Empire State Development news and press releases

See all the official press releases from Empire State Development.

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Press Release

Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 2:46pm
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Vapor Stone Rail Systems, a division of Wabtec Corporation, plans to expand its operations and create 52 new jobs in the Town of Plattsburgh, Clinton County. The company, which is known for its public transit components and has been operating in Plattsburgh since 1998, will lease 60,000-square-feet of manufacturing and warehouse space adjacent to the airport facility. Today's announcement builds on the Governor's $38.1 million commitment to transform Plattsburgh International Airport into a modern transportation and economic development hub. The airport project, which is part of the Governor's Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, furthers the state's commitment to reimagine and rebuild transportation gateways across New York, and is expected to be complete this fall. "The Plattsburgh International Airport is quickly becoming a 21st century transit hub, transforming the way residents and visitors travel while fostering new business opportunities throughout the region," Governor Cuomo said. "I commend Vapor Stone Rail Systems for not only investing in the expansion of its North Country facility, but for investing in employee training that will help provide the hard-working men and women of this region good-paying jobs for years to come." Vapor Stone Rail Systems plans to invest nearly $2.5 million in machinery, relocation expenses and employee training to fit out a new 60,000-square-foot facility that is currently under construction. The new building, an element of the Plattsburgh International Airport upgrade project, is supported through a public-private partnership between the New York State Department of Transportation and the Plattsburgh-based Development Corporation. Empire State Development will also provide up to $700,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits to support the creation of at least 52 new full-time jobs. The company plans to also retain its current Plattsburgh-based workforce of nearly 100 employees. Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 2:34pm
Additional $4 Million Awarded Through SUNY 2020 to Support Jefferson Community College Expansion Downtown Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced 14 transformational projects for Watertown as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. In addition to the DRI funding, $4 million has been awarded through SUNY 2020 to support a Jefferson Community College expansion project downtown. The strategic investments in downtown Watertown will drive further economic growth and capitalize on the city's historic buildings and culture. The investments are part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities for the North Country. "Watertown is growing its economy around the strong culture, beautiful architecture and community spirit found across the North Country," Governor Cuomo said. "With this investment, the city can build upon its success and drive further growth downtown while providing more opportunities for residents and businesses to lead a quality life across the region." Watertown was named a DRI Round 2 winner in October. The city's downtown is a compact, intact 19th Century central business district centered on an historic Public Square with a mix of retail and professional services, offices, civic buildings, and cultural and recreational destinations. It also contains a variety of housing types at different levels of affordability. The projects announced today will amplify the city's ongoing efforts to enhance its downtown through place making and adaptive reuse of historic and architecturally significant properties; improving walkability; and increasing opportunities for commerce. The city will strengthen its position as the primary hub of commerce and culture for Jefferson and neighboring counties, drawing residents from surrounding areas to its downtown assets and attracting visitor spending from seasonal residents and tourists. Read the full press release here
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Press Release

Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 2:32pm
Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - the Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced eight transformational projects for Batavia as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. The strategic investments in downtown Batavia will help to drive new, mixed-use development, improve access to local healthcare, and transform public space for community use. The investments are part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities for the Finger Lakes. "Through smart investments and sustainable development, we are transforming Batavia's downtown and generating prosperity throughout Western New York," Governor Cuomo said."These projects will help to not only preserve Batavia's rich history and character, but they will enhance the city as a destination and act as an engine for future growth for the entire region." Batavia was named a DRI Round 2 winner in October. The downtown area is a mixed-use, affordable neighborhood with access to jobs, anchor businesses, and city and county services. The area has an excellent foundation upon which to continue its revitalization, including amenities such as recreational sites, healthcare facilities, food markets, a library, and various retail and restaurant venues in a walkable environment. Read the full press release here
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Press Release

Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 2:29pm
Complements "CNY Rising" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced 10 transformational projects for Cortland as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. The strategic investments in downtown Cortland will reimagine the city's infrastructure and main street while harnessing technology and talent to improve the city's quality of life. The investments are part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities for Central New York. "As a gateway to the heart of the state, Cortland is strategically located to benefit from a talented workforce driven by the nearby hub of higher education institutions," Governor Cuomo said. "These targeted investments will help to make downtown Cortland a sought-after destination for young talent seeking a community where they can work, enjoy the arts, and gather with family and friends all in one neighborhood." Cortland was named a DRI Round 2 winner in October. Cortland's downtown is the core of the Central Business district and is within walking distance to SUNY Cortland and Tompkins Cortland Community College Extension. The area consists of 450 businesses within a half mile radius from the center of downtown, employing approximately 5,100 people making this area the largest employer in Cortland County. As a gateway to both Central New York and the Finger Lakes, the City of Cortland is a magnet for hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. It also serves county residents and SUNY Cortland students as the primary shopping area in the county, consisting primarily of commercial and residential mixed-use attached buildings built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Cortland envisions development that creates new space for community activities and additional housing to accommodate an expanding residential and tourism population. The city plans to guide the redevelopment of its downtown through the expansion of the creative economy, building a complete downtown neighborhood, and re-imagining its infrastructure for the 21st century. Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 1:23pm
Investment Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $20 million in funding to support the $60 million expansion project at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester's East End on the site of the former inner loop. The funding, provided through a Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative Grant, will help to attract new and returning visitors to one of the Finger Lakes' top tourist attractions. The expansion project, which includes the construction of a new downtown parking garage, is expected to create 40 new jobs at The Strong and be completed in 2020. "Tourism is critical to driving the Finger Lakes economy, and The Strong Museum is a key attraction for the entire region," Governor Cuomo said. "With these upgrades, this project will help to build economic momentum, attracting visitors from across the globe and fostering regional prosperity for generations to come." The Strong museum's expansion plan is just one part of a massive, three-phase, $108 million development project that will feature a national chain-branded, family friendly hotel adjacent to the museum; the construction of residential housing and other mixed-use space; and the creation of a new, dedicated road connecting Woodbury Boulevard to Union Street. The Strong also plans to add a 100,000 square-foot wing onto its existing facility, which will become the home of the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The addition will provide visitors with a unique and immersive video gaming environment experience that celebrates the history and cultural impact of video games. Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 1:27pm
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced 13 transformational projects for Hudson as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. The strategic investments in downtown Hudson will create additional employment and housing opportunities, as well as improve safety and aesthetics for streetscapes throughout the city. The investments are part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities for the Capital Region. "This important investment will support Hudson's continued transformation by focusing on a sustainable, diverse and attractive downtown," Governor Cuomo said. "These Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects will help the city continue its revitalization efforts by fostering job growth, creating new business opportunities and investing in community development that will improve Hudson's downtown for generations to come." Hudson was named a DRI Round 2 winner in August. Downtown Hudson has the look and feel of the post-industrial cityscape that millennials seek, while retaining a working historic waterfront along the Hudson River. Dense housing in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative area ranges from historically-designated single-family homes to townhouses and high-rise apartments, served by a variety of dining and shopping options in revitalized historic structures. Recent organic, entrepreneurial development has primed Hudson for the next phase of its revitalization: the increased development of mixed-use projects that incorporate affordable and market-rate housing and transportation oriented design; job incubation to create high quality, living-wage jobs; workforce development to prepare local workers for year-round local employment; and a re-imagining of the waterfront for expanded public use and enjoyment. DRI investment will drive the continued success of existing private and public ventures; emphasize job growth and the attractiveness of the district; and set the stage for economic and civic expansion in the district and across the Hudson. These DRI projects are the latest example of Governor Cuomo's ongoing commitment to Hudson and the entire region. Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Monday, July 9, 2018 - 3:11pm
Empire State Development (ESD) today issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purchase and redevelopment of the remaining portion of the former Wassaic Developmental Center (also known as the Wassaic Campus of the Taconic Developmental Disabilities Services Office), located in the rolling hills of the Harlem Valley. This RFP presents a unique opportunity to redevelop a beautiful site in the desirable Town of Amenia. "The Wassaic Campus presents a tremendous development opportunity in the Harlem Valley," said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. "The site's proximity to thriving tech and cultural resources, strong transit networks, and the Harlem Valley's natural scenic beauty present exciting potential. We encourage respondents to submit creative responses that stimulate vibrant community and economic growth in the region.”  As part of the State’s ongoing initiative to support individuals with developmental disabilities within their community, the residential campus was closed in 2014. Four buildings onsite are currently used for administrative functions of the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, but the campus will be vacated by OPWDD upon its sale. In March 2017, ESD issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to generate ideas to inform this RFP. The site that is the subject of this RFP is located at 26 Center Circle, in the Town of Amenia. Situated on a hill above the Tenmile River and adjacent to the Tenmile River Metro-North station, the site consists of approximately 320 acres, including nine acres of ground floor area constituting approximately 740,000 built square feet. Although there is no requirement to preserve the existing buildings, a number are architecturally interesting and offer adaptive reuse possibilities. The site’s vast size, bucolic location and accessibility to New York City, the Hudson Valley and Connecticut make it an exciting opportunity for creative, well-planned development. The goal of this RFP is to maximize economic opportunities for the surrounding community by creating a premier destination in the scenic Harlem Valley that meets the policy goals of ESD and New York State. Respondents are invited to propose well-integrated, mixed-use development proposals that may include, but are not limited to, lodging and event space; residential, commercial and cultural uses; and agricultural or other seasonal land uses.  Specifically, ESD’s development objectives seek to:  Utilize the site as an economic engine for the Harlem Valley region and New York State; Enhance and complement the area’s existing resources and amenities; Capitalize on the proximity of rail transit at the site by creating new workforce housing opportunities and/or jobs for New Yorkers; Maximize green building and sustainable design practices; Maximize economic benefit to the State while minimizing the State’s economic and environmental risk; and Incorporate meaningful participation by Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (“MBE”), Women-Owned Business Enterprises (“WBE”), and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned-Businesses (“SDVOB”), per Articles 15-A and 17-B of the New York State Executive Law. Responses are due by Friday, September 28, 2018 at 2:00 PM. An optional site visit is scheduled for Monday, July 30, 2018. Respondents are not required to attend; however, if they wish to participate, they must RSVP to wassaicRFP@esd.ny.gov. The RFP and additional information is available on the Empire State Development website here. Contact: Amy Varghese | amy.varghese@esd.ny.gov | (212) 803-3740 ESD Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Monday, July 9, 2018 - 2:32pm
USA Niagara Development Corporation (USAN) today issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to determine interest from qualified parties to redevelop a key parcel in the Buffalo Avenue Heritage District of downtown Niagara Falls.  USA Niagara Development Corporation (USAN) gained control of the vacant parcel, located at 305 Buffalo Avenue, through a strategic land acquisition earlier this year, made possible through Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion Phase II.  The RFEI is available on the New York State Contract Reporter website here (please note you must register for a free account to view RFEI) and proposals are due on Friday, September 7, 2018.  USAN will use responses and recommendations generated by this RFEI process to inform a planned Request for Proposals (RFP) process.  “This opportunity to partner on a development that will complement the historic neighborhood setting of Buffalo Avenue and contribute significantly to the range of tourism and hospitality options in Niagara Falls presents a unique opportunity in this iconic destination,” said ESD Senior Vice President Christopher Schoepflin.  “We look forward to reviewing the proposals that will stimulate the local economy.” USAN will consider concepts for potential uses that are consistent with the City of Niagara Falls’ “R-4 Heritage” zoning district requirements and USAN design guidelines for agency-assisted projects in this area, including residential, lodging, limited commercial, and mixed-use projects that are of a scale/design consistent with the historic character of the neighborhood.  Because of the district’s location and heritage, the RFEI provides a unique development opportunity to create a unique design that could serve as an upscale alternative to conventional downtown developments.  USAN intends to transfer ownership of the property for new development.  Located a block from the American Rapids Bridge connection to Goat Island and Niagara Falls State Park, the one-acre site is in a traditional residential neighborhood to the south of the more commercial areas of downtown Niagara Falls, at the terminus of Third Street at Buffalo Avenue.  The site is the location of a former residential campus and the lot measures 230 feet by 204 feet.  The original estate entrance gates, as well as a portion of the driveway, remain on the site.  Niagara Falls State Park immediately abuts the southern property line, along a steep hillside above the recently re-established “Riverway” on the Upper Niagara River.  USAN plans to restore a pedestrian-only right-of-way along the site’s western edge (i.e., former Third Street right-of-way) to connect from the city, down the hill into the State Park and to the river’s edge.   Proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria: Proposed use(s) and improvements on the site. Type, bulk and size of each component of the development program. Development timeline identifying the estimated length of time to reach key milestones. How project will advance development objectives in the Buffalo Avenue Heritage District, including supporting tourism and stimulating economic activity, as well as reflecting the community and its history. Conceptual sketch and/or rendering showing overall site plan of proposed project. Estimate of economic impact. About USA Niagara Development Corporation USAN, a subsidiary of Empire State Development, is solely dedicated to the support and promotion of economic development initiatives in Niagara Falls by leveraging private investment and encouraging growth and renewal of the tourism industry in the City of Niagara Falls.  For more information, visit www.usaniagara.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

Friday, July 6, 2018 - 2:58pm
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) Chairman Robert Gioia today announced that the agency plans to hold the first of three community meetings to seek public input for three projects focusing on the improvement of access and activation of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.  The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Canalside VIP Tent in Buffalo. “We are excited to have an opportunity to gather public feedback as we make plans to improve the Buffalo Outer Harbor for the enjoyment of residents and tourists,” Gioia said. “This is your waterfront. Take time to learn about each of the projects. Your comments, ideas and concerns are needed to inform and shape the projects going forward.” The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the Open House to learn more about the following projects: 1. Northern Site: First Buffalo River Marina 15 acres Enhance public access Maintain 115-slip marina Enhance Queen City Bike Ferry access Identify potential adaptive reuses of the Connecting Terminal grain elevator Consider long term development potential 2. Central Site: Wilkeson Pointe to Bell Slip 124 acres Includes Michigan Pier and Wilkeson Pointe Includes Slips 2 and 3 and Bell Slip Consider improvements that will enhance access and visitor experience Discuss natural community habitats 3. Southern Site: Terminal B 15 acres Approximately 96,000 square foot one story building Program study for metal frame building Identify uses most appropriate for the site Proximate to exterior events lawn, currently under construction The purpose of the meeting is to engage the public and stakeholders in program development. Attendees will be provided project background by the consultant team to help inform opportunities and constraints. You are encouraged to give your perspective by providing comments at one of the project stations located at the Open House, filling out a comment card and/or participating in the survey in person or online. For more information, please go to https://outerharborbuffalo.com/accessandactivation/ About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (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 non-voting, 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. Contact: Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | pamm.lent@esd.ny.gov | (716) 846-8309 | (800) 260-7313 Laura Magee (ECHDC) | laura.magee@esd.ny.gov | (716) 846-8239 | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 2:06pm
Partnership Result of New York’s Israeli Trade Mission Conducted in December Empire State Development (ESD) today announced a partnership between Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) in Israel, known also as the Volcani Center, to advance cutting-edge research in the agricultural and environmental sciences. The two prestigious institutions will conduct research on critical issues confronting the environment today and its effect on agriculture, specifically the impact of climate change on crop growth. Today’s announcement is a result of New York State’s multi-sector trade mission to Israel in December 2017, led by ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky, to continue the efforts initiated by Governor Andrew Cuomo in March 2017 to strengthen economic ties with Israel, create new jobs and attract additional international business investment in New York through the Global NY initiative. “New York State is proud to have facilitated a fruitful partnership between the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and  the Volcani Center Agricultural Research Organization,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “This collaboration brings together the foremost minds in agricultural and environmental sciences and opens the door to new advancements and new technology in these fields.” The partnership is formalized by a Memorandum of Agreement that leverages CALS’s world-leading expertise in these areas and ARO’s innovative approach to agricultural research and technology. State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball  said:  “Conducting research to benefit agriculture is critical to advancing the industry and the State’s economy. New York is fortunate to have premier research institutions and facilities that are leading the way in bringing innovative new processes and methods to improve farm and food business operations. By bringing together the tremendous research capabilities of our land grant university and the Volcani Center, we can continue our work to grow the agricultural community and improve our environmental sustainability now and for our future generations.” Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell, said: “Scientists across the world have an unprecedented opportunity to build new food, agricultural and environmental systems that meet the needs of a growing population. Doing so will require collaboration on a global scale. We’re thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Volcani, look forward to the discoveries we will make together, and thank Empire State Development for bringing us together as partners.” Professor Eli Feinerman, Director of the Volcani Center, said: "As the leading agricultural research organization in Israel, Volcani Center is looking forward to further expand our work and global impact through this exciting opportunity for fruitful collaboration with the prestigious, world- class Cornell University.” CALS is Cornell University’s second largest college and focuses across disciplines to provide research, education and outreach that advances science in natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being.  CALS programs include more than 20 majors in community and rural development, environment and natural resources, food and nutrition, communication, applied economics, agriculture, international programs and life sciences. Cornell CALS is consistently named as one of the world’s top three research Universities for the study of agricultural sciences by both U.S. News and World Report and the QS World University Rankings. The Volcani Center Agricultural Research Organization in Rishon LeTsiyon, is the Israeli national institute for agricultural research. It is comprised of six institutes spanning plant sciences, animal sciences, plant protection, soil, water and environmental sciences, agricultural engineering and postharvest and food sciences.  ARO also operates two research stations across Israel.  ARO specializes in basic and applied research in agriculture that enable Israel to achieve high levels of agricultural output in an arid zone. 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: Amy Varghese | amy.varghese@esd.ny.gov | 212-803-3740 ESD Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313
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