Empire State Development news and press releases

See all the official press releases from Empire State Development.

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Press Release

Tuesday, July 5, 2022 - 3:47pm
Promotes Revitalization of Communities by Redeveloping or Eliminating Blighted Structures Register Here for Instructional Webinar to be Held Wednesday, July 13 at 10 a.m.  Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that the Restore New York grant program will open on July 11. This $250 million program encourages community development and neighborhood growth through the elimination and redevelopment of blighted structures. Restore New York is open to municipalities to support projects that focus on demolishing, rehabilitating and restoring residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings. The program, administered by Empire State Development is designed to help local governments revitalize their communities and encourage commercial investment, improve the local housing stock, put properties back on the tax rolls and increase the local tax base. Grants will be awarded in two rounds this year, with $100 million available in the first round and $150 million available in round two.  "I have traveled to every corner of the state and have seen first-hand the potential that lies in so many of New York's blighted, older buildings," Governor Hochul said. "These spaces once had purpose and are now in need of funding and vision to breathe new life into neighborhoods. Restore New York funding gives localities the resources to transform abandoned and neglected properties, helping rebuild and strengthen communities across the state."   Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Restore New York gives municipalities the support they need to create real change in their communities, especially their downtown centers.  By removing or rehabilitating eyesores that bring down a neighborhood, municipalities have opportunity to revitalize their community and generate new economic opportunities."  The goal of Restore New York is to help attract residents and businesses by redeveloping residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties. Each project should align with the regional strategic plan of the Regional Economic Development Council and projects should be either architecturally consistent with nearby and adjacent properties or consistent with the municipality's local revitalization or urban development plan.  Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Tuesday, July 5, 2022 - 3:43pm
Up to $14.25 Million Available Through Federal American Rescue Plan Grant Will Support Efforts of State's Destination Marketing Organizations Application Portal and Program Guidelines Available Here Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the application launch for the New York State EDA Tourism Partner Sub-Awards Grant Program, designed to support the post-pandemic recovery of the state's travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Up to $14.25 million in federal COVID-19 recovery funding will be competitively sub-awarded to the state's Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) for marketing projects that aim to attract visitors to New York State by promoting tourism programs based on the Division of Tourism’s EDA areas of focus: outdoor recreation, international tourism, and travel trade including Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), amateur sports and group travel. ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Under Governor Hochul's leadership, and with the support from our colleagues in the federal government, New York State continues to rebuild and revitalize its tourism industry. Using funding awarded through an American Rescue Plan grant, ESD will support efforts by regional tourism partners to generate increased visitation and revenue in areas primed for growth, reviving this essential state sector." The program's goal is to positively impact New York State’s tourism industry by making strategic investments in programs and organizations that are working to generate economic growth for New York State and its vacation regions. Through the program's competitive grant process, ESD will ensure that funding is impact-driven and awarded projects are responsive to the program's intended focus. New York State is concentrating on sectors most in need of help, or areas representing the most promising opportunity for growth. Funding is open to New York State DMOs, and grant requests must equal or exceed $250,000. A DMO is defined as non-profit organization that promotes a location as an attractive travel destination. DMOs can include, but are not limited to, tourist boards, tourism authorities, tourism offices, tourism promotion agencies, and convention and visitors' bureaus.     ESD Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, "These competitive sub-awards to our DMO partners will, on a local and regional level, complement the work I LOVE NY will be doing statewide in tourism segments that represent terrific opportunities for growth. Outdoor recreation, international travel and tourism related to meetings, conferences, amateur sports and group travel are vital to our state's tourism economy and are areas in which New York can really excel. We are excited for the opportunity to expand our promotional work in these areas in this multifaceted way." More information, including program guidelines and the grant funding application, is available here. In 2021, the United States Economic Development Administration made $750 million in funding available from the American Rescue Plan to states and communities through its Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program. New York State applied for, and was awarded funding, with ESD designated as the agency to oversee and administer the grant. Of the $510 million allocated specifically to states, New York was awarded nearly $45 million – the second highest amount of any state. Other funding from this award will enhance I LOVE NY's programmatic work and efforts in the identified EDA areas of focus, and will support similar tourism-related efforts of other specified New York State agencies. About Empire State Development Empire State Development (ESD) is New York's chief economic development agency. 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. Using 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 the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," 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. About New York State New York State is a premier vacation destination with world-class attractions, picturesque natural beauty, locally sourced cuisine and a booming craft beverage scene, an array of accommodations, and iconic, year-round festivals and events. Its 11 diverse vacation regions feature some of the world’s top ranked beaches; two out of America’s top three favorite state parks; breathtaking Niagara Falls; more ski areas than any other state; one of the nation’s longest foliage seasons; multiple Halls of Fame; North America’s longest, fastest and highest zipline; the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States; and the country’s longest multi-use trail. Add in the state’s unique museums, historic landmarks, cultural sites, charming small towns and urban playgrounds, and it’s no wonder New York has been consistently chosen as a top getaway by travel publications and experts.  To help plan your next New York State vacation, please visit www.iloveny.com. Contact: ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Report

Friday, July 1, 2022 - 5:31pm
The Restaurant Return-To-Work Tax Credit Program incentivized COVID-impacted restaurants to bring restaurant staff back to work and to increase hiring at NYS restaurants. View Report
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Press Release

Thursday, June 30, 2022 - 11:30am
$8.8 Million Project Will Create Increased Laboratory Space and Move CBET to New Scotland Avenue Location Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) is expanding its $8.8 million growth plans for the Stack Family Center for Biopharmaceutical Education and Training (CBET) in Albany County, acquiring a 154,000 square foot, state-of-the-art medical and life sciences facility located at 150 New Scotland Avenue that is uniquely designed for life science research. The College plans to renovate laboratory space located at the facility and install highly specialized biopharmaceutical laboratory equipment. CBET is the first training center of its kind in New York State and the only one in the nation to be founded at a pharmacy school. The new labs will be a key differentiator in biomanufacturing training and will create a robust and sustainable pipeline of skilled talent for bio-based companies in the State. ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Investing in training the next generation of skilled biopharmaceutical professionals will help to strengthen New York State’s life sciences industry and continue our leadership in finding cutting-edge solutions that can both save, and better, our lives. New Yorkers have a unique appreciation for scientific advancement, and the Stack Family Center for Biopharmaceutical Education and Training (CBET) expansion project will contribute to the growth of the critical industry.”  Greg Dewey, President, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences said, “Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences students will directly benefit from the opportunity to work professionally alongside life science, biopharma, biomed, and bio-tech companies that utilize the facility for research and development, resulting in unparalleled employment opportunities in some of the fastest growing and economically lucrative health science industries. The facility will attract future generations of students to ACPHS because of the unique academic, research, and post-graduate opportunities available at the College.” CBET is ACPHS’s response to the rapidly growing biopharmaceutical field and the need for an educated workforce, which is considered an impediment to the growth and expansion within the life sciences industry. The Center will provide knowledge and hands-on experience to bring innovative biopharmaceuticals to patients. This project will build and renovate laboratory space to create new Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) and Cell and Gene Therapy labs, and to install and support the operation of highly specialized biopharmaceutical laboratory equipment. This initiative will leverage industry and government partnerships to deploy cutting edge biopharmaceutical manufacturing technology, supporting current and future workforce demands while promoting economic growth. The project is being supported by a $1.75 million ESD capital grant, recommended by the Capital Region Economic Development Council. CREDC Co-Chair Dr. Havidán Rodriguez said, “I am excited about the plans for growing the Stack Family Center for Biopharmaceutical Education and Training (CBET) in Albany County. This Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences project expansion further spotlights the Capital Region as a vibrant ecosystem for life science research, innovation and training. In strengthening a skilled talent pool to meet company needs, projects like these are growing the regional and state economy.” After discussions with industry partners, ACPHS determined that additional space was needed for CBET. The newly acquired space on New Scotland Ave is adjacent to the ACPHS campus, which provided the opportunity to move CBET closer to the College and expand its campus footprint. CBET was first established at the Albany Nanotech Complex, which is owned and operated by NY CREATES, where the Center will continue to lease space while utilizing the New Scotland Avenue property to meet growing demands. New York State continues to invest in and support projects that grow the life science workforce and industry. The $620 million Life Science initiative was enacted to spur the growth of a world-class life sciences research cluster in New York, and expand the state's ability to commercialize this research and grow the economy. This multi-faceted initiative includes $320 million for strategic programs that attract new life science technologies to the state, promote critical public and private sector investment emerging life science fields and create and expand life science-related businesses and employment throughout New York. The life sciences sector encompasses the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, and includes organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts to the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization. By strengthening incentives, investing in facilities, and improving access to talent and expertise, New York will significantly increase its share of industry-funded research and development, support the commercialization of existing academic research, and usher in the next generation of advanced technologies. Beyond the advancements in science, this initiative will position New York as a magnet for emerging manufacturing-based enterprises, bolstering regional economies and creating thousands of jobs. State Senator Neil Breslin said, “I am pleased that the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has decided to expand its footprint here in the City of Albany. The Stack Family Center for Biopharmaceutical Education and Training (CBET) is the first training center of its kind in New York State. The new biopharmaceutical labs will generate a robust and sustainable pipeline of skilled talent for the numerous bio-based companies in the State.” Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy said, “I am thrilled to see this expansion of the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ Center for Biopharmaceutical Education and Training (CBET). We are building an impressive and powerful life sciences cluster here in the Capital Region and this investment will only cement that commitment moving forward. As a strong supporter of investments like these in the life sciences that drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs, such as this project and the $750 million Wadsworth consolidation and upgrade initiative we secured this year, I am pleased to see this investment.” Assemblymember John T. McDonald III, RPh said, "Today's closing on the new location of CBET is an exciting and strategic next step in the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) effort to continue to do what it has always done - train those who will be working in the pharmaceutical world.  New York State is a leader nationally in the life sciences and here locally in the Capital Region we are bearing witness to that focus.  Retiring President Dewey should be commended for his vision and I am confident CBET's success will grow significantly under incoming President Tofade.  Thank You to Governor Hochul and the team at ESDC for their commitment and interest in this idea generated over four years ago which is now a major education and workforce facility to train tomorrow's biopharmaceutical employees." Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, “When you invest public funding into important projects like this, even more private dollars will follow. I’m proud that New York continues to build up Albany County’s life sciences industry cluster, which is a fundamental piece of our local economy, a key source of well-paying jobs for residents, and a magnet for future investment. By expanding this state-of-the-art education and training center at the nationally-ranked College of Pharmacy, we can attract top talent to the area to further advance technology and research, and we can also ensure we have the workforce to support our continued economic growth here in the Capital Region.” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “The expansion of the Albany College of Pharmacy’s CBET will enhance equity for Albany’s residents by expanding access to workforce training opportunities in the life science and public health fields. This program will build on the Albany College of Pharmacy’s successes with The Collaboratory in Albany’s South End and have a tremendous impact not only in New York’s Capital City but across our state and nation, especially as we recover from this pandemic and prepare for future public health crises. Thank you to Governor Hochul, Empire State Development, and the Capital Region Economic Development Council for providing the funding necessary to make this vital expansion a reality.” About Empire State Development Empire State Development (ESD) is New York's chief economic development agency. 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. Using 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 the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," 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. Supporting images available here and here. Contact: Kristin Devoe (ESD): [email protected] | (518) 414-1087 ESD Press Office: [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Board Meeting

Thursday, June 30, 2022 - 9:30am
In accordance with current Legislation, this meeting will be conducted via video conference and teleconference. The public may view and listen to the meeting via webcast by clicking the link below. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by Noon on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. All comments received by the deadline will be distributed to the Directors prior to the meeting and will be posted on-line.
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Board Meeting

Thursday, June 30, 2022 - 8:30am
In accordance with current Legislation, this meeting will be conducted via teleconference. The public may listen to the meeting via webcast by clicking the link below. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by Noon on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. All comments received by the deadline will be distributed to the Committee Members prior to the meeting and will be posted online.
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Press Release

Monday, June 27, 2022 - 1:47pm
Small Businesses with 100 or Fewer Employees May Receive Tax Credits for Costs Incurred to Increase COVID-19 Safety  Screening Tool Available Here Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the opening of the initial intake tool to help small businesses determine their eligibility for the COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program. The $250 million COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program will support small businesses that made investments to comply with emergency orders and regulations or to increase public safety in response to COVID-19. If deemed eligible by the screening tool, a link to the application will be provided when the program application opens.  "The pandemic has hit New York's small businesses especially hard, forcing many to close and others to incur significant financial burdens to protect their employees and customers from COVID-19," Governor Hochul said. "Small Businesses are the backbone of our state's economy, and in order to truly recover from the COVID-19 crisis, we must lend a helping hand. This tax credit will be a crucial lifeline to New York businesses and I encourage all who are interested to apply for this much-needed aid." Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Businesses have been burdened with many expenses during the pandemic that were necessary to keep their employees and customers safe.  This tax credit will ease the burden that the business community incurred during COVID and help it continue to get steadily back on its feet. I am grateful for Governor Hochul's support and also for all of New York's business owners who are working every day to rebuild our economy." Small businesses were hit particularly hard by the pandemic downturn. Announced as part of Governor Hochul's Executive Budget to continue the State's support for small businesses, this new refundable tax relief program targets COVID-19-related expenses. Eligible COVID-19-related costs include, but are not limited to: Supplies to disinfect or protect against COVID-19 transmission Costs associated with expanding, or defining space to accommodate social distancing HVAC equipment Expenses related to increased outdoor activity and outdoor space expansions Machinery and equipment to facilitate contactless sales Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Friday, June 24, 2022 - 6:03pm
 Project's Ribbon Cutting Celebrates the Creation of Food Hall, Food Market and Event Space in City's Central Business District Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the completion of The Academy’s food hall, food market and event space in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County. Located at 33 Academy Street in the heart of the city's central business district, The Academy will also establish a co-working space to be finished in September and 28 affordable apartment units which will be completed by the end of the year. This project furthers the city and the region's efforts to promote the area as a place to live, work and play, encouraging young adults to establish roots in the community. Baxter Building Corporation, the developers for this project, have committed to the creation of 65 new jobs.  ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "New York State is committed to investing in projects that that strengthen our downtown centers and supports local economic development. The Academy, with its modern mixed-use space and amenities and is a great example of how we are committed to increasing the vibrancy of our city centers to make them attractive to new residents looking for walkable livable communities." Baxter Building Corporation, the developers for this project, are investing more than $13 million to renovate the formerly underutilized commercial spaces at 31-35 Academy Street. This mixed-use development is uniquely positioned to be a vibrant hub of activity for the downtown neighborhood and the community. Upon completion, The Academy will include 28 apartment units, a grocery, food hall, restaurant, brewery, co-working and event space all under one roof, serving as a cultural catalyst where the best of Hudson Valley products and produce will be newly accessible, attracting locals and visitors from attractions such as the nearby Walkway Over the Hudson. The co-working space will invite and house numerous small businesses, independent professionals, and entrepreneurs to help catalyze economic growth. Amanda Baxter, President of Baxter Building Corporation and owner of The Academy, said, “Poughkeepsie is growing into a thriving residential and commercial city, and we are proud to reimagine The Academy as a local community hub for business and culture.” Eric Baxter, Vice President of Baxter Building Corporation and owner of The Academy, said, "“A core mission for Baxter is to develop and pave the way for collaboration and growth for the region’s local and emerging businesses. The Academy will be a welcoming establishment, cultivating a place to create, to relish, and to gather." This project was identified as a priority project by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council during Round VIII of the Regional Council process. Empire State Development has agreed to provide a capital grant of up to $1.1 million in exchange for 65 new jobs in Poughkeepsie. Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council co-chairs Marsha Gordon, President & CEO of The Business Council of Westchester, and SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young said, "The Academy project is a prime example of the best is yet to come for the Mid-Hudson Region. This multi-use complex will offer in a place where people can live, work and play, will be a catalyst to energize downtown Poughkeepsie and add to the city’s appeal.” Senator Sue Serino said, "This is an exciting day for Poughkeepsie, and the Hudson Valley as a whole. As we work to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's the completion of unique developments like this that will help revitalize our community and move us forward. The Academy truly has something for everyone, and it is a space that both residents and visitors alike can enjoy. We thank the Baxter Building Corporation for recognizing all the great reasons to invest in our local community and we cannot wait to see all the ways our neighbors enjoy this great new space.” Assembly Member Jonathan G. Jacobson said, "I applaud Baxter Construction for this innovative project. This project is a great example of a successful public-private partnership. The Academy will help revitalize an important part of downtown Poughkeepsie which will benefit all of the residents of Poughkeepsie and the region.” Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, "The redevelopment of the long vacant and high-profile buildings at the heart of the City of Poughkeepsie’s business district will be a catalyst for the attraction of other businesses, residents and investment to the city. I greatly appreciate the Baxter Family’s continued investment in the City and the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council’s support of this important project.” City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison said, “The Academy project is taking a big step today with the launch of a food hall, food market and event space, with more to come. We so look forward to the benefits these businesses will bring to the community. The Academy is a perfect fit as our revitalization efforts continue in the city’s innovation district and throughout the city.” About Empire State Development Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. 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 the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov   and www.esd.ny.gov. Contact: Kristin Devoe | [email protected] | (518) 414-1087  ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313 
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Press Release

Friday, June 24, 2022 - 3:54pm
Downtown Revitalization Initiative Project in Bridge District Will Serve as Anchor for the Community   See Conceptual Renderings and Picture of Interior of Church Here  The New York State Department of State (DOS) and Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Niagara University has begun work to establish an academic innovation hub and community space in the Bridge District in Niagara Falls. Niagara University will invest more than $2.5 million, including a $1.1 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award, to purchase the First Congregational United Church of Christ, a historic church at 822 Cleveland Ave, and transform it into a center for community outreach to help residents with early childhood development, economic development, community collaborations, and focus on health and wellness of residents.  “After much planning, the projects selected through the DRI process in Niagara Falls’ Bridge District are finally becoming a reality,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight.  “Renovating this historic building will broaden its community reach and impact as an active space for community, educational and business uses. Providing new professional resources and neighborhood amenities will also add to the area’s quality of life, both for existing residents, and for newcomers drawn by projects like these that are transforming the state’s city centers.”  “This project underscores the indispensable role that universities serve as anchors for urban revitalization, economic development and the overall quality of life within a community,” said New York State Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez.  “The establishment of this innovation hub in the Bridge District DRI enhances the vibrancy and vitality of this rising Niagara Falls neighborhood and the region.”  “Niagara University remains deeply committed to the growth and revitalization of Niagara Falls,” said Niagara University President Rev. James J. Maher. “The academic innovation hub is one more step forward as we work with Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Restaino and our key partners to align with existing initiatives to bring economic, workforce and social development to the Bridge District. We are beginning to see progress in our community, and I look forward to working with the entire community to create opportunities for growth and investment in our region.”  Niagara Falls’ Bridge District, a business district along North Main Street near the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge to Canada (and former bridges such as the Railway Suspension Bridge) was awarded $10 million under Round 4 of the DRI in August 2019. The Niagara University project was identified as one of 10 transformational projects under the DRI spending plan and will receive a $1.1 million DRI grant administered by Empire State Development.  The project is expected to be complete in spring 2023.   Niagara University will continue to lease the main floor of the church to the existing congregation, which has been active since 1855, for weekly services. The church has a rich history, including the belief that it was a stop on the Underground Railroad and was a host to 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The building’s location gives Niagara University a high-profile community presence to support direct neighborhood outreach, academic and civic programming, and historical and cultural events.    The university’s investment in the church will transform parts of the building into a state-of-the-art working space to meet the needs of the innovation hub. In addition to renovations, the university will purchase new furniture, computers, and technology related equipment, and it will make a number of infrastructure upgrades, including the installation of an elevator to provide handicap access. The building’s worship space will remain intact, and will be used for various activities including the continued use by the existing congregation, a speaker series and music events.  Niagara Falls’ Bridge District was named a DRI round 4 winner in August 2019.  With support from the Department of State, Niagara Falls developed a strategic investment plan that envisions the Bridge District as an active, walkable neighborhood that supports growing businesses and provides a welcoming environment for both residents and visitors that celebrates the area’s unique qualities and amenities. The strategic investment plan is guiding revitalization projects to advance the community’s vision for the district and to leverage and expand upon the state’s $10 million investment.    City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said, “I am grateful for Niagara University’s proven dedication to our community. The new Academic Innovation Hub will serve not only as a learning opportunity for students, but also a resource center for Niagara Falls residents. They will have immediate access to resources to help strengthen their professional lives, as well as their personal lives. The resources that will be available will open up new doors for residents to drastically improve their quality of life.”  State Senator Robert Ortt said, “With this investment by New York State, the residents of our Niagara Falls community will now have greater access to important services that are necessary for not only everyday life but also the further development of our city. This new Academic Innovations Hub with help build upon the positive progress we are witnessing throughout our city and is a brilliant display of what can be done when educational institutions, local government, and state government collaborate. I applaud this joint effort and look forward to the results created because of it.”  Assemblymember Angelo Morinello said, “I’m confident that Niagara University’s Academic Innovation Hub will become a prominent local anchor that expands the university’s presence in the city, serves the families and children of the Bridge District and fosters community and economic development. Thanks to Governor Hochul and Niagara University we are realizing our vision for this district to fully reach its incredible potential.”   The Niagara Falls Bridge District centers on a Main Street corridor, featuring prominent civic and cultural spaces, regional transportation amenities, and close to outdoor attractions, including De Veaux Woods and Whirlpool state parks and the Niagara Gorge. In recent years, the construction of the Amtrack Station, the Underground Railroad Heritage Center, and the creation of the Gorgeview section of Niagara Falls State Park, through the state’s removal of the Robert Moses Parkway along the reclaimed Niagara Gorge rim, have laid the groundwork for enhanced connectivity.  The DRI identifies key investments in public spaces, signature design projects, and strategic support of private projects to continue to bridge the divide, sown by urban renewal, between Main Street and the Niagara Gorge by fostering connections between community assets, a sense of place, and residential options for a diverse population. Niagara Falls is eager to ensure that investment will deliver on the principles of good urbanism to create a welcoming gateway district for visitors, a sought-after area for commercial activity and employment, and a desirable, livable neighborhood.  Downtown Revitalization Initiative  New York State’s DRI, a cornerstone of its economic development program, transforms downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers that offer a high quality of life and are magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, and economic and housing diversity. Led by the Department of State with assistance from Empire State Development, Homes and Community Renewal and NYSERDA, the DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative "plan-then-act" strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation and results in compact, walkable downtowns that are a key ingredient to helping New York State rebuild its economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to achieving the State’s bold climate goals by promoting the use of public transit and reducing dependence on private vehicles.  More information on the DRI is available here.  About the First Congregational Church  The First Congregational Church was completed in 1856, the same year Niagara University was founded. Construction was spearheaded and completed via the donations of area residents who contributed limestone, bedrock and other materials that were used to build the Railway Suspension Bridge. Area lore has it that the first parishioners were abolitionists and that the church was a stop on the Underground Railroad, hence the museum of that same name on nearby Depot Avenue West.  Niagara University  Founded by the Vincentian community in 1856, Niagara University is a comprehensive institution, blending the best of a liberal arts and professional education, grounded in our values-based Catholic tradition. Its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management, and Nursing offer programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral level.  As the first Vincentian university established in the United States, Niagara prepares students for personal and professional success while emphasizing service to the community in honor of St. Vincent de Paul. Niagara’s institutional commitment to service-learning has led to its inclusion on the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service every year since its inception in 2006, and its recognition with the Carnegie Foundation’s Classification for Community Engagement.  Contact: Laura Magee (ESD) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239 Department of State (DOS) |  [email protected] | 518-486-9846 
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Board Meeting

Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 10:00am
In accordance with current Legislation, this meeting will be conducted via teleconference. The public may listen to the meeting via webcast by clicking the link below. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. All comments received by the deadline will be distributed to the Members prior to the meeting and will posted on-line.
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