Empire State Development reports

ESD is dedicated to sharing information about its work with the public. In this Reports section, you can find many of the more than 50 quarterly and annual reports that we provide each year, detailing key New York State economic development projects and initiatives.

In addition to the reports published below, you may also wish to explore the 100+ economic development-related datasets available at data.ny.gov, access the detailed progress reports published annually by our 10 Regional Economic Development Councils at regionalcouncils.ny.gov, or view the comprehensive archive of public meeting videos and materials published in the ESD Media Center.

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Board Meeting

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 9:00am
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, this meeting will be conducted via teleconference. The public may listen to the meeting via webcast (audio) by clicking the link below on (or after) March 31, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing by 4:00 pm on Monday, March 30, 2020 to: [email protected] The Agenda and meeting materials will be posted the day before the meeting on LMDC’s website at www.renewnyc.com
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Press Release

Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 4:00pm
Issues Executive Order to Enable Moving Tax Filing Deadline for Personal and Corporate Taxes to July 15th New York State's Wadsworth Lab Has Started Evaluating New Antibody Test  Governor Announces Three New Sites to Add 695 Hospital Beds to the State's Capacity; State Will Begin Using Some Facilities Only for Patients with COVID-19 Following Governor's Request, Federal Government Has Approved Four Additional Sites for Temporary Hospitals First 1,000-Bed Temporary Hospital at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Expected to Open Monday 70 Non-Profit Organizations Statewide Will Receive $7.5 Million in Operating Support Funds to Provide Technical Assistance to Small Business Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Confirms 7,681 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 52,318; New Cases in 44 Counties Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is issuing an executive order to move the presidential primary election from April 28 to June 23, aligning it with the congressional and legislative primaries in New York. Governor Cuomo also issued an executive order to enable the tax filing deadline for personal and corporate taxes to be pushed back to July 15. The federal government took similar action earlier this month. The Governor also announced that the State Department of Health Wadsworth Lab is working in partnership with others labs to evaluate antibody testing that is designed to help very sick COVID-19 patients.  Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 8:15pm
ESD Board approves $2M grant to TechBuffalo to collaborate with ESD Empire State Development today announced the launch of the $12 million Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative to help cultivate Western New York’s tech workforce. This new initiative is designed to train, attract and retain tech talent to fuel the region’s continued economic transformation. The Empire State Development (ESD) Board of Directors met today and approved a $2 million grant to TechBuffalo, a not-for-profit that will partner with ESD and lead coordination and implementation for the initiative.  “The objectives of the new Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative will attract and cultivate the jobs that power the region’s innovation-driven economy,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “These efforts will build on the remarkable progress that has transformed Western New York as a result of our investment in the region.” James Partsch, Executive Director at TechBuffalo said, “Working together, this initiative will help build a future in which the Buffalo community is growing, developing, and engaging tech talent by upskilling and reskilling our existing workforce, collaborating with regional universities and community organizations, keeping great talent in Western New York, and attracting new individuals and their families to our amazing community.  This would not be possible without the support of the Wester New York Impact Investment Fund providing bridge funding to ensure the immediate operationalization of our mission is realized.” The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) developed the Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative in response to a labor pool shortage identified in the region, particularly in the tech sector.  Driven by increased digitalization and automation across industries, companies around the globe are facing a technology talent shortage that will continue to expand in the coming years. Industries in Western New York have identified an urgent need to fill a large number of vacant tech positions. Creating, attracting, and retaining talent with modern technology skills will be a key differentiator for the region’s continued success. Through this new initiative, funding will be provided for new programs that seek to increase the tech talent pool and help Western New York continue to play a part in rebuilding its economy.  New York State is committing up to $8 million in funding to jump-start these programs, and is engaging with foundations and the private sector to further develop and fund the Initiative. New programs will focus on improving the tech ecosystem through a three-pronged approach to address the urgent need for tech workers, including: Upskilling and reskilling unemployed and underemployed individuals for entry-level jobs in tech, as well as upskilling mid-level tech professionals and recent college graduates for more senior positions.  Partnerships with industry will provide new training opportunities and job placement assistance upon completion of training. Retaining graduates of local colleges and universities by establishing programs that provide better connections to industry through internships and networking opportunities. Attracting tech workers from outside the region to increase the population and labor pool through: Working with Forge Buffalo on providing resources for job seekers and employers in startups and small tech companies to connect and hire; Creating a program allowing tech students in colleges and universities outside of the region to spend time in the region connecting and working with local employers and to consider Western New York a place to live and work after graduation; and  Developing content and digital marketing with Invest Buffalo Niagara and the “Be in Buffalo” platform to expand the reach of the WNY region’s tech sector-focused talent recruitment efforts. To coordinate the multiple initiatives, ESD will be partnering with TechBuffalo, a not-for-profit with the mission of producing 5,000 new technology professions in the WNY region. To avoid duplicating efforts with other organizations, TechBuffalo will work to: coordinate activities across the investment portfolio; develop a website that serves as a portal for overarching information on the Buffalo tech scene; host events and provide coordination between companies and job seekers; and implement a tech-specific talent attraction and retention agenda that cuts across the three strategies on behalf of ESD.  Through their work and across the portfolio, ESD and TechBuffalo are seeking to: increase outreach to local college students and companies to improve student awareness of post-grad opportunities; improve access of non-WNY residents to job opportunities in the region, so they consider WNY as a place to relocate; increase access of companies to job seekers; and grow the regional tech sector and average tech sector wages. Senator Tim Kennedy said, "Now more than ever, we need to be creating new opportunities for employment and fueling innovative ideas, and the Buffalo Niagara Talent Initiative will fulfill both of those goals. This new partnership will complement existing tech incubators like 43North, and continue to foster the training and skills needed to build strong tech leaders here in Western New York." Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “Now more than ever, the Buffalo Niagara Talent Initiative is needed to help train tech workers to prepare them for the opportunities that will exist after we come out of this economic slump created by the coronavirus pandemic. The $2 million grant to Tech Buffalo will ensure those hardest hit by this public health crisis get the training they need to fill these new tech jobs as we move toward a more innovation driven economy. We thank the Governor for his continued vision and support for the people of Western New York.”  Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, "Western New York is known for having an incredible workforce, and the new Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative will be an important step forward for the future of our region. An innovative tech workforce is fueling our growth. By providing the training our workers need, we will help to ensure these jobs are the foundation for our success in the 21st century." Mayor Byron Brown said, "The state's new efforts to attract tech talent is a great fit with my Administration's Race for Place initiative, which is employing "smart city" technology to improve and maintain our infrastructure to help position Buffalo as a place tech companies and their employees want to be. ESD's board actions today enables work to begin on the planning, implementation and coordination of multiple initiatives targeting talent attraction and the retention of tech sector workers in Buffalo, which will result in direct job placement." About Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative The $12 million Buffalo-Niagara Talent Initiative helps cultivate the tech workforce fueling Western New York’s continued growth. This new initiative is designed to train, attract and retain tech talent that will continue to power the region’s economic rebirth.  For more information, visit https://buffalobillion.ny.gov/buffaloniagara-talent-initiative.   Contact: Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 Laura Magee | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239
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Board Meeting

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 6:00pm
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, 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 3:00 pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
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Press Release

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 4:08pm
Other items approved include maintenance of Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator Lighting and annual budgets The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) Board of Directors met today and approved several items, including two measures that will secure parking for tenants and businesses at Canalside.  As open land at Canalside continues to be developed, the need for parking is crucial to the continued success of Canalside partners and projects. The two parking lots are located along Perry Boulevard within the Canalside district (see map here) and will also be used as storage for Canalside back-office operations.  “As Canalside evolves, providing year-round offerings and experiences, as well as mixed-use projects with housing and commercial space, we expect an increase in visitors and residents to the area,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “The management of these two parking lots will provide ECHDC the opportunity to better regulate parking for new businesses and Canalside residents.” ECHDC will pay the state Department of Transportation (DOT) $410,707 for a five-year permit for the use and occupancy of existing parking lots under a New York State-owned highway right-of-way. Approximately one acre will be occupied by storage containers, equipment and vehicles that support the day-to-day services provided at Canalside. These back-of-house operations are currently based at the North Aud Block, the site of an upcoming development project.  New parking spaces will be created and used by Canalside Partners, including Sinatra & Company Real Estate, which will break ground on its Heritage Point project at Canalside in April.  The remaining spaces will be offered to Canalside partners, such as Benderson Development and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Explore & More Children’s Museum, before other third-party agreements are reviewed. These agreements with third-party occupants will help defray permit fees.  ECHDC Board also approved a $230,000 contract with LiRo Engineers, Inc. for design services associated with the parking lots. The project goals include: maximizing parking in both lots, including accessible parking spaces; improving the perimeter of the parking lots, where feasible, which could include limited fencing and landscape features; providing secure parking spaces in one or both parking lots; improving the parking surface, site drainage and site lighting; and providing space for Canalside back-office operations.  The ECHDC also approved a $600,000 contract with Foit-Albert Associates for scheduled ongoing maintenance over a two-year period at the Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator Lighting Project. Severe weather at the site has resulted in further damage to the fixtures and caused programming disruptions. A 2018 report had documented prior issues with a server and with fixtures at the site. In February, the consultant team corrected a December 2019 system failure, and updated a report detailing site fixtures and conditions. The installation still needs significant maintenance, new light fixtures and programming modifications. The services covered in this contract include the labor, equipment and materials required to perform ongoing maintenance visits throughout 2020 and 2021.  Lastly, the ECHDC Board approved ECHDC’s fiscal year 2020-2021 operating and capital budgets.  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 here.   Contact: Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 Laura Magee (ECHDC) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239
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Press Release

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 4:05pm
Marvel Architects to provide architecture and engineering services for redevelopment of former Rainbow Centre Mall Demolition contract also awarded for former Rodeway Inn and Niagara Snow Park sites The USA Niagara Development Corporation (USAN) Board of Directors met today and approved items that will advance key development projects in downtown Niagara Falls. USAN will enter into a contract with Marvel Architects, PLLC to provide design and engineering services to repurpose the remaining space in the former Rainbow Centre Mall into a high-density, mixed-use development with restored pedestrian access through the center of the building and active ground-level services.  The board also approved an item related to the demolition of structures and site preparation of two downtown Niagara Falls properties—the former Rodeway Inn and Niagara Snow Park—to prepare them for potential future redevelopment. “We could not be more excited to partner with the City of Niagara Falls and Marvel Architects on rethinking the Rainbow Centre,” said USAN President Anthony Vilardo.  “Marvel’s approach to redesigning the former mall will bring a fresh perspective to this key downtown property.  For too long the Rainbow Centre has been an impediment to development and acted as a barrier between the city and its waterfront.  Marvel has an impressive portfolio of adaptive reuse projects, and we look forward to bringing a great project to Niagara Falls.” Marvel is one of the world’s leading adaptive reuse architectural practices and has completed many adaptive reuse/historic projects of various scales. Its holistic design practice includes an urban design unit, which helps them to consider the impact of its work at the neighborhood, district and even regional scale. The company’s primary goal is activation: creating sites that are vital, walkable, multi-modal, and that serve a mix of audiences and groups throughout the day and seasons of the year. “The Rainbow Centre is a critical part of the downtown core,” said City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino.  “The effort to find a new purpose for the space is exciting and another important step in the recreation of our entertainment district. Marvel Architects PLLC will bring world-class design and architectural style to a very critical piece of our downtown. I am excited to review the project going forward and I am sure it will be a centerpiece addition to the district.”    In December 2019, USAN and the City of Niagara Falls announced plans to undertake the adaptive reuse of the remaining mall space as a Civic Improvement Project.   Guided by the recommendations of a panel of experts from the Urban Land Institute, the project will establish greater public access and walkability, create commercial opportunities, and modernize parking resources to support new and existing businesses at and near the mall site.  These modifications will create up to 200,000 square feet of available space that could be repurposed for uses that would benefit downtown Niagara Falls, including attractions or other entertainment venues or partnerships with the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, such as an expansion of programming.  USAN and the City have signed a project term sheet which allows USAN to procure and retain, at its expense, consultants necessary to develop plans and specifications necessary to allow construction of the project.  Marvel will provide necessary architecture and engineering services for the Project.  It will be responsible for working with USAN, the Culinary Institute, stakeholder focus groups, and associated agencies (NFTA, City Engineering and Public Works Department, etc.) to further expand and define the programming requirements for the Rainbow Centre Mall design, pedestrian access, streetscaping, structured parking, site features and future retail development assumptions.  USAN and the city will later select a construction manager for the construction phase of the Project.  The USAN Board also approved a $663,540 base contract to Regional Environmental Demolition Inc. for demolition and site preparation services at two downtown properties that were acquired by USAN as part of the strategic land acquisition program funded through the second phase of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion.  The anticipated start date for demolition and site work is March 2020 with a completion by July 2020.  The project involves asbestos abatement, structure demolition, earthwork, utility work and site preparation to include regrading and seeding in preparation for future development.  Specifically: 492 Main Street, site of the former Rodeway Inn: The intention of the demolition is to allow the site to blend seamlessly into the adjacent parkland until redevelopment efforts are underway.  The two-story, 8,424 square foot, 23-room budget motel building and a one-story 1,127 square foot office/retail building will be demolished, and all asphalt parking and structural base will be removed.  The site will be regraded and finished with topsoil and grass seed. 427 First Street, site of the former “Niagara Snow Park”: The 2.8-acre site contains the artificial tubing/sledding hill, which will be demolished, and all foundations will be being removed.  The site will be regraded to match the existing adjacent elevations and/or incorporate a retaining wall.  Due to the size of the property assemblage and USAN’s multiple redevelopment ventures, the interim plan for the property is to allow the City to continue to temporarily operate public parking on site.  The existing surface parking lot will remain as is. See map of sites here.  The properties were acquired by USAN to assemble long-dormant properties located near Niagara Falls State Park to remove blight from the downtown area and expand the density of uses there toward the establishment of a year-round, sustainable neighborhood.  In January 2020, the USAN Board designated TM Montante Development as the preferred developer for the restoration/rehabilitation of the USAN-owned commercial properties at 500 and 512 Third St., as well as an adjacent vacant lot at 518 Third St. and an adjacent parking lot at 503 Main St.  The projects will be vibrant, mixed-use commercial developments and are critical for the continued development of the Third Street Business District. Read more here. The USAN Board also approved USAN’s annual operating and capital budgets, as well Niagara Falls Convention and Conference Facility Civic Project and Old Falls Street 2020 operating and capital budgets. 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 https://esd.ny.gov/usa-niagara-development-corporation-6.   Contact: Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 | (800) 260-7313 Laura Magee | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239 | (800) 260-7313
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Board Meeting

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 2:00pm
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, 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 12:30 pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
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Board Meeting

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 11:00am
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, 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 10:00 am on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
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Press Release

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 3:32pm
Public is invited to respond to online survey now and participate in future community meetings once the COVID-19 crisis is resolved Public input will provide roadmap to create a vibrant and sustainable market Empire State Development (ESD) today announced it is seeking input via a public survey as part of public engagement outreach associated with the initiative to revitalize the iconic Broadway Market, a historic anchor institution in Buffalo’s Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. As one of the oldest and largest City-owned public markets in the United States, the Market is seeking to solidify and expand its customer base of faithful community patrons and annual holiday shoppers into a steady clientele that will help support and sustain the 90,000-square-foot site—and fuel neighborhood development. The project’s lead consultant, CJS Architects, is asking for the public’s feedback via the survey on a variety of issues including the mix of market vendors, market appearance and operations, and non-food businesses and services. The feedback will help create a roadmap for implementation and capital improvements that can contribute to the market’s renewed vibrancy and sustainability. Once the current coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis is resolved, CJS Architects and its team will be scheduling community meetings to discuss the project goals and to collect additional feedback on that Market’s future. “The Broadway Market is a transformational project for the city’s East Side,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and CEO & Commissioner-designate Eric Gertler. “This is the public’s chance to provide input on the next phase of renovations and on ways the market can be better integrated into the fabric of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.” Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has committed $4 million in state capital funds to ensure the Market is a sustainable and vibrant shopping hub and regional destination year-round. As one of the oldest and largest City-owned public markets in the United States, it is a focal point for Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood residents as well as a seasonal holiday destination. In addition to the Market’s historic importance, the site is also a food shopping destination for residents seeking a diverse selection of affordable ingredients, prepared foods and neighborhood services. Buffalo-area residents are encouraged to provide feedback through a survey that is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BroadwayMarket2020, as well as on the Broadway Market website and Facebook page. Once the current COVID-19 crisis is resolved, CJS Architects and its team will be scheduling community meetings to discuss the project goals and to collect feedback on the Market’s future. Revitalizing the East Side has been a continued focus of the Buffalo Billion.  As part of the 2017 State budget, the Governor and the State Legislature funded a second round of Buffalo Billion funding, totaling $500 million. Working in partnership with Mayor Byron W. Brown and City of Buffalo staff, state officials have targeted a portion of this funding for strategic investments along Buffalo’s four East Side commercial corridors. As part of this strategy, $65M in state funding is dedicated to the revitalization of Buffalo’s East Side through transformational capital investments in nine investment areas along four East Side Commercial Corridors (Michigan Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, Fillmore Avenue, and Bailey Avenue).  The $4 million in capital funds for the Market will seek to ensure it  is a sustainable and vibrant shopping hub and regional destination year-round.  The lead consultant team for this project, CJS Architects, is a Buffalo-based firm that brings 40 years of experience in the design of public and private developments and urban planning projects. Working with CJS Architects is Public Market Development (PMD), a wholly owned entity, founded by its principal Aaron Zaretsky. PMD has provided conceptual, development, fundraising, feasibility, siting, business planning, marketing planning, management and design services to more than 50 cities, counties, economic and community development entities, private nonprofits and private developers for over 40 years, focusing solely on public markets. Notably, Zaretsky was the Director of Seattle’s Pike Place Public Market during its $65 million renovation.  Also part of the team is Developments by JEM, which has over 25 years of community outreach experience, primarily engaging with communities on Buffalo’s East Side by creating road maps for viable and sustainable projects that produce economic development and enhance quality of life. “The future success of the iconic Broadway Market requires it to be an anchor for the continued revitalization of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. That means is needs to attract a diverse mix of shoppers, including the neighborhood’s long-time residents and new immigrant population, while also drawing foodies and culture seekers from across our City and region,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “I strongly encourage participation in the survey that will drive New York State’s $4 million investment, and build on the more than $2.6 million my Administration has spent on the market since 2009, with another $1.6 million committed to physical improvements.” “We are very excited to participate in the revitalization of Buffalo’s East Side,” said Robert E. Stark, AIA, CJS Architects’ partner–in-charge of the project.  “We believe the resurgence of the Broadway Market can serve as a catalyst to neighborhood redevelopment, but can also become an important destination that will draw visitors from around the city and the region.” The unfolding COVID-19 crisis has significantly affected how events and gatherings are held.  A planned public meeting and additional community engagement hosted by CJS Architects to further guide the team’s design and business planning developments is postponed until further notice.   Contact: Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 Laura Magee | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239
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Board Meeting

Monday, March 23, 2020 - 11:30am
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, 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 10:00 am on Monday, March 23, 2020.
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