Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Awarded $66 Million for 118 Projects

December 19, 2018

Projects that will move forward as a result of Round VIII of the Regional Council initiative include AgriAmerica Fruit Products in Fredonia, Welch’s Building redevelopment in Westfield, Sturgeon Point marina repairs in Evans, Rosina Food Products in West Seneca and St. Mary’s Block stabilization in Niagara Falls

A full list of the 2018 REDC awards is available at www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov

As part of Round VIII of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative, the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) was awarded $66 million for 118 projects that build on the region’s assets and invest in the future. The announcement, which supports projects in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties, was made Tuesday in Albany.  In the first eight rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Western New York region has been awarded $553.2 million in state support for 781 projects across the region.

Established in 2011 as a centerpiece of the Governor’s strategy to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, the Regional Councils replaced the state’s old top-down approach to economic development with one that is community-based and performance-driven. The initiative empowers communities, business and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region’s unique strengths and resources to create jobs, improve quality of life and grow the economy.

“Each year I am amazed by the dedication of our WNYREDC members, community leaders and project principles as they advance our locally-developed economic development strategies,” said Jeff Belt, CEO of SolEpoxy and Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-chair.  “Their work and Governor Cuomo’s commitment to Western New York are advancing our core strategies and realizing the region’s turnaround.”

“On behalf of the Western New York REDC, I am proud to be taking home $66 million for the region to drive the progress we are seeing and feeling in our communities,” said Virginia Horvath, President of SUNY Fredonia and  Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-chair.  “The projects that this funding will advance will propel foundational change in our region and focus on the core strategies that will ensure our economy continues a steady growth trajectory.”

The Western New York region’s 2011 strategic plan, “A Strategy for Prosperity,” leverages the region’s strategic advantages in key industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, bi-national logistics, energy, health & life sciences, higher education, professional services and tourism. The plan focuses on economic enablers that promote smart growth, prepare the workforce and foster a culture of entrepreneurship. 

The following Western New York projects are highlights of projects awarded funding in Round VIII:

Allegany County

  • $700,000 to Ninos Tile LLC to create an in-fill development at 3 North Main Street in Alfred that will transform it into a five-floor, multiuse facility, which will include first floor retail/commercial space and 18 to 24 market rate housing rental units.
  • $625,000 to IncubatorWorks to expand its current services and provide new programming focused on developing an entrepreneurial community encompassing leadership, mentorship, engagement and the creation of new businesses in Allegany County.
  • $456,750 to Village of Cuba for a Main Street Revitalization project. The village will assist in the renovation of mixed-used properties in the village’s downtown. 

Cattaraugus County

  • $250,000 to Town of Olean to construct a sewer collection system to replace aged and failing private septic systems.
  • $200,000 to Cattaraugus County for a joint salt/sand facility.  Cattaraugus County and the Town of Ashford will work together to construct a salt/sand storage facility to be used by both municipalities, allowing both to consolidate their salt piles into one. The facility will prevent contamination of nearby drinking water wells and Buttermilk Creek.

Chautauqua County

  • $1,000,000 to Town of Westfield for Welch’s Building Redevelopment.  The Town of Westfield will transform the former Welch’s Building in Westfield into a multi-use structure with commercial, retail and residential units aligns with the region’s smart growth principles.
  • $498,600 to AgriAmerica Fruit Products, LLC to fit-out and modernize a previously closed grape juice manufacturing facility in Fredonia, reusing it as a plant that will produce custom-made fruit juice concentrate manufacturing. Chautauqua County is the largest grape-producing county in the state and part of the world’s oldest and largest designated Concord grape growing region. The $2.4 million reuse project will help reverse drastic losses incurred in Western New York’s grape growing industry caused by recent closures in local processing plants and revive farm revenue by providing a sustainable market for fruit grown by more than 74 local family farms. Projected outcomes include job growth in food processing, fruit farming, distribution and construction and retail sectors.
  • $220,000 to the Northern Chautauqua Local Economic Development Initiative for the White Inn.  Renovations will be made to the shuttered historic White Inn in the heart of downtown Fredonia and reopen as a boutique hotel, restaurant and banquet facility.

Erie County

  • $2,000,000 to Rosina Food Product, Inc. for its Protein Operation Expansion. The $32 million project includes building a new 120,000 square foot plant and production line for manufacturing a variety of meat product – doubling the company’s current production capacity and relocating production from out-of-state to the new facility in West Seneca. This is the first phase of a potentially multi-phased master plan to retain Rosina Food in Western New York.
  • $1,500,000 to Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens to demolish several outdated buildings, which will provide space for an addition that will include a butterfly conservatory, educational classrooms, expanded grow houses, event space, a variety of unique exhibits, a café, and expanded visitor and admissions areas.  The Botanical Gardens also plans to grow its offerings in the newly constructed facility.
  • $1,200,000 million to Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute for the Center for Therapeutic Interactions, which will allow for the creation and operation of a new facility and research center around Cryo-Electron Microscopy technology (Cryo-EM), which will accelerate drug discovery and treatment of disease. The $4.3 million project includes interior demolition and construction of the research suite that conforms to specific equipment specifications. Upon completion, the Center will be a magnet for biomedical R&D companies to establish regional research hubs near the Cryo-EM facilities, with associated job creation at multiple levels. 
  • $1,161,225 to Town of Evans for Sturgeon Point Marina Repairs.  The Town of Evans will implement its Local Waterfront Revitalization Program by designing and constructing repairs to the western breakwater which protects the Sturgeon Point Marina. The walkway atop the breakwall will also be repaired to reestablish safe public access. This project will guarantee the safe operation of this popular recreational resource, which provides boat dockage and public access to the waters and fisheries in Lake Erie and opens the door for future marina expansion.
  • $1,000,000 to Shea’s O’Connell Preservation Guild to install a multi-story elevator tower that provides greater accessibility to those with disabilities and mobility issues, while increasing capacity for more restrooms, concessions and storage, plus additional basement and top-level space for storage and offices.

Niagara County

  • $2,233,395 to City of Niagara Falls for St. Mary’s Block Stabilization.  The City of Niagara Falls will make streetscaping improvements/blight removal on 6th & 7th Streets between Walnut Ave. & Niagara St. to support the development of the former St. Mary’s Hospital at 515-6th Street.
  • $273,000 to Aquarium of Niagara. Aquarium of Niagara will construct three new interactive touch pools at its main entrance where guests will begin their immersive experience by dipping their hands into tropical pools to discover the unique texture and movement of stingrays, sharks and marine invertebrates.
  • $100,000 to Town of Lewiston for Artpark Feasibility Study.  Artpark has embarked on a journey to create a new Master Plan and significantly improve its facilities and broaden market appeal to ensure future viability and will serve as the design of physical layout at the largest scale for Artpark’s forthcoming development, including a plan for its timing and phasing.
  • $125,000 to Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation for Lock Tender Tribute.  The project seeks to honor an iconic 19th-century photograph of lock tenders on the steps of the old Flight of Five locks in Lockport, by creating 14 life-sized bronze sculptures of those same lock tenders. They will be placed on the steps of the Flight of Five, which is undergoing restoration and rehabilitation efforts in the city.

A full list of the 2018 REDC awards is available at www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

This spring, Governor Cuomo launched Round VIII of the REDC.  During Round VIII, the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT), which is composed of state agency commissioners and members of the New York State Legislature, traveled to Rome, Rochester and White Plains to receive presentations on this year’s proposals from each of the ten Regional Councils directly and assessed the implementation of the regions’ strategic plans.
In 2018, all 10 REDCs competed for designation as a “Top Performer.”  Five Top Performers will receive up to $20 million in additional Empire State Development grant funding to support priority projects, with the remaining five regions receiving up to $10 million. Additionally, each region is eligible for up to $75 million in additional Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits to help attract and grow businesses in the region.

Since 2011, the first year of the initiative, more than $6.1 billion has been awarded to more than 7.300 projects that are projected to create and retain more than 230,000 jobs statewide.

To learn more about the WNYREDC, visit http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/western-new-york.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo’s 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 eight rounds of the REDC process, more than $6.1 billion has been awarded to more than 7,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 230,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.


Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
Laura Magee | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313