Vacuum Oil - South Genesee River Corridor Brownfield Opportunity Area

Project Background

The New York State Department of State’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program  provides communities with guidance, expertise and financial assistance—up to 90 percent of the total eligible project costs—to complete revitalization and implementation strategies for neighborhoods or areas affected by brownfields. The NYS BOA Program is a 3-step process that enables communities to comprehensively assess existing economic and environmental conditions associated with brownfield blight and impacted areas, identify and prioritize community supported redevelopment opportunities and attract public and private investment.

Planning for the City of Rochester Vacuum Oil - South Genesee River Brownfield Opportunity Area began in 2006 when the City of Rochester completed Step 1 of the BOA Program  which resulted in the City receiving state funding for Step 2 in 2010. During Step 2, the City worked with neighborhood stakeholders to develop a revitalization strategy for the Vaccum Oil site. The collaboration resulted in further funding in fall of 2014 for Step 3, which involves detailed planning and pre-development studies and activities.

The City received top honors and the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award from New Partners for Community Revitalization, the leading brownfields organization in the state. In addition, the Vacuum Oil Brownfield Opportunity Area was among the first of twelve BOAs designated by Governor Cuomo, making Vacuum Oil Brownfield Opportunity Area properties eligible for additional tax credit incentives to transform dormant and blighted areas into economic development projects. Read the full announcement here.

The goals of the City's participation in the NYS BOA Program are to help stimulate neighborhood investment, provide important information for potential new businesses and residents and improve access to the Genesee River waterfront. 

Step 3 – Implementation Strategy

As described above, the VOBOA program is a 3-step process. Step 3 involves several studies that will lead to a well-defined implementation strategy. The vision for the area is taken from a conceptual plan to a more detailed and "developable" plan, complete with information and tools to facilitate development.

New! The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was published on May 31, 2018. Click the links below to see the public notice and review the FEIS.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review was published on September 29, 2017 . Click the links below to see the public notice and review the impact statement.

Community Participation

 This ongoing community-based planning effort seeks to integrate ideas generated from residents, business owners and other stakeholders into the development of plan recommendations. Continued involvement and participation by the public is critical to ensuring the planning processes are successful and the final plans achieve the community’s vision.

The PLEX Neighborhood Association assisted the City of Rochester with community outreach.  Visit the PLEX website

The VOBOA planning project engages a Project Advisory Committee composed of members of the PLEX Neighborhood Association; neighborhood residents, property owners and business owners; City Council members; and government agency representatives. Step 3 PAC meeting information available here:

 Project Advisory Committee Meetings:

October 26, 2017



March 22, 2016 

Public Meetings:

Dec. 12, 2016

Nov. 7, 2016

Oct. 29, 2015 

July 22, 2015 

Brownfield Cleanup

Within the VOBOA, substantial
acreage has been accepted
into the New York State
Brownfield Cleanup Program.
For more information, click here.


We want to hear from you!

Have something to say about the project? Leave us your comments or feedback.  


If you have questions about the project or would like more information, please contact:

Dorraine Kirkmire
Manager of Planning, Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, City of Rochester
(585) 428-6698 or email her