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Empire State Development Blog

Find the latest news on economic development in New York State

We feature stories of innovative businesses that are making New York their home, plus offer updates on economic activity and development from around the state.

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Press Release

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 11:30am
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the 76West Clean Energy Competition is now accepting applications from emerging clean energy companies for its fourth round. 76West, one of the largest competitions in the nation focusing on supporting and growing emerging clean energy businesses and economic development, complements "Southern Tier Soaring," the region's comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development. "The Southern Tier is home to some of the most innovative businesses in the country, and 76West is maximizing the amazing talent in this region to build a stronger clean energy economy," Governor Cuomo said. "While the federal government ignores climate change and the need for emerging clean energy technologies, New York will continue to provide support for this industry through innovative programs that help us meet our nation-leading clean energy goals." "I've attended the 76West award ceremony for the past three years and have witnessed the excitement and new energy when we successfully entice companies to come to the Southern Tier," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The 76West Clean Energy Competition is an example of creative economic development strategies spurring start-ups in the industries of the future. With the fourth round of the competition, we're incentivizing clean energy innovation to create more jobs and opportunities in the Southern Tier and throughout the state." Read the full press release here. 
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Board Meeting

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 1:30pm
With videoconferencing to: Empire State Development 633 3rd Avenue, 37th Floor New York, NY 10017
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Press Release

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 11:01am
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the formation of a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to share information and solicit ongoing community input about Amazon's planned headquarters project in Long Island City, Queens. Members of the CAC will work through three subcommittees to develop plans for the headquarters and onsite public amenities, investments in neighborhood infrastructure to benefit the surrounding communities, and training and hiring programs to ensure that homegrown talent fills the 25,000 to 40,000 new jobs at the headquarters.  The CAC is comprised of community and citywide stakeholders recommended by local elected officials. Past CACs have significantly shaped development projects led by Empire State Development (ESD) helping ensure that community priorities and needs are considered throughout the process. "Amazon's new headquarters in Long Island City is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our economy and community input will be a critical part of the development process," Governor Cuomo said. "We look forward to working with local elected officials, community organizations and residents to ensure their voices are heard as we work to create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs, generate billions in revenue that will be reinvested in the region, strengthen our infrastructure, and expand opportunity for New Yorkers." Mayor de Blasio said, "Amazon's new headquarters will bring more than 25,000 jobs benefitting all New Yorkers from NYCHA residents to CUNY students. The Community Advisory Committee will bring together stakeholders of all backgrounds to help shape this important plan. Robust community engagement is critical to ensuring that the investments and resources generated from this project serve the needs of everyone in Long Island City and beyond." Read the full press release here.
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Public Notice

Monday, December 10, 2018 - 1:00pm
Star Brands North America Capital Project
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Press Release

Monday, December 10, 2018 - 12:34pm
Board also Designates NYS Parks Western Director Mark Mistretta to its Canalside Design Review Committee The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) Board of Directors met today and gave an update on plans for the redevelopment of the North Aud Block, a two-acre parcel at Canalside.  A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued recently seeking design, bid and construction administrative services related to the development of infrastructure facilities on the northern portion of the former Memorial Auditorium Block, also known as the North Aud Block.  In August 2018, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $10 million in funding would be committed to support the design and construction of the site’s transformation.  The project aims to reintroduce elements of the historic street pattern that once traversed the block and the Erie Canal. Proposals are due to ECHDC by 3 p.m. on January 17, 2018. “The North Aud Block transformation supports ongoing efforts to evoke the site’s Erie Canal history and re-establish the area as a downtown neighborhood,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “The intent of this RFP is to complete the historic street grid and set the site for future development of the North Aud Block.” See a map of property here. The Aud Block was originally acquired by ECHDC from the City of Buffalo in 2008.  Since then, ECHDC has invested public funds remediating hazardous waste, lead- and asbestos-containing materials, completing demolition of the Memorial Auditorium, relocating utilities and preparing the site for future development.  ECHDC completed construction of a series of historically-aligned water features on the site in 2014 which now host ice skating and other ice-related activities in the winter and water-based recreation in the summer.  Since 2014, ECHDC has been focusing its efforts on the redevelopment of the southern portion of the site, including Explore & More Children’s Museum, to be opened in spring 2019, and Heritage Point, a Sinatra & Company Real Estate mixed-use project which will break ground in 2019.  The North Aud Block redevelopment will include the following inter-related programmatic elements: Former Street Rights-of-Way.  The primarily organizing component that will shape this design effort—and future development of the North Aud Block—will be the design for reconstruction of former street right-of-way segments that once crossed the block, including Lloyd Street, Commercial Street and a small segment of Pearl Street.  Access on these roads will primarily be intended for pedestrian traffic and will be used for programming, outdoor seating and special events. Platform Structures/Subsurface Parking.  Considering the variations in surface elevations on the site and that most of the site is already excavated, the reintroduction of their historic street pattern would require the establishment of some type of platform structures on the blocks formed by these streets.  ECHDC envisions this platform created by a surface parking garage.  Measures/Systems to Support Future Development.  There is a goal to achieve a densely developed, mixed-use, very walkable setting to begin to move Canalside from seasonal event space to a more permanent downtown neighborhood.  ECHDC will need to identify as part of the street and parking structure design, future structural and logistical requirements to facilitate future development, as well as utility services, to be installed later as part of future development. Other elements include a commitment to the Canalside Design Standards and Public/Stakeholder Involvement. These publicly-funded improvements are intended to help facilitate a series of future development parcels that will later be the subject of a period of planning, public review, and final engineering, followed by construction. The full RFP is available here (Note: a free account is required on the NYS Contract Reporter website to download the RFP).  A non-mandatory, pre-submittal conference will be held at 2 p.m. on December 18, 2018 at the ECHDC offices at 95 Perry Street, Buffalo. In other news, the ECHDC Board of Directors voted to designate New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Director of the Western District Mark Mistretta as a member of ECHDC’s Canalside Design Committee.  The committee reviews and makes recommendations to the ECHDC Board of Directors on the design of private development proposals at Canalside regarding their consistency with the Canalside Design Guidelines. “I am pleased to be serving in this capacity as we all work together to further develop our waterfront and our city,” said Mistretta.  “Canalside is at the epicenter of downtown development and it is certainly an exciting time to be involved.” Mistretta graduated from Rutgers University, State University of New Jersey, with a B.S. in Landscape Architecture and is a registered Landscape Architect in New York State.  He was the initial Project Landscape Architect working for Wendel, a multi-disciplined and well-known landscape architect firm, for 27 years.  Mistretta has been involved in a variety of projects, including waterfront/shoreline restorations, sustainable landscapes, and master planning and phase improvements for large parks and recreational facilities. Mistretta joins architects Rishawn Sonubi, the City of Buffalo Deputy Commissioner of Buildings, and Audrey Ross Sanders, owner of Audrey Ross Sanders Architect, on the design review committee.  ECHDC also said a public information meeting with Buffalo Maritime Center regarding the construction of the “Longshed” and replica 1825 Packet Boat at Canalside will take place on Tuesday, December 18 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Buffalo History Museum.  The Governor announced in August 2018 a $4 million investment that will allow for construction of the Longshed, a 4,000-square-foot, year-round facility that the replica vessel will be built in. About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation The ECHDC is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York State Governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The two nonvoting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County Executive and the City of Buffalo Mayor. As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor that is attracting critical mass, private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and tourists in Western New York. Its vision is to revitalize Western New York’s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region’s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty. For more information on ECHDC, visit www.eriecanalharbor.com.     Contact: Pamm Lent | pamm.lent@esd.ny.gov | 716-846-8309 | (800) 260-7313 Laura Magee | laura.magee@esd.ny.gov | 716-846-8239 | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Monday, December 10, 2018 - 10:43am
Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Amanda M. Mays, who previously served as Senior Project Manager, will join ESD’s Western New York regional leadership team serving as Regional Director alongside Stephen Gawlik, Vice President, Poly & Capital Projects and Senior Counsel; Steven Ranalli, VP of Development at Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation; and Paul Tronolone, VP of Policy & Planning. As the new Western New York Regional Director, Mays will manage daily operations of the Western New York office in Buffalo and promote economic development practices that both retain and attract businesses and create jobs in the region. In addition, Mays will serve as Executive Director of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, where she will oversee the Council’s activities and implementation of the region’s Strategic Plan. Mays, a Grand Island native, has worked as an ESD Senior Project Manager for almost two years where she worked on the development of and directly implemented several Buffalo Billion projects, totaling more than $100 million in state investments for projects around Western New York, and monitored more than 40 priority projects for Governor Andrew Cuomo. Previous to joining ESD, Mays was Deputy Director of the Executive Office & Assistant Secretary of the Board at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. where she worked on governance, strategic planning, and cross-institutional initiatives.  She is a graduate of William Smith College and has a Masters of Urban Planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo. “It takes a strong team to drive New York State’s highly successful economic development strategies and I’m proud to welcome these talented professionals to help continue our mission of growing jobs and businesses,” said Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner.  Two other promotions are also being announced in the WNY ESD regional office: Angela Panaro Rossi has been appointed Deputy Director, having previously served as Senior Project Manager for ESD in WNY, where she worked cooperatively with regional economic development partners and senior Empire State Development staff to develop coordinated proposals, retain and attract jobs and foster investment in the region.  Ms. Rossi will lead administration of and communication with the Regional Economic Development Council and direct the Consolidated Funding Application process and other regional office funding programs, as well as continue to oversee her portfolio of Buffalo Billion initiatives.  Prior to joining ESD, she served as Director of Projects & Programs at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation where she was responsible for administering allocation of federal funds for economic and community revitalization of Lower Manhattan post 9/11. Ms. Rossi has a BS in Political Science from State University of New York College at Brockport and an MS in Urban Policy Analysis from the Robert J. Milano Graduate School, New School University. Mo Sumbundu has been appointed Assistant Director, having previously served as a WNY ESD project manager.  Mr. Sumbundu will assist with administration of the Regional Economic Development Council and provide staff support for ESD initiatives. He will be leading outreach with the community and elected officials on ESD funding programs and serve as a liaison between the WNY Regional Office and ESD’s offices in Albany and New York City, in addition to maintaining a portfolio of economic development projects.  Prior to joining ESD Mr. Sumbundu worked as a Graduate Assistant in the president’s office of Buffalo State College, researching issues to support presidential initiatives and produce briefing papers as directed. He holds BA in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration from SUNY Buffalo State.       Contact: Pamm Lent (ESD) | pamm.lent@esd.ny.gov | (716) 846-8309 | (800) 260-7313 Laura Magee (ESD) | laura.magee@esd.ny.gov | (716)-846-8239 | (800) 260-7313
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Board Meeting

Monday, December 10, 2018 - 10:30am
With videoconferencing to:   Empire State Development 633 Third Avenue – 37th Floor Conference Room New York, NY 10017  
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Public Notice

Monday, December 10, 2018 - 10:00am
Cottage Place Gardens Redevelopment Capital Project
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Public Notice

Friday, December 7, 2018 - 3:00pm
Greater Syracuse Soundstage Capital and Working Capital Project 
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Press Release

Friday, December 7, 2018 - 10:18am
Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that La Flor Spices, a Long Island-based spice manufacturer and distributor, will expand its facility in Hauppauge, Suffolk County and create 15 new jobs. The company, a New York State-certified Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE), began in 1966 as a mobile provisions truck and has been in business on Long Island since 2004. Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “La Flor Spices’ renovation and expansion is a testament to the success that minority and women-owned firms can find in New York State, and we support this multi-generational company's efforts to create jobs and grow its customer base.” La Flor Spices will invest $1 million in new machinery and engineering (M&E) and renovate its Hauppauge facility. The company will expand its custom blending and co-packaging operations, allowing them to supply new food service clients with spices, and create a new line of liquid products. As part of this project, the company will add 15 new jobs to complement its current workforce of 47 employees. ESD has agreed to provide up to $200,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits to support the project. The expansion and renovation project is expected to be completed over the next four years.   La Flor Spices Executive Vice President Justin Latorre said, “As a third-generation family business ‘born and raised in New York’, La Flor Spices blends the purpose of being a spice solution to our customers with the forward vision to sustain growth in our local community. We are committed to championing ethnic traditions and healthier eating through our products while developing a strategic growth plan for job creation and innovative market expansion. We are excited to partner with the mission of the ESD through the Excelsior Jobs Program tax credit.” La Flor Spices was founded by Ruben and Froilán Latorre, and three generations of the family are still employed in the business today. The company originally packed its products manually and delivered them directly to local retailers. Today, it has grown to occupy a 90,000 square foot fully-automated packaging facility, with products distributed throughout the United States and reaching four continents. Assembly Member Michael J. Fitzpatrick said, “I applaud La Flor Spices and the Latorre family for taking large steps toward expanding their business to create 15 more jobs with a $1 million investment. This is the positive kind of economic growth we are thrilled to see on Long Island, and the more we can make New York business-friendly the more success stories we’ll hear such as the one we are celebrating today.” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said: “The decision by La Flor Spices to expand its facility in Suffolk County is another testament to our pro-business climate and top notch talent. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, more and more companies are choosing Long Island to grow their manufacturing and distribution operations. I thank Empire State Development for providing a worthwhile financial package that will enable this company to create more jobs in their Hauppauge facility.” Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said, “Islip’s relationship with La Flor Spices dates back to 2004. La Flor Spices is an integral part of a larger food cluster located on Long Island, with a concentration in the Town of Islip.” About Empire State Development Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.       Contact: Adam Kilduff | adam.kilduff@esd.ny.gov | (212) 803-3744 ESD Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313
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