Empire State Development news and press releases

See all the official press releases from Empire State Development.

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Press Release

Monday, August 20, 2018 - 1:20pm
See site plan and renderings here The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) Board of Directors met today and designated a developer to undertake the South Aud Block redevelopment in Buffalo.  Sinatra & Company Real Estate LLC will invest $21 million to build Heritage Point, two mixed-use buildings consisting of ground-floor retail and restaurants with Class “A” office space and residential units on the upper floors.  The Prime Slip and sections of the historic Canal Street and Lloyd Street will also be completed by the developer.   The South Aud Block redevelopment will open by May 2020. “Sinatra & Company’s planned buildings will further activate the site and diversify the neighborhood offerings, attractions and opportunities at Canalside, while retaining historic touches,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia.  “Heritage Point will serve as a catalyst for additional investment in Canalside and fuel further economic growth in the City of Buffalo.” “The vibrancy at Canalside is palpable,” said Sinatra & Company Real Estate LLC President and Founder Nick Sinatra.  “The leadership at Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation has been instrumental in creating a vibrant destination to date, and we feel incredibly excited to make our mark to Canalside with the integration of additional hospitality, office and now residential options.” With more than 71,000 gross square feet of space, the mixed-use buildings include up to five floors with an active ground-floor plan that includes several restaurants.  The remaining floors include a total of 41 mixed-income residential units.  The Prime Slip will be evoked through a pedestrian pathway over its former alignment, where it historically linked the Erie Canal with Lake Erie.  The pathway will allow visitors to explore the area while simultaneously educating the public on the significance of the Prime Slip.  The developer will also activate the towpath, sidewalks and Prime Slip with outdoor seating.  The primarily vacant parcels are part of a former superblock that once contained War Memorial Auditorium, a sports and events arena that was demolished by ECHDC in 2009.  Sinatra & Company Real Estate will receive $2 million from ECHDC for capital construction costs related to the Prime Slip and sections of Lloyd Street and Canal Street rights-of-way and canal lighting.  Sinatra will also receive a $2 million loan from the Better Buffalo Fund (BBF).  A key initiative of Governor Cuomo’s revitalization efforts in Western New York, the Better Buffalo Fund aims to create vibrant, mixed-use, high-density neighborhoods, while improving access to the major employment hubs by creating stronger transit and transportation linkages between neighborhoods, employment centers, job training and services. Sinatra & Company Real Estate is a land development and real estate firm founded in Buffalo in 2009 and led by Nick Sinatra.  The company initially invested in the multi-family sector and then diversified into retail, office and mixed-use properties.  Today, the firm is comprised of 70 professionals working on over $425 million in real estate assets and services, including development, reuse, professional brokerage, advisory and property management.  Recent development projects include 945 Kenmore, a ground-up, mixed-use project that employed Brownfield cleanup methods and the Phoenix Brewery Apartments, an adaptive reuse historic project on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.  Nearing completion is Mid-City Apartments, a workforce housing project.  Sinatra & Company is also working on the adaptive reuse of the former Women’s & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo with partner Ellicott Development. 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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Board Meeting

Monday, August 20, 2018 - 10:30am
With videoconferencing to:   Empire State Development 633 Third Avenue – 37th Floor Conference Room New York, NY 10017  
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Report

Friday, August 17, 2018 - 10:34am
Small businesses form a substantial portion of the New York State economy. This report is issued in response to section 134 of the Economic Development Law that Empire State Development compile an annual report on the state of small businesses.This annual report highlights the state of small businesses in New York State during 2018.  2018 Annual Report on the State of Small Businesses
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Press Release

Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 2:01pm
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Plug Power, a leading provider of alternative energy technology, is expanding in the Capital Region. The company is opening a new manufacturing facility in Clifton Park, Saratoga County, where they will create 97 new jobs. The new location will support increased hydrogen and fuel cell production to meet industry demands while supporting New York's commitment to cleaner and more efficient energy sources. "Clean and renewable energy producers are critical in our efforts to combat climate change and ensure the sustainability of this planet," Governor Cuomo said. "Plug Power has been developing and manufacturing clean energy solutions in the Capital Region for more than 20 years, and their decision to expand in New York is a testament to the state's strong business climate." "Plug Power's investment in the clean energy industry is helping to grow the innovative economy of the Tech Valley and create high-tech job opportunities for local residents," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This new manufacturing facility in Saratoga County will generate nearly 100 new jobs and continue to advance electric vehicle technology in New York State. The Capital Region is continuing to grow with tech companies like Plug Power choosing to invest and expand in the area." Read the full press release here. 
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Board Meeting

Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 9:30am
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Press Release

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 5:01pm
Investment Will Support the Creation of Viable Commercial Businesses Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $2 million has been awarded to the Griffiss Institute to support IDEA NY, a business accelerator competition and twelve-month program that will incentivize promising entrepreneurs to create and grow viable commercial businesses in the Mohawk Valley region. The Innovation & Development Entrepreneurial Accelerator NY Mohawk Valley program will focus on the Cyber Security, Big Data, Information Systems and UAS industries. It will also build on the successful Air Force Research Laboratory Commercialization Academy - a national leader for facilitating the transfer of military technologies into the commercial marketplace. The award was recommended by the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council. "The IDEA NY business competition will attract entrepreneurs to the Mohawk Valley and foster innovative businesses in fast-growing sectors of the 21st century economy," Governor Cuomo said. "Through access to comprehensive technology and training programs, participants will create the next generation of businesses that drive the regional economy forward." "This new competition will help to attract businesses and spark innovation in the Mohawk Valley region," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This funding for the IDEA NY business competition will grow the tech industry in the area and continue to support promising entrepreneurs and economic development of the 21st century." Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 4:56pm
View a property list here and a property location map here USA Niagara Development Corporation (USAN) Board of Directors met today and unanimously approved the acquisition of 32 individual properties totaling approximately 11 acres of land in downtown Niagara Falls.  The purchase of these properties is made possible through a strategic land acquisition program that is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion Phase II.  USAN will acquire the properties from several limited liability corporations under primary ownership of local businessman Joseph Anderson for the fair market value of $25.75 million.  “These properties represent a tremendous opportunity to attract future investment to downtown Niagara Falls, will complement  the recent significant state investments made to upgrade the adjoining Niagara Falls State Park and will help continue our efforts to open access and create connectivity to the city’s waterfront,” said USAN President Christopher J. Schoepflin, who also serves as Senior Vice President of Empire State Development. “We will work to secure new mixed-use development that is compatible with our state parks and open space resources, while expanding on the base of resources necessary to facilitate an expansion of visitor stays and spending in unique and authentic ways.” The properties consist of 18 vacant commercial/former residential lots, four parking lots, four properties containing commercial/mixed use buildings, two operating lodging properties (the Quality Inn & Suites at the Falls at 240 First Street and the Rodeway Inn at 492 Main Street), and four parcels containing buildings/structures related to now-closed tourism/attractions (Smokin’ Joes Native Center and the Niagara Falls Adventure Park). After closing, USAN will hold, insure and progressively dispose of the properties competitively. Holding costs would be limited to insurance costs, security and periodic grass cutting services. The properties are located near properties previously acquired by USAN, including 101 and 305 Buffalo Avenue, the historic Hotel Niagara property, and 101 Old Falls Street, which contains the USAN-owned Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. They are also located near Niagara Falls State Park, as well as several hotels and attractions in the USAN Development District. In conjunction with the City of Niagara Falls and the University at Buffalo Regional Institute (UBRI), USAN will develop a Strategic Land Disposition Plan for the acquired properties that will advance USAN’s downtown/tourism mission and the policies of the city’s adopted Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance, particularly as depicted in USAN’s Illustrative Master Plan.  Preliminarily it is anticipated that under this plan, smaller, more reuse-ready properties (e.g., mixed-use properties on Third Street) would likely be competitively solicited for reuse/sale in the near term, while vacant property and sites requiring razing of structures would be disposed over a longer-term period. In the immediate term, based upon the outcome of the hotel operations analyses, it is also anticipated that the two operating lodging facilities would continue to be run through an interim operations contract, pending any long-term decisions on the redevelopment of these properties. USAN previously acquired property at 305 and 101 Buffalo Avenue through the Strategic Land Acquisition Program.  In July 2018, USAN issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to determine interest from qualified parties to redevelop 305 Buffalo Avenue.  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.  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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Board Meeting

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 2:00pm
With videoconferencing to:  Empire State Development 633 Third Avenue, 37th Floor New York, NY 10017
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Press Release

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 1:45pm
Projects Leverage Regional Strengths and Provide Inclusive Access to Waterfront Support Continued Growth of Western New York Tourism Industry - More Than 18.5 Million Visitors in 2017 Video of Buffalo's Waterfront Resurgence Can Be Viewed Here Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced three new projects to expand Buffalo's waterfront and build on the region's community and economic growth in order to attract more visitors and offer new recreational and cultural opportunities for residents. Approximately $24 million will improve water access, highlight Western New York's rich history, and support the continued growth of the area's tourism sector, which generated more than $3 billion in direct visitor spending in 2017. The projects and investments include: North Aud Block: a $10 million investment to complete this historic street grid and set the site for future development of the North Aud Block; 1825 Packet Boat: a $4 million commitment to construct a new facility to build a replica 1825 packet boat at Canalside; and Buffalo Blueway: a $10 million investment to create a network of public access points along the waterways of Buffalo. "The success of Buffalo's waterfront is evident year-round, with hundreds of thousands of visitors experiencing Canalside and enjoying local restaurants and businesses in the surrounding area," Governor Cuomo said. "These new projects will leverage Buffalo's natural beauty, tap into the rich culture and history the region has to offer, and expand opportunities for residents and visitors to access the Historic Erie Canal for generations to come." Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 1:23pm
$50 Million Northway-Albany Airport Connector Will Ease Traffic Congestion and Provide a More Direct Route to the Airport - Funded by Governor Cuomo's $100 billion Infrastructure Renewal Plan View Renderings of the New Airport and Highway Connector Here View a Video Showcasing the Albany International Airport Transformation Project Here Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today awarded $22.1 million in funding to Albany International Airport as part of a $42.1 million project to modernize the facility. The grant funding is part of the $200 million Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, first announced by Governor Cuomo in his 2016 State of the State Address and later passed in the 2017 state budget.  To complement the State's investment in Albany airport, Governor Cuomo also announced a $50 million project to construct a new highway connector between the airport and the Adirondack Northway (I-87) in the Town of Colonie, Albany County, to ease traffic congestion and provide a more direct route to the airport. The airport connector project is funded by Governor Cuomo's $100 billion Infrastructure Renewal Plan. "Albany International Airport is a gateway to the Capital Region, and this modernization project will help maximize economic development and tourism opportunities for generations to come," Governor Cuomo said. "Airports are the front doors to our communities, and these investments in the future of upstate airports are providing new jobs and helping attract new residents, businesses and visitors in every region of the state." Read the full press release here.
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