Consultants to help formulate plan for Rome site

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A group of consultants — the Counselors of Real Estate’s CRE Consulting Corps — is coming to Rome next week to assess and provide its expertise on the redevelopment of the former Rome Cable Complex Four site.

Through a partnership with the Center for Creative Land Recycling and with support from the CRE Foundation, the Consulting Corps will assist Rome Industrial Development Corp, Rome Brownfields Restoration Corporation, and Mohawk Valley EDGE by bringing its unbiased, objective perspective to identify priority investments to facilitate development, maximize the site, inform marketing and positioning, and prepare the site to go to market, an announcement on Thursday said.

The team will present action-oriented guidance as well as a critical path to implementation for this piece of Rome history, the announcement said, adding the consultants will be in Rome Sunday through Wednesday and will be setting up meetings with priority stakeholders.

The Counselors of Real Estate is an international non-profit organization which includes principals of prominent real estate, financial, legal and accounting firms, as well as developers, economists, futurists and ranking leaders of Wall Street and academia. The group coming to Rome includes: Attorney Graham Grady, Taft, Stettinus & Holister LLP; Michael P. Hedden, Integra Realty Resources; R. J. Neary, Investors Omaha; Christina H. Thoreson, Realcounsel.net; Maribel Koella, NAI Koella | RM Moore; and P. Barton Delacy, Cushman & Wakefield.

The Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to building local capacity for sustainable and equitable land reuse. It works directly with communities to transform underutilized and environmentally-impacted contaminated properties into community assets.

Rome was awarded a $10 million grant from New York in 2017 as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The city identified five strategic city-owned sites within a 180-acre target redevelopment area in the urban core to catalyze investment and revitalize downtown, including the former Rome Cable site.

For more than 60 years, Rome Cable Corporation designed, manufactured and supplied wire and cable products for industrial, utility, commercial, original equipment manufacturers, fire alarm, security, traffic control and mining markets. The company closed its doors and liquidated all assets in 2003. In the years that followed, cleanup investigation included surveys and sampling of air, soil, and water. These analyses found contamination from solvents, degreasers, and oils, including groundwater contamination, asbestos-containing debris and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), and the volatile organic compound (VOC) in soil above applicable standards, criteria, and guidance.

Designated a Superfund site, the $13 million cleanup has been completed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The site is the epicenter of the Erie Boulevard Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA), and Rome recently passed a PILOT Increment Financing (PIF) District, providing a development incentive.

Mohawk Valley EDGE has identified the following sectors as targets for the site such as advanced manufacturing, agribusiness/craft food and beverage, aviation, IT, and nanotechnology.

Approximately 10 to 15 acres of the 40-acre former Rome Cable site are developable, officials said, and the remainder is wetlands and would likely be dedicated open or recreational space.

Demolition and remediation are complete, officials said, adding the site is ready for development. The area is zoned industrial, and the site is covered under a 25-year PILOT Increment Financing incentive. It is now a Class 4 site with some limiting, but not prohibitive, deed restrictions.

The site has approximately 10 acres of corner frontage with city infrastructure such as water, sewer, gas, electric, telecom. There is an 80,000 square foot concrete slab/foundation that was the former factory floor. An application to USDA is requesting funds for engineering and geotechnical studies to determine foundation design requirements and constructability to analyze the concrete slab.

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