Groundbreaking at the ROC the Riverway event in Buffalo, NY.

Summer of Expansion in New York State

The warm weather months have been a time of growth: companies have announced expansion and operational milestones, new headquarters locations and project completions; key placemaking initiatives have gone from recommendations to reality; and the craft beverage industry has hit new numbers and boosted its national ranking. Here are just some of the ways the seeds of New York’s holistic, strategic and regionally-informed approach to economic development are bearing fruit:

The Genesee River in Downtown Rochester.

Roc the Riverway: Thirteen is a lucky number for Rochester; that’s the number of transformative projects, supported by the state’s $50 million investment, set to revitalize, revamp and restore the underutilized area along downtown Rochester’s Genesee River waterfront. Governor Cuomo announced the slate of projects, recommended by a Roc the Riverway advisory panel, on Aug. 1. They include a new public skate park and promenade, a river terrace at Blue Cross Arena and a new Brewery Line Trail along one of the city’s oldest parks, among other improvements to riverway landscapes and connectivity.   

Optimax Systems: The Finger Lakes is strengthening its reputation as an Optics, Photonics and Imaging hub with the expansion of Optimax Systems, Inc., in the Town of Ontario, Wayne County. On Aug. 7, ESD announced that the optics manufacturer, founded in 1991 and working in key programs in the aerospace, government, research and defense industries, is building a $21.7 million, 60,000-square-foot addition to its existing facility, adding almost 60 new jobs and retaining almost 300. 

TCGplayer: Downtown Syracuse continues to build momentum, with the July 26 announcement that the online marketplace and software business is starting construction on its new headquarters in The Galleries of Syracuse building, to grow its eCommerce fulfillment service.  As part of its new space, the company will feature an interactive design with street-level views of its pop-culture themed work areas. The company’s HQ move is a reflection of the state’s successful strategic investments in regions and industries that are growing 21st century jobs and creating opportunities for New Yorkers to stay and grow careers in revitalized city centers.    

Oscar Health: The New York-based, technology-driven health insurance company—offering individual and small business plans—will establish its new headquarters at Manhattan’s One Hudson Square. The move, announced July 3, will create 289 new jobs over the next five years and reflects the New York ecosystem that allows tech-enabled companies to innovate and grow here.

American Packaging Corporation’s new, 215,000 square-foot facility in the Town of Chili, Monroe County.

American Packaging – The North American packaging industry leader is up and running at its new 215,000-square-foot facility in the Town of Chili in Monroe County. ESD made the announcement on June 27. So far, 40 of 70 new hires enabled by the expansion are working at the new site. American Packaging plans to create up to 260 new full-time jobs overall over the next five years in the Finger Lakes region. 

Rosina Food Products: Rosina Food Products, Inc., a familiar name in New York’s manufacturing landscape, has completed a $22.7 million expansion at its  Cheektowaga and West Seneca operations that includes updated machinery, new manufacturing lines and  a new Customer Focus Center. The project, announced by Governor Cuomo on June 22, began in 2014 and will allow Rosina to increase its pasta production capacity by 10 million pounds annually. 


Ellicottville Brewing Company's new location in Cattaraugus County

Craft Beverages Roundup: The state’s craft beverage industry continues to grow: On June 14, Governor Cuomo announced there are now 1,000+ craft beverage manufacturers operating in New York State. That number has more than doubled since 2012, when the Governor held the state’s first Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit. That announcement was followed by news of other expansions: Ellicottville Brewing Company held the grand opening of its fourth location in Cattaraugus County on July 17 and, one week later, Brooklyn-based Other Half Brewing announced  it’s opening a second location in Ontario County. Manufacturers around the world are taking note of the state’s thriving industry. On June 22, Governor Cuomo announced that the Alexandrion Group, Romania’s largest spirits producer, will establish its first U.S. distillery in the Mid-Hudson Valley, creating 102 jobs in the next five years.