Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo News Release: Governor Cuomo Announces More Than $2 Billion in Economic Development Resources Awarded Through Upstate Revitalization Initiative And Regional Economic Development Council Competition

Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo News Release: Governor Cuomo Announces More Than $2 Billion in Economic Development Resources Awarded Through Upstate Revitalization Initiative And Regional Economic Development Council Competition

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 15:36
News Releases
SUNY Poly News Logo
For Immediate Release: 12/10/2015
Governor Andrew Cuomo


Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Central New York Regions Awarded $500 Million Each to Help Transform Local Economies

Seven Regions Receive Largest Average Regional Awards in REDC Initiative’s History

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $2.25 billion in economic and community development funding has been awarded through Round V of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The Governor also announced that the four Upstate regions not selected as “URI Best Plan Awardees” will receive an additional $50 million to fund priority projects and further implement the regions’ strategic plans for economic growth. 

Governor Cuomo said: “Over the past five years, the Regional Councils have become an integral part of generating economic opportunity in communities statewide. By removing barriers to growth, controlling spending and cutting taxes, we have laid the groundwork for our Regional Councils to pursue projects in key industries that have turned their communities into local economic engines. This year’s round of awards demonstrates the progress that has been made in changing the trajectory of our economy and continues our commitment to investing in the future of New York State.”

A centerpiece of the Governor's strategy to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, the Regional Councils were established in 2011 to transform the State's approach to economic development from a top-down model to one that is community-based and performance-driven. The initiative empowers community, business, and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of New York State, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region's unique strengths and resources in order to create jobs, improve quality of life and grow the economy. 

This year, the 10 Regional Councils once again competed for funding and assistance from up to $750 million in state economic development resources as part of Round V of the REDC competition. Additionally, the Governor established a new competition in 2015 – the Upstate Revitalization Initiative – to award a total of $1.5 billion to three regions, which will help to transform local economies by providing $500 million over the next five years to support projects and strategies that create jobs, strengthen and diversify economies, and generate economic opportunity within the region. Of the state’s 10 regions, seven were eligible for the URI competition: Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital District, and Mid-Hudson.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils, said:"Having traveled to every corner of the State over the past year, I have watched how Regional Councils have helped communities put their best ideas into action. Economic development is more than just dollars and cents – it's about restoring hope and optimism to communities yearning for a brighter future. This year, there are no 'losers' – non-winning regions this year will receive more funding than top performing regions last year. Governor Cuomo's REDC awards, along with the $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative, will produce new investment, new jobs and new opportunities for all New Yorkers."

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said: “We all recognize that we must do everything possible to focus on job growth so that our children can have bright futures living, working, and raising their families in New York State. The Senate is proud to continue partnering with the Regional Councils in the successful projects that are moving our economy forward, generating new jobs, and creating better opportunities for all New Yorkers.”

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle said: “Thanks to the continued faith and commitment of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the tireless efforts of my colleagues on the Regional Council we have secured what is arguably one of the most important economic investments in our region’s history. The unprecedented funding made available through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative will significantly bolster our efforts to secure a brighter economic future for Rochester and all of the Finger Lakes Region by creating thousands of new jobs and potentially leveraging billions in new investments. 

Since 2011, the Regional Council process has awarded nearly $3 billion to more than 3,100 job creation and community development projects across the state, supporting the creation or retention of more than 150,000 jobs. 

On April 30, 2015, Governor Cuomo launched REDC Round V and the URI competition, and introduced several new components to the Regional Council initiative, including the selection of a regional industry cluster to focus on strengthening and growing. This year’s REDC competition focused on workforce development, furthering regional Global NY strategies, implementing strategic plans, identifying regional industry clusters, and keeping the project pipeline full, among other ongoing state priorities and regional initiatives. Together with the significant impact the URI funding will have on Upstate, the new components added to the Regional Councils will help keep New York at the forefront of the global economy, increase economic opportunities for New Yorkers, and strengthen and diversify regional economics.

After the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) period closed on July 31, members of the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT), which is composed of State agency commissioners and policy experts, traveled to each of the 10 regions to see firsthand the REDCs progress implementing the strategies and goals outlined in their plans. Then, in late October, members from the 10 Regional Councils traveled to Albany to make in-person presentations of their proposals directly to the SIAT, which reviews the progress being made on projects that have previously received state funding, assesses the regions’ strategic plan implementations and proposals for funding this year, and provides recommendations for the regional awards in 2015.

Highlights of the three URI “Best Plan Awardees” and the 1,062 projects across the state receiving $1 billion in awards through the fifth round of the REDC competition and URI are outlined below:

Upstate Revitalization Initiative: Best Plan Awardees ($500 million over five years)

Central New York: $122.4 million supporting 93 projects and URI strategies Building upon the region’s strong performance in past rounds of the REDC competition and major projects like Soraa, an industry leader in ultra-high performance lighting and LED technologies, relocating its global manufacturing and research and development operations to Onondaga County, the Central New York URI Plan is rooted in the region’s natural, business and academic advantages and is focused on strategic initiatives with regional, national and international corporate partners that will lead to thousands of new jobs, billions in capital investments and a lasting legacy for the region of an inclusive economic revival. The strategic initiatives in Central New York’s plan include: Global Center for Unmanned Systems and Cross-Connected Platforms, New York-Grown, New York-Certified—Safe and Market-Ready, Global Manufacturing and Logistics Hub, National Veterans Resource Complex, and a Consensus Commission on Government Modernization.

Top projects this year include:

Veterans Resource Complex at Syracuse University – $2,000,000  As part of Syracuse University’s overall Master Plan and its Veteran’s initiative, the University will undertake the complete renovation of a building currently located at 111 Waverly Avenue and transform it into a state-of-the-art, multi-use facility that will serve as the enduring home of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

Inns of Aurora LLC – $1,500,000 The Inns of Aurora expansion is multi-faceted and includes the construction of a 10,000 square-foot high quality spa in a restored mansion in the Village of Aurora, and a new 15,000 square-foot event center to be located on current farmland with a commanding view of Cayuga Lake. This project will create full-time jobs and is critical to the preservation of 135 existing jobs.

Felix Schoeller North America, Inc. – $1,200,000 Felix Schoeller will purchase and install a Silicone Coating production line in its Pulaski, Oswego County facility, enabling the company to shift manufacturing from a foreign location to Central New York. The total private investment in equipment and infrastructure will be approximately $8.5 million.

Finger Lakes: $120.1 million supporting 134 projects and URI strategies Recent investments through the Regional Council initiative have helped to build upon the region’s strengths and create 25,000 new jobs since 2011. Looking to the future, the Rochester area was recently selected as the site for a national Institute for Manufacturing Innovation focusing on field of integrated photonics, for which the State has committed $250 million in support. The Finger Lakes Region’s URI plan consists of three industry clusters, or pillars, that will act as the core drivers of job and output growth: Optics, Photonics, and Imaging; Agriculture and Food Production, and Next Generation Manufacturing and Technology.

Top projects this year include:

Sibley Building Phase II – $3,500,000 This $65 million project represents the second phase portion of a comprehensive, $200 million redevelopment strategy for the 1.1 million square-foot historic Sibley department store building in downtown Rochester, across from the new transit center. Phase II will include the development of 96 market rate and middle-income apartment units, 34,000 square-feet of Class A office space, 10,000 square-feet of retail space, retail pushcarts, an urban farmers market, and 150 underground parking spaces.

University of Rochester Goergen Institute for Data Science – $1,000,000 The University of Rochester adopted data science as its top priority in its 2013-2018 Strategic Plan and announced a $50 million effort - in addition to $50 million in previous investments - to create an internationally distinguished Institute for Data Science. The University seeks to leverage $25 million in private support already raised to construct a new 60,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that will be the academic home for the New York State Center of Excellence in Data Science and build upon existing University infrastructure and strengths, such as the Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation. 

Energy Storage Ecosystem Resources – Safety Testing and Cylindrical Cell Prototyping – $2,000,000 This project entails fitting up space at Eastman Business Park, including the purchase and installation of equipment required to perform safety testing and certification for energy storage devices at the BEST Test Commercialization Center (BTCC) and to provide cylindrical cell prototyping capabilities at the Battery Prototyping Center on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology. The proposed expansion to the BTCC includes modifications to facilities to fit up an additional 4,000 square-feet of specialized laboratory space and additional equipment that will allow for safety testing for individual cells and battery packs. 

Southern Tier: $117 million supporting 100 projects and URI strategies The Southern Tier’s URI Plan will leverage more than $2.5 billion in private investment, create more than 10,200 jobs and have an overall economic impact of $3.4 billion over the next five years. The region’s plan focuses on four key initiatives: Building the Greater Binghamton Innovation Ecosystem, Investing in the Advanced Manufacturing Industry, Transforming the Food and Agriculture Industry, and Promoting the Southern Tier’s Innovative Culture.

Top projects this year include:

Corning Health Education Complex (Corning) – $3,500,000 The Community Health and Education Complex will create a sustainable community project, which will include an 85-unit market rate residential development to help attract a vibrant workforce to support innovation within the City of Corning's urban core. The $18.2 million project will also provide a 21,000 square-foot workforce development complex operated by Corning Community College, providing state-of-the-art nursing and health care occupation training that will reinvent health care education in the 21st century.

7 Hawley Street Redevelopment (Binghamton) – $3,450,000 A mixed-use parking, residential, retail and commercial facility, 7 Hawley is the first phase in one of Binghamton’s downtown revitalization initiatives that includes the redevelopment of the Collier garage into Collier Street Commons: A 300,000 square-foot anchor facility that will provide additional parking, market-rate apartments and ground-level retail and commercial units.

48 Corliss Avenue at the Southern Tier Health Sciences and Technology Innovation Park (Binghamton) – $2,000,000 The Binghamton University Foundation is acquiring 48 Corliss Avenue, located in the Village’s urban core -- a designated Brownfield Opportunity Area – and plans to renovate an existing 100-year-old historic, 93,000 square-foot building to be the central anchor of the new Southern Tier Health Sciences and Technology Innovation Park. It is expected that the Park will create more than 150 direct and more than 200 indirect jobs within five years of opening. It will also be the confluence of more than 1,000 students.

Round V Regional Economic Development Council Awards

Mohawk Valley: Top Performer Awardee | $100.3 million supporting 92 projects The Mohawk Valley is moving in the right direction with major initiatives Nano Utica taking off after securing semiconductor manufacturer AMS as an anchor tenant, as well as General Electric, and industry leaders like FAGE expanding within the region. The Mohawk Valley’s URI Plan, which is a result of months of focus groups, targeted engagement, expansive outreach, analysis and cultivation of concentrated strategies, builds upon the region’s strengths and is committed to channeling future investments to three core industries: STEM Intensive Industries, Agribusiness, and Tourism. 

Top projects this year include:

Innovation Network for Technology Convergence Facility and Workforce Innovation Center – $6,100,000 This project consists of the construction of a 100,000 square-foot nano-cyber Innovation Accelerator Center on an eight-acre green-field parcel adjacent to SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Marcy to extend SUNY Poly’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem by creating an integrated research, development, prototyping, and educational training center. An education and training center will be established known as the Workforce Innovation Center for advanced manufacturing in semiconductor, PV, MEMS, mixed signal, IT, and power electronics.

The Global Village at Fulton Montgomery Community College – $3,725,000 The Global Village will create a “College Town” that will include student housing at Fulton Montgomery Community College, housing for "young professionals" and independent senior living. It will offer retail space along with venues for social interaction including coffee shops, a variety of restaurants with varied cuisine, and space to plan small concerts and events – creating a “College Town” atmosphere on campus. 

Griffiss UAS Technology Center – $2,860,000 This project will install Saab Sensis Corporation Wide Area Multi-lateration Surveillance SR-3 Airport Surface Radar and SRC, Inc. LSTAR (V3) Air Surveillance Radar at the FAA-designated Griffiss International Airport test range and to the north in Lowville area. The project will give the FAA New York UAS Test Site the potential to lead development of a Detect and Avoid system for safe UAS operations in national airspace.

Long Island: Top Performer Awardee | $98.3 million supporting 121 projects Long Island’s plan focuses on several key initiatives for regional growth, and identifies and supports industry clusters, especially biotechnology. The strategies outlined in the plan create cohesive education and workforce training strategies, and also seeks to reinvigorate Long Island’s manufacturing sector and produce a new generation of sustainable, well-paying jobs. There is a strong focus on revitalizing Long Island’s poorest communities by targeting the region’s collective resources on new community driven initiatives that will create jobs, new homes and new businesses, and ensures all communities are full participants in the region’s economic growth.

Top projects this year include:

Winthrop University Hospital Research Center Expansion – $1,600,000 This project will increase the success and impact of biomedical research related to the causes and consequences of diabetes and obesity at the newly-built Research Center. There is a critical need for patients willing to participate in research in order to bring the latest discoveries into clinical use. 

Nassau Hub Site Improvements and Connectivity Enhancements – $3,000,000 This funding will support the ongoing redevelopment of the Nassau Hub, and more particularly, redevelopment of the Nassau Coliseum property. These needed improvements will not only facilitate the planned 188,000 square-feet of development currently under review, but will more importantly provide for a "turnkey" site for future mixed-use development. This will serve to attract and drive new high-tech businesses and innovation to the Nassau Hub. 

Farmingdale State College Next Generation Vaccine Development – $2,250,000  A consortium of Farmingdale State College, Nassau Community College, Broad Hollow Bioscience Park and START-UP NY participating company Codagenix, Inc. will establish a biotech pipeline from middle school through college and employment that is energized by a vaccine development platform being commercialized by Codagenix.

Capital Region: Top Performer Awardee | $98.1 million supporting 114 projects As the Capital Region transformed into a global center for nanotechnology research, development and manufacturing, downtowns in communities across the region are experiencing revitalization and a growing tourism industry. This year, the REDC focused on projects and strategies that have the potential to add 40,000 more jobs to the local economy, attract and retain 10,000 new residents, employ 4,500 residents who are currently unemployed, and lift 20,000 local residents out of poverty. The Capital Region’s URI Plan focused on five strategic initiatives: Next-Tech: Capturing our next growth horizons, Gateway: Connecting markets and businesses, Talent: Building the workforce of today and tomorrow, Lift-off: Accelerating ideas, entrepreneurs, and businesses, and Metro: Building vibrant cities for businesses and families.

Top projects this year include:

Tower on the Hudson – $5,000,000 The Tower on the Hudson project will transform a parking lot in Downtown Albany into a mixed-use high-rise including: a five-story, 177 space parking garage; 100 room Homewood Suites by Hilton; 43 residential units; and a retail component. This project creates $1.4 million in annual salaries, helping prepare for tomorrow. Eighty-four percent of jobs created will be entry level with training opportunities. 

Port of Albany Big Lift – $4,000,000 The Port of Albany proposes to construct a new, 56,000 square-foot maritime heavy lift cargo operations building inside the secure marine terminal. The building will be built with weight capacity to handle the weight and dimension of the new heavy lift cargo that is manufactured in the region, which is expected to grow in 2017-2018. 

NYCAP Research Alliance Investment Fund, Albany Medical College – $2,250,000 The NYCAP Research Alliance will create a $12.5 million capital investment program across the Alliance's partnering institutions to attract increased federal and industry funding, create and retain jobs, and spur economic growth. 

Mid-Hudson: Regional Council Awardee | $90.4 million supporting 109 projects The Mid-Hudson Region proposes a set of initiatives that will capitalize on proximity to New York City and address the high levels of rural and urban poverty in the region. The first initiative is a major revitalization of the region’s urban areas in all seven counties including not only cities, but towns, villages, and hamlets as well. The Region is also focused on job creation, as it is important at all levels of the economy, from high-tech to blue collar and including hard-to- place workers. Additionally, building upon one of the region’s greatest strengths – the tourism industry – the REDC seeks to create one of New York State’s, if not the nation’s premier tourist destination, one that evokes images of the relationship of Napa to San Francisco and Provence to Paris.

Top projects this year include:

SoYo Mixed-Use TOD Project - Phase II – $1,250,000  SoYo Phase II, a $197 million project, consists of the construction of 580,000 gross square-feet of mixed-use transit-oriented development, representing nearly a full square block at the center of downtown Yonkers and adjacent to Van Der Donck Park which features the "daylighted" Saw Mill River. The site is central to the East-West corridor, connecting the Hudson riverfront area and Gateway Site, which is the site of the Hollow Urban Renewal Plan. The project will create over 454,000 gross square-feet of residential space (442 units), 509 parking spaces and nearly 40,000 gross square-feet of retail and restaurant space facing Van Der Donck Park.

Bellefield at Hyde Park Mixed-Use Development Project – $2,250,000 The $94.6 million Bellefield at Hyde Park project will create a world class, multi-faceted hospitality and tourism destination. Phase One of the project will consist of two hotels with a total of 250 guest rooms, a 15,000 square foot conference center, one freestanding restaurant, a 15,000-square foot spa, retail establishments and other amenities. The project will also include 48,000 square feet of leased retail space and a 10,000 square foot freestanding restaurant.

Stewart International Airport Infrastructure Improvement Project – $1,000,000 This funding will support a $14.2 million project addressing several water, wastewater, and sewage infrastructure improvements at Stewart International Airport. These improvements will allow for economic expansion, as well as the attraction of new commercial tenants, enabling Stewart to accommodate more personal and commercial aircraft, support more air traffic, add 35,000 square-feet of terminal space and expand cargo space.

North Country: Regional Council Awardee | $85.1 million supporting 82 projects The North Country REDC has performed strongly in years past, securing the second most State funding through the first four years of the REDC competition and demonstrating an ability to implement a cohesive strategic plan across the largest of the 10 regions. This year, the North Country established five criteria to identify the regional growth clusters that have the greatest potential to transform the North Country’s economy, and to bring the highest level of wealth creation for a largely rural area with no large metropolitan center. Their plans this year focused on strategic initiatives including Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation, Agriculture and Clean Energy, and Tourism and Community Centers.

Top projects this year include: 

Lake Pleasant Lodge Expansion – $2,500,000  This project will develop an 80-room resort hotel with waterfront restaurant, conference room, indoor pool, fitness center, outdoor patio, fire pit, shoreline gazebo, beach and large boat dock. The project includes the redevelopment of an existing 11-room motel and former restaurant building located on three separate parcels totaling approximately 1.6-acres along the shoreline of Lake Pleasant. 

Seaway Timber Harvesting New Manufacturing Facility – $3,500,000 Seaway Timber Harvesting will build a new manufacturing facility in Massena, which will include sawmill, pallet, wood shavings and briquette production. This project will create 50 new well-paying jobs. 

Agbotic, Inc. – $1,925,000 Individual farm owners and economic developers will work with Agbotic, Inc. to deploy grant funds to build and operate commercial-scale robotic greenhouses for year round food production. Multiple project locations are shovel-ready across the region and the project basket will deploy matching private funds at a five-to-one ratio, with later projects providing more match and earlier projects providing less so as to accelerate new technology and process adoption. 

New York City: Regional Council Awardee | $84.1 million supporting 92 projects In the past year, New York City has achieved an historic high of 4.2 million jobs and $709 billion in economic output. The efforts of the New York City REDC have been to ensure that growth is experienced across all five boroughs and especially in communities that have suffered from economic distress in past decades. The NYCREDC’s plan identifies Global “Smart Cities” Industry Hubs as an emerging industry within their region that is primed for future growth. 

Top projects this year include:

New York BioLabs – $2,000,000 New York BioLabs will help fledgling companies quickly meet infrastructure and equipment needs so they can focus seed funding investments on science and research. CBL and LabCentral’s 106 total companies have raised over $560 million in financing and created more than 400 jobs, showing strong past performance that merits support for future efforts. New York BioLabs will house 158 scientists and 27 companies, and over five years will help 60 companies and create 1,000 jobs. 

Brooklyn Brewery Staten Island Facility – $1,500,000 The Brooklyn Brewery is constructing a state-of-the-art 440,000 square-foot facility on approximately 25 acres of land on the West Shore of Staten Island. The Brewery was awarded funds through the NYCREDC in 2014 for this project, which was then estimated at $70 million and has now grown to approximately $120 million. The project will create 115 new jobs during the first five years. 

Empire Outlets – $1,875,000 For the second phase of this project, a 130,000 square-foot, full-service hotel will rise 12 stories above the retail facility, representing a $58 million investment in a long overlooked lodging market. The project will create additional construction jobs plus 150 permanent jobs, and is expected to generate over $12 million annually in local economic impact as the hotel will leverage economic activity by encouraging outlet visitors to stay overnight.

Western New York: Regional Council Awardee | $83.9 million supporting 125 projects In Western New York, economic strategies, like the Buffalo Billion investment plan – which served as the model for this year’s URI completion – continue to propel a rebound and are transforming the region into a hub for medical research and development, clean energy and advanced manufacturing. Key indicators point to a growing and increasingly vibrant regional economy, with more jobs, businesses and greater productivity than just a few years ago, including the addition of over 7,500 jobs, 1,100 new businesses and $1.9 billion in wages. The Western New York progress reports identified materials and machinery manufacturing as a key industry cluster that will continue the forward trajectory of their regional economy. 

Top projects this year include:

Bethlehem Steel Redevelopment – $2,280,000 This project entails the acquisition of approximately 100 acres along New York State Route 5 to coincide with site remediation, site grading, access roads, pedestrian pathways, utilities and associated infrastructure in preparation for converting 100 acres of brownfield land into shovel ready property. The total project cost is approximately $10.2 million. 

Alfred State College Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center – $1,500,000 The Alfred State College Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center will be a multi-functional facility designed to enable private firms to scale the production of bio-renewable materials and sustainable energy from lab-bench to commercial volumes using a Hot Water Extraction process developed at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The Center will be built at Alfred State's School of Applied Technology in Wellsville, in collaboration with SUNY ESF and Applied Biorefinery Sciences, LLC. 

National Comedy Center Connector – $2,025,000 The National Comedy Center, partnering with Hologram USA, will build the world's first Hologram Comedy Club to be housed in a former public utility building. Professional analyses project approximately 114,000 visitors per year, resulting in $17 million in goods and services, $6 million in wages and 184 jobs in a tri-county area. Additionally, one-time construction costs will generate $55 million in goods and services, $24 million in wages and 451 jobs. A full list of the 2015 REDC awards is available at

The 2015 Regional Economic Development Council Awards Booklet is available at

About the Regional Economic Development Councils The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After five rounds of the REDC process, nearly $4 billion has been awarded to more than 4,100 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, supporting the creation or retention of more than 165,000 jobs.

Through five years, each REDC has secured a significant amount of resources for their region:

· Western New York: $356.4 million for 429 projects · Finger Lakes: $425.6 million for 489 projects · Southern Tier: $420.2 million for 398 projects · Central New York: $466.9 million for 404 projects · Mohawk Valley: $362.2 million for 356 projects · North Country: $423.2 million for 373 projects · Capital Region: $353.9 million for 479 projects · Mid-Hudson: $392.6 million for 459 projects · New York City: $320.2 million for 323 projects · Long Island: $424.5 million for 468 projects For more information on the Regional Councils, visit


Additional news available at New York State | Executive Chamber | | 518.474.8418