About Sparks

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Auburn Sparks is a community-driven effort to revitalize the City’s downtown core and Owasco River corridor. This revitalization effort is being funded through the New York State Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program, which helps communities idenitfy end uses and solutions for the vacant and underutilized sites in their neighborhoods.

The purpose of this study is to develop a comprehensive framework for the Downtown/Owasco River Corridor study area that considers the community’s strong industrial history centered on Route 20 and the Owasco River.  This area-wide revitalization plan will provide a framework for redevelopment initiatives that improve the economy and quality of life for residents and businesses.

The Study Area

Check out the following statistics about the study area and download a map below

How large is the Auburn Sparks study area?


The study are encompasses approximately 573 acres in downtown Auburn and along the Owasco River Corridor.

How many parcels are located in the Auburn Sparks study area?


There are approximately 1,200 parcels in the study area, averaging 1/2-acre in size.

How many people live in the Auburn Sparks study area?


There are just over 5,100 people living in the Auburn Sparks study area.

The BOA Program

Auburn Sparks is funded through the New York State BOA Program

The State of New York created the three-step Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program in 2003 as the planning component of the NYS Superfund/Brownfield Law (GML Article 18-C, Section 970-r). The purpose of the program is to provide financial and technical assistance to municipalities and community-based organizations for area-wide revitalization strategies impacted by the presence of brownfields and environmental hazards.

Communities that complete the program become a designated BOA, which increases their competitive position for access to funding and incentives under the DEC Brownfield Cleanup Program, the Empire State Development Corporation’s economic development programs, and many other State and Federal assistance opportunities.

Other state and federal programs can work in conjunction with the BOA program, including the DEC Environmental Restoration Program, the DEC Brownfield Cleanup Program, and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Program. These programs focus on physical investigations and activities, which further help local municipalities deal with brownfield properties and their impacts.

Step 1 consists of a preliminary analysis of the community and potential brownfield sites, the identification of the study area, the establishment of partnerships with key stakeholders, the initiation of the public participation process, and an initial identification and summary of opportunities for revitalization. This step sets the stage for more detailed analyses conducted as part of Step 2.

The City of Auburn completed a Step 1 Pre-Nomination Study in XXXX.

Step 2 consists of comprehensive analysis of the study area and individual brownfield sites, an analysis of economic and market trends used to assist in strategy development, and the development of specific recommendations for the revitalization of strategic sites.

Auburn Sparks is a Step 2 Nomination Study.

Step 3 funds the development of detailed individual site assessments, as necessary, to determine site-specific remediation strategies and needs, the creation of a detailed reuse and redevelopment strategy for strategic sites, and the development of a marketing strategy for individual redevelopment sites in the Study Area.

BOA Project Team

Information about the Project Team can be found in the sections below

Project Advisory Committee

The Project Advisory Committee (PAC) is charged with providing feedback and guidance for the overall revitalization vision and recommendations. The purpose of PAC meetings are to present, discuss, and receive feedback on project specifics, as well as to discuss and resolve comments resulting from review of project documents, advisory agency review, and coordination with other agencies. This group includes key stakeholders, community members, and agency staff.


Bergmann Associates

With more than 20 successful NYSDOS BOA Program projects statewide, Bergmann offers in-depth knowledge of how the BOA Program can be customized to each community’s needs. In-house capabilities directly related to this project include urban planning, hydrology and hydropower design, community outreach, brownfield remediation and landscape architecture.

Camoin Associates

Camoin Associates is a recognized leader in market analysis, government efficiency evaluations, special project financing and fiscal impact assessment, will lead all macro and micro level market analysis efforts for the project.

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