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Governor Andrew Cuomo announced early in his term that he'd be creating a set of "regional economic councils" to build plans for funding economic development across New York, from the ground up.In the summer of 2011 he finally announced some of the details of the program, to be led by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy. The ten councils each have dozens of members, and are charged with gathering input from the public and business leaders, and creating a plan by November 14. Those plans will be pitted against each other for a pot of $1 billion in grants, incentives, and tax relief from various state agencies. The winners will get more funding, the losers will get less.But other details - like whether funding will be available past the initial term, and who will serve on the board that decides who wins and who loses - have not been released.The Innovation Trail is looking for your feedback about what your regional economic priorities are, and what you want your community to look like once the councils have completed their task.

Regional Economic Development Council awards for 2013


Economic development awards totaling nearly $716 million were announced at an event in Albany Wednesday. The figure is down slightly from $738 million awarded in 2012. It's the third year for the allocation of regional economic development funding under the Cuomo administration. 

The awards format, with it's 'we're all winners' mantra was predictably upbeat and slick. The event kicked off with a light-hearted, and uncharacteristically moderate, video appearance by comedian Lewis Black.

While Cuomo highlighted the deliberate emphasis on upstate regions in the way the funding panned out, the exception was Superstorm Sandy-ravaged Long Island which received the highest amount of $83 million.

Nanotech, large-scale real estate development, education and traditional manufacturing sectors were common themes across the successful bids.

In his written release, Governor Cuomo said:

These efforts have allowed the Regional Councils for the last three years to pursue economic development projects on the ground all across the state, from creating new technologies and supporting innovation to building hospitals and tourism destinations that will further our economic growth. The Regional Councils were empowered to change the face of economic development in their communities and they have accomplished just that.

Below is a summary of the award amounts sourced from the Governor's office.

Western New York: Regional Council Awardee– $60.8 million

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:

· $1,000,000 to SUNY Buffalo to expand its high performance computing and data analytics center located at the Buffalo Niagara campus to provide regional industry and organizations with on-demand, immediate access to advanced computing and storage infrastructure.
· $1,000,000 to the Town of Lockport to revitalize a long vacant commercial shopping center into a new mixed use development, including a planned two-pad hockey arena with retail support services.
· $1,000,000 to Chautauqua County for modernizing water infrastructure to help industrial businesses improve efficiency.
· $500,000 to Alfred State College to create a highly energy efficient facility to train students in state-of-the-art sustainable manufacturing techniques.
· $250,000 to TAM Ceramics to expand manufacturing operations in Niagara Falls.

Finger Lakes: Regional Council Awardee – $59.8 million

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:

· $1,500,000 to the Canandaigua Lakefront Redevelopment Project to transform a blighted, Brownfield site into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood that will promote sustainable development and state smart growth strategies.
· $1,000,000 to RIT to establish the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (CUE) in a historic downtown Rochester facility. CUE will build wealth within the urban community as a hub for entrepreneurial programs and research, as well as provide educational components to support the entrepreneurship program and academic spaces for RIT programs.
· $1,000,000 to Hobart & William Smith Colleges to assist in the construction of a new Performing Arts Center to accommodate the academic and co-curricular needs of the Colleges.
· $100,000 to Monroe County Community College to establish a certification program that will provide advanced training for precision manufacturing companies in Monroe County. The project responds to the advanced manufacturing industry’s immediate need for skilled workers, with low-income displaced workers and military veterans in the nine-county region being eligible to apply for the program.

Southern Tier: Top Performer Awardee– $81.9 million

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:

· $3,500,000 to the Community Revitalization Fund to provide gap financing to encourage private investments in downtowns and Main Streets, and development of the region's neighborhoods and rural population centers.
· $2,250,000 to Elmira College to create a Health Care Training Center, including renovations to Cowles Hall to house the Nursing, Speech and Hearing programs and to provide space for new healthcare programs. The project will result in job creation and allow for increased nursing enrollment.
· $1,500,000 to the Corning Museum of Glass to expand operations and enhance visitor experience. The New Entrance will be an indoor/outdoor reception area designed to welcome and serve the needs of visitors, including new amenities, restrooms, and entrances to the new glassblowing facility.
· $1,300,000 to the Town of Margaretville for assistance in the construction of a new hotel at the site of the already existing Margaretville Motel as part of the Margaretville Lodging, LLC Business Expansion Plan.
· $850,000 to Delaware County to reinvest in the long dormant manufacturing facility. The Delaware County IDA will undertake a project to acquire and renovate the former Wissahickon water bottling facility for the purpose of developing a shovel-ready, turn-key light manufacturing facility in order to attract new private sector investment and job creation.

Central New York: Regional Council Awardee– $66.9 million

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:

· $2,800,000 in grants to convert the long vacant NYNEX building into a mixed use facility that will include apartments, office space, and retail.
· $1,300,000 to continue development of the Syracuse Inner Harbor, including relocating the historic freight house and removing three abandoned storage buildings, and constructing a 170,000 square foot mixed-use commercial/residential building.
· $750,000 to continue infrastructure investments at the Central New York Raceway, including environmental studies, wetland mitigation, and access to I-81 in support of a major tourism destination complex for motorsports and other events.
· $500,000 to purchase and renovate the currently vacant Harriet Tubman Residential Center in Auburn to create an integrated healthcare, sports and wellness campus. This state-of-the-art, world-class medical, health and wellness and research facility will serve as the anchor to the integrated campus, and there will also be an indoor recreational, athletic and rehabilitation facility, several outdoor multipurpose sports fields, nature trails and picnic areas.

Mohawk Valley: Top Performer Awardee – $82.4 million

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:

· $5,000,000 for the City of Utica’s Harbor Point project, a new mixed use development proposed along the Mohawk River. The Utica Harbor is envisioned to both celebrate its past but also drive a new economic engine accommodating private investments, including commercial, retail, and mixed uses, food/restaurant establishments, and entertainment venues.
· $3,250,000 to continue development of the Marcy Nanocenter project by supporting required improvements to the project site, including clearing, grubbing, grading and earthwork activities, wetland mitigation, storm drainage, interior access roads, and site development activities to support construction at Marcy Nanocenter for 300/450 mm scale semiconductor manufacturing plants.
· $3,100,000 to establish the Center for 21st Century Workforce Education & Innovation (C-21), a new workforce development and training center at the SUNYIT campus located within Quad-C at SUNYIT. C-21 will establish an integrated high-tech learning facility for workforce training/retraining targeting careers in advanced nanoelectronics packaging and assembly; construction trades for nanoelectronics/nanofabrication; and maintenance for high-tech manufacturing.
· $2,345,000 to the Mohawk Valley Community Investment Fund – a regional grant and revolving loan fund to support community revitalization as well as business retention and expansion projects throughout the six-county region.
· $180,000 to create an agricultural products hub at the Corbin Hill rural farm. The Corbin Hill Food Project will build a permanent facility for the aggregation of locally grown produce to serve the growing needs of the customers of this innovative community supported agriculture program.

North Country: Top Performer Awardee – $81.3 million

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:

· $6,000,000 for infrastructure improvements to components of broadband to expand high speed, affordable service across the North Country region.
· $5,000,000 to revitalize the Hotel Saranac, creating a full-service hotel to spur year-round tourism.
· $2,100,000 to continue the redevelopment of the former Mercy Hospital in downtown Watertown and transform the site into a mixed use development with commercial, business and residential uses.
· $2,000,000 to construct a new resort and waterfront restaurant at the former Lake Flower Hotel, and leverage private investment to diversify the region’s tourism/recreation based communities.
· $250,000 to support Phase 2 of the Wild Walk at the Wild Center located in Tupper Lake, which includes the construction of activities and permanent outdoor exhibits.

Capital Region: Top Performer Awardee – $82.8 million

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:

· $5,000,000 to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) to support continued growth. CNSE will establish a Digital Data Open-Innovation Training Center (DO-IT Center) for workforce training, a SMWBE Business Enterprises business center for software development, a data operations center, and a smart city operations training & development lab.
· $5,000,000 to redevelop the former ALCO site in downtown Schenectady into an economically vibrant, mixed-use waterfront community that is expected to support significant job creation and will attract and retain young professionals and families to the region.
· $2,500,000 to support the revitalization of Park South in the City of Albany. The project includes construction of a mixed use and medical offices building, housing units, and a parking garage in collaboration with Albany Medical Center.
· $1,000,000 for mixed use redevelopment in downtown Troy that includes renovation of a 35-unit building, the construction of a modern walkway on the Hudson River, rehab parking and infrastructure.
· $100,000 to NYSARC Inc, Warren, Washington and Albany Counties Chapter to fit up a distribution center and to provide training of staff and consumers at two locations in Warren County and Albany County.


Mid-Hudson: Regional Council Awardee – $59.6 million

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:

· $1,500,000 for the Kingston Connectivity Project to make necessary infrastructure improvements to enhance the community’s quality of life. The Kingston Connectivity Project will create a more livable, vibrant community with the implementation of a rail trail network that will be designed and constructed to provide safe, universally accessible alternatives for bicyclists, pedestrians and other non-motorized means. The project will reduce fossil fuel emissions, encourage physical activity, and reduce traffic congestion.
· $1,000,000 to construct a new biomass plant in Orange County. The project includes building a large-scale waste-to-energy facility that will generate clean energy, using a renewable and unlimited feedstock, with minimal emissions. The facility will generate 24 Mw (21Mw net) of clean electric power.
· $1,000,000 to establish a national center for additive manufacturing (3-D printing) at SUNY New Paltz. SUNY New Paltz has built a strong foundation for serving as the future hub for this visionary and remarkably promising technology, and this support will help provide the University with state-of-the-art 3D printing equipment and the physical plant necessary to fully implement its vision.
· $500,000 to support infrastructure improvements at Castagna Commerce Park – a planned mixed use multi-phased development that will consist of 167,000 square feet of medical office and office space, 200,000 square feet of retail space, and 400 units of senior housing and assisted living facilities.
· $1,000,000 to fund a multimodal transportation center in the City of White Plains. The White Plains Multimodal Transportation Center Redevelopment Project will provide an enhanced multi-modal transportation center that serves all modes of travel and maximizes the economic development potential of the area. The project will also create a welcoming new place that will transform the station area and provide an attractive and functional gateway that contributes to a vibrant downtown core.

New York City: Regional Council Awardee – $57.4 million

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:

· $3,500,000 to support infrastructure improvements near the St. George’s Ferry Terminal to encourage new mixed use development. The project will consist of the construction of a multi-purpose retail outlet center, hotel, restaurants, event space, parking, and state-of-the-art outdoor features – e.g. green roofs, waterfront plazas and esplanade.
· $1,500,000 for construction improvements at Lighthouse Point. The project will consist of the construction of waterfront esplanade including retail shops, restaurants, a hotel, and nearly 100 residential units housed in historic buildings along a waterfront esplanade.
· $500,000 to the New York Botanical Gardens for program expansion and improved accessibility for visitors and residents of surrounding communities. The East Gate Visitor Accessibility and Green Zone Project will directly expand the Garden’s ability to serve audiences and provide programming throughout the year, in addition to improving access to and from surrounding communities and to visitors from all parts of the city via two MTA subway lines and bus lines.
· $225,000 to the Alliance for Coney Island, for improvements to the tourism initiative “The One and Only Coney”. The campaign aims to draw tourists by marketing and expanding seasonal events and programs that will reintroduce Coney Island as America’s Playground, furthering the appeal of Coney Island as a tourism destination.
· $250,000 to establish the Queens Tech Incubator at the Schutzman Center for Entrepreneurship at Queens College. The Queens Tech will be an anchor for tech innovation, job creation, community building, and economic development. The incubator will provide workspace for tech entrepreneurs and startups, offer education and events to build the tech workforce, and support emerging companies through business services.

Long Island: Top Performer Awardee – $83 million

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:

· $2,000,000 to Stony Brook University to build a new Innovation and Discovery Facility designed to enhance the business recruitment power of START-UP NY and stimulate a public-private partnership for building construction.
· $2,000,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) to renovate a facility and establish a Therapeutics Discovery Center, which will greatly accelerate translational research efforts at CSHL aimed at developing new therapeutics and diagnostics for cancer and neurological disorders.
· $2,000,000 to support high performance computing investments at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) as well as Hofstra University. Hofstra will create a Robotics Laboratory in the School of Engineering to support expanded enrollment, workforce demand, and burgeoning technologies including artificial intelligence, robotics and 3-D and 4-D printing, while BNL will acquire new high performance computing equipment for the benefit of scientific and industrial users across the region and state.
· $1,340,000 for infrastructure improvements at Enterprise Park in Calverton (EPCAL). The upgrade of the Calverton sewage treatment plant from secondary to tertiary treatment will provide both economic development and environmental benefits to this regionally significant project site with immediate potential for job creation benefits.
· $1,000,000 for continued infrastructure improvements at Wyandanch Rising, which is a comprehensive, community-based revitalization initiative transforming the most economically distressed community on Long Island into a model for community and economic revival, social and environmental justice, planning and design and public-private collaboration.