tax credits can be an integral part of the revitalization of our waterfront while providing an enormous boost to our economy. The project is a true partnership between city, state, federal and private entities and we applaud Senator Schumer for taking the lead in moving the interests of Yonkers to the forefront," said City of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.
This transformative project will use the historical structure to create a unique tourism, business and cultural icon on the Hudson River. Once complete, the Power Plant will be home to conference centers, cafes, restaurants, a courtyard atrium, exhibit hall, and a hotel. This destination will offer residents from the Hudson Valley and New York City, as well as tourists from around the world, a five-star resort to stay in while they spend time in Yonkers on business or leisure. The Conference and Exhibition Hall will allow the Power Plant to host forums, events and cultural programs. The development will also include upgraded and increased parklands and recreational opportunities, including a state of the art pier giving New York City residents and tourists a unique access point to this future development and everything downtown Yonkers has to offer. Schumer said the allocation of NMTC for the plant will support a $250 million, public-private funded redevelopment project that preserves and revamps the 270,000 square-foot Glenwood Power Plant situated on the shore of the Hudson, and is scheduled to open in 2016. This project is expected to create as many as 1,000 permanent jobs and as many as 2,000 construction jobs in the short-term.
Schumer was joined by Developer Lela Goren, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, and President of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation Mike Oates as he explained the critical importance of the New Markets Tax Credit program in cities like Yonkers, which has a rich history of industry along its waterfront. Schumer fought to extend the New Markets Tax Credit program in the year-end fiscal cliff deal, to help leverage private investment and jump-start construction efforts in communities like Yonkers. The NMTC program was established in 2000 in order to spur new or increased business investments into operating businesses and real estate projects in eligible urban communities. In exchange for investing in qualifying projects, individual investors and corporations can receive a tax credit on their federal income tax return, creating an incentive for individuals to invest. In this case, the NDC Housing and Economic Development Corporation has applied for a $100 million allocation of New Market Tax Credits, and if approved, will subsequently provide NMTC to the Glenwood Power Plant project. The credit totals 39 percent of the original investment, and is claimed over a period of seven years. Developer Lela Goren is seeking approximately $20 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation to streamline the construction process and potentially free millions more in financing.
On January 3, 2012, President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 which included an extension of the New Markets Tax Credit Program for 2012 and 2013. The tax credit allocation authority is $3.5 billion for each year. The CDFI Fund through the Department of Treasury is currently reviewing applications received under the 2012 round and plans to announce the awards in April. Schumer today urged Treasury to prioritize Yonkers' project in their selection process.
The Federal Historic Tax Credit program is offered by the National Park Service to encourage private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings. Through its income tax credits, the NPS has leveraged over $62 billion in private investment to preserve 38,000 historic properties since 1976. Under its 20 percent tax credit, the NPS approves approximately 1000 projects and leverages nearly $4 billion annually in private investment each year. For an application to qualify, a building must be recognized by the Secretary of the Interior as a "certified historic structure" and reviewed to ensure that it complies with the Secretary's Standards for Rehabilitation. This week, the developers for the Glenwood Power Plant redevelopment project will submit their application to NPS in order to qualify for the maximum 20 percent tax credit, rather than the 10 percent credit.
The Glenwood Power Plant was constructed between 1904 and 1906 as part of the New York Central Railroad's initial push to replace its steam engines through electrified rail lines. While it served in this capacity for thirty years, NYCR sold the power station to Con Edison in 1936 when it became more cost-effective for the company to purchase electricity rather than manufacture it internally. Under new management, Glenwood functioned for another thirty years as a generator powering the surrounding community. The station was finally shuttered in 1968 when Con Edison implemented new technologies that rendered Glenwood's aging turbines obsolete. Since then, the building has stood idle and vacant. Despite some initial plans to demolish the building in the years that followed, the Preservation League of New York State recognized Glenwood's lasting architectural value and selected it as one of the League's "Seven to Save" properties in 2008. After a subsequent study confirmed that much of the building can be reused and its iconic smokestacks kept intact, much of the Yonkers community has rallied around the $200 million construction project intended to transform the building and revitalize the waterfront.
A copy of Sen. Schumer's letter appears below:
Dear Secretary Geithner,
I write today to issue my support and urge your approval of an application for $100 million allocation of New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) submitted by NDC Housing and Economic Development Corporation (HEDC New Markets, Inc.). As you know, I strongly supported the extension of the NMTC program in the recently passed Taxpayer Protection Act of 2012. As you continue your review of applications for this year's allocation of $3.5 billion in credits, I would strongly urge you to consider this worthy application.
Specifically, if awarded, these credits will support the Glenwood Power Plant Redevelopment Project in Yonkers, NY. The Plant redevelopment is a $250 million, privately funded redevelopment project that preserves and readapts the 270,000 square foot Glenwood Power Plant situated on the shore of the Hudson River right next to the Glenwood Metro North train stop in Yonkers, NY. Abandoned in the 1970's and long a blight on the community, the Plant redevelopment project will be a state-of-the-art event and hospitality space housed within a revitalized historic structure that will add 100 hotel rooms and other recreational amenities to an underserved area, all overlooking the magnificent Palisades along the region's most majestic river. Most importantly, the project will bring to a distressed area as many as 1,000 permanent jobs, and 2,000 construction jobs.
Again, I would urge you to consider this project as the type of transformative effort consistent with the mission of the NMTC program. I appreciate your attention to this request.