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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Press Release

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 11:50am
Luminate NY is the World's Largest Startup Accelerator for Optics, Photonics and Imaging Technologies State Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Luminate NY—the world's largest business accelerator for startups that have optics, photonics and imaging (OPI) enabled applications—received 101 applications to compete for a spot in Round III of the competition. 50 percent of this years’ applicants reside in countries outside of the United States, validating that Luminate NY is becoming a recognized global accelerator program. Last year, 33 percent of the startups that applied for the competition were from outside the U.S. The significant increase in international applicants demonstrates a growing desire to tap the rich OPI ecosystem that exists in the Finger Lakes region, which has long been recognized as the imaging capital of the world.  “Luminate NY brings emerging startups to the world’s imaging capital, with all of the Finger Lakes region’s OPI and manufacturing resources, where they can develop and more quickly commercialize their cutting-edge ideas,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Eric Gertler. For Round III, applications came from 25 different countries, including:  India, Canada, Australia, Israel, Russia, Singapore, and Spain.  Fifteen companies from New York State applied, with the remaining coming from U.S. cities including Austin, Berkeley, Boston, Los Angeles and Orlando.  Funding for the $25 million accelerator is provided through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative and is administered by NextCorps. “Advancements in optics, photonics and imaging technologies are transforming just about every industry today,” said Dr. Sujatha Ramanjuan, Managing Director of Luminate NY. “By giving OPI startups a platform for both business and technical development, we’re helping to advance the mission of these businesses, as well as the industries they serve.” This month the accelerator’s management team and global advisory board will select up to 25 semi-finalists from the pool of applicants. These companies will then travel to Rochester to pitch their startups during Luminate NY’s Lightning Rounds on Nov. 7 at the Strong National Museum of Play. Ten startups will be admitted to the six-month program, which begins in January 2020 in Rochester. The accelerator provides significant support to startups—including an initial $100,000 investment, expert mentorship, access to investors, lab facilities, and education—to guide startups through actionable business planning that’s focused on commercializing technologies and scaling their businesses.  Upon graduation in June 2020, the companies will compete for a total of $2 million in follow-on funding. State Senator Joseph Robach said, “This is very exciting news regarding Luminate NY.  Any time we can grow jobs through technology is a win for our region.  It is important that New York State continues to do everything in its power to keep the Upstate economy vibrant by promoting economic growth and community development.” State Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, “I am pleased to see the announcement of Luminate New York Optics funding. This innovative program provides the funding for the entrepreneurial spirit that is needed for the future creative projects that will provide the future of job and economic growth for our state and nation. I know that this next round of funding will provide for great ideas that will help build a brighter future for our families.” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, “Luminate NY's ability to repeatedly attract high-quality applications from around the world demonstrates the wisdom of Governor Cuomo's decision to locate this high-tech business accelerator in Rochester and build on our reputation as an up-and-coming research and development hub. Luminate NY gives business leaders a platform to bring their innovative ideas to the marketplace, which accelerates the growth of Rochester's knowledge economy. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development we are bringing 21st century job creators to Rochester through Finger Lakes Forward and that helps us achieve our goals of creating more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.” For more information about Luminate NY. click here. Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia, and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here. Contact: Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055 Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Monday, October 21, 2019 - 10:26am
New York State Funding Will Go Toward Signature Pedestrian Bridge and Lagoon Feature Wilson Foundation Announces an Additional $5M and City of Buffalo Pledges $3M For Pedestrian Bridge Renderings of the New Hudson Street Bridge Available Here Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $10 million for two signature features of what will be the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park in Buffalo. New York State will help fund a pedestrian bridge to replace the current Hudson Street Bridge, which will create access to the lake's edge in the park, as well as a new lagoon that boosts tourism and resiliency efforts. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park will be located at the current site of LaSalle Park, the City of Buffalo's largest waterfront park.  For years, the City of Buffalo and the community have envisioned something greater for LaSalle Park. With the support of New York State and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr, Foundation, which previously committed $50 million toward the park, the park's potential will come to fruition. "The progress in Buffalo and in Western New York is undeniable. That success should be shared with everyone, and that's what the reimagining of LaSalle Park is all about," Governor Cuomo said. "Our vision from day one has been about democratizing Buffalo's waterfront, and by investing in this new bridge and in this new lagoon, we can help ensure communities that for too long have been blocked from the waterfront get to experience it and all the benefits of the region's renaissance."  "Today we mark another milestone in the ongoing transformation of Buffalo's waterfront," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "As an active user of LaSalle Park, I know how important this community asset is, and I look forward to the future Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park. With this significant funding commitment and our partners at the Wilson Foundation and the City of Buffalo, we are further enhancing an amazing project that will help to connect people to the water." Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Friday, October 18, 2019 - 3:09pm
New Carousel Building Adds To Overall Vision For A Redeveloped Waterfront  See Location and Renderings of Carousel Building Here Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation has begun construction on the Buffalo Heritage Carousel project at Canalside. The project will consist of a new building near the corner of Prime and Perry streets to house the nearly century-old De Angelis Carousel. "The Carousel project celebrates both Buffalo's industrial history and our ongoing work to revive Buffalo's Waterfront," Governor Cuomo said. "With the community's support, New York will continue to invest in projects like this that are transforming the city's burgeoning waterfront into a central hub for residents and visitors alike to enjoy for generations to come." "Today we celebrate the incredible journey of the De Angelis Carousel, and its new home at Canalside," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "The carousel that was built right here in Western New York will soon be returning home nearly a century later and will be enjoyed by children for generations to come. It's part of the continuing transformation of Buffalo's waterfront that is drawing praise from visitors and publications from around the world. The Buffalo Heritage Carousel will be a star attraction on our waterfront - a key part of future growth and the emerging Canalside neighborhood." Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 11:52am
High-Tech Optical and Security Technology Company Will Grow its Operations in the Town of Henrietta Creating and Retaining almost 70 Jobs Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Empire State Development (ESD) today announced high-tech communications network services provider and high performance thin-film optical coatings manufacturer VIAVI Solutions, which acquired locally based RPC Photonics in 2018, is growing its operations in the Town of Henrietta, Monroe County. The company will construct a new, 30,000 square-foot plant at its John Street location and will create up to 23 new jobs;44 jobs will be retained. The expansion is expected to be completed in February of 2020. Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said, "The Finger Lakes region is home to talent-rich tech companies like VIAVI Solutions that continue to expand and create good-paying jobs here, reflecting New York State’s strategic investment in business expansion and regional growth.” The new facility will replace the current 17,000 square-foot plant, providing the needed infrastructure necessary for enhanced product development and manufacturing. The additional space will include the construction of a state-of-the-art, ISO, class 5 cleanroom at the Henrietta location. VIAVI Senior Vice President & General Manager for the Optical Security and Performance Products Business Luke Scrivanich said, “RPC Photonics was acquired by VIAVI in order to expand our offerings in the 3D sensing space and to leverage its resources in adjacent sectors. We look forward to expanding and modernizing our capabilities in Monroe County. This area is renowned for its talent in optics technology and we expect to continue to recruit and hire from the local colleges and universities.” VIAVI focuses its operations on the optical security and performance products business in high performance custom optics, by providing light management solutions for the consumer electronics, automotive, industrial, government and anti-counterfeiting markets.  ESD is assisting the successful company with its consolidation in Monroe County by providing up to $400,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Program in exchange for job creation commitments. Greater Rochester Enterprise was also instrumental in ensuring Viavi Solutions would expand and grow in New York State instead of moving its local manufacturing operations to the company’s facilities in Asia. State Senator Patrick Gallivan said, “The expansion of VIAVI Solutions is testament to the continued success of this high-tech industry and the quality of the local workforce. In addition to retaining dozens of existing jobs, the creation of nearly two dozen additional positions will provide new opportunities for students studying at local colleges and universities. The investment also sends a positive message about the continued economic growth of Henrietta, Monroe County and the entire Finger Lakes Region.” State Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, “I applaud Luke Scrivanich and the team from VIAVI Solutions for their ongoing commitment to our region. Today’s announcement by the company and Empire State Development Acting Commissioner Eric Gertler shows that the Rochester area has a strong, diverse, and skilled workforce and is in an economic position to create jobs for the future. I look forward to VIAVI Solution’s growth and the addition of new jobs at their expanded Henrietta campus.” Henrietta Town Supervisor Steve Schultz said, “Being located near two nationally ranked research universities each with an emphasis on different portions of the Photonics industry, Monroe County, and especially Henrietta, is a prime location for a photonics company to expand operations. We are very glad that VIAVi recognizes the strength of our area and is willing to invest in the acquisition of RPC Photonics and the expansion of their facilities which will include the creation of an additional 23 jobs in the industry. Thank you to RPC Photonics, VIAVI, and Empire State Development for working together to make this exciting opportunity a reality.” Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "From our historic strength in manufacturing and optics, to the talent harnessed by our world-class colleges and universities, Monroe County is the perfect place for VIAVI Solutions to grow. Monroe County is proud to be home to VIAVI as they create more jobs in our community and we offer our unique one-of-a-kind workforce development programs to support their continued success in the future." Greater Rochester Enterprise President & CEO Matt Hurlbutt said,” By acquiring locally based RPC Photonics, VIAVI has tapped into the robust optics, photonics, and imaging ecosystem and technical expertise available in the Greater Rochester, NY region. VIAVI leaders plan to expand their manufacturing capacity here in Henrietta, NY, to meet expected sales growth in the 3D imaging and sensing market. For additional information about VIAVI, click here. Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward  Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here. ​ Contact: Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055 Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Public Notice

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 4:00pm
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Press Release

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 2:13pm
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) Board of Directors met today and approved several items that will advance projects on Buffalo’s waterfront.  The board approved the design of both Heritage Point on the South Aud Block and the Buffalo Heritage Carousel near the Central Wharf at Canalside, paving the way for the projects to move forward.  The board also authorized ECHDC to grant a utility easement on the Outer Harbor to National Grid and designated additional Canalside Design Committee members. “The items approved by the ECHDC Board today ensure that our waterfront has cohesive and visually engaging spaces for the public’s enjoyment,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia.  “As the waterfront grows—both in its appeal and with physical projects—it is important that we take the time to create a timeless neighborhood and spaces that continue to attract visitors to the area.” The design approved by the ECHDC Board for Heritage Point, a $30 million private development project on the South Aud Block, includes two mixed-use buildings. The two buildings (totaling approximately 103,000 square feet) will be separated by a public walkway that follows a portion of the former Prime Slip, which would be inclined to provide an accessible path to the towpath for the public.  The proposed buildings will be constructed to the parcel lot lines, creating uniquely-shaped buildings and the exterior building materials will be predominantly stone and brick masonry. The buildings will include a mix of residential, office and a restaurant.  The project, to be developed by Sinatra & Company, has been formally reviewed by the Canalside Design Committee to determine its consistency with the Canalside Design Guidelines.  Renderings and construction drawings of the project are here. The Board also approved the design for the approximately 6,000 square foot Roundhouse building that will house the Buffalo Heritage Carousel.  The structure shape is designed as an octagon with a two-step roof that includes a clerestory and is topped with a glazed cupola.  The eight sides of the octagon will be formed by heavy timber columns and spanned by a glazed storefront system.  The metal panel roof will also have an integrated solar panel to assist in the operation of the carousel.  The carousel will be centered within the structure.  The $4 million project has been formally reviewed by the Canalside Design Committee to determine its consistency with the Canalside Design Guidelines.  Renderings and construction drawings of the project are here. The board also designated additional Canalside Design Committee members. The Canalside Design Guidelines were prepared in July 2009, revised in March 2010 and apply to all development parcels within Canalside.  Its goals are to provide high quality, attractive and active spaces that employ contemporary techniques but connect to the unique history of the site and Buffalo as a whole.  The purpose of the committee, which currently consists of Rishawn Sonubi, Audrey Ross Sanders and Mark Mistretta, is to assist ECHDC with the development, adoption and implementation of the guidelines.  New members designated by the board today include Elaine Chow, an adjunct professor within the School of Architecture & Planning at the State University of New York at Buffalo who also has a private practice, and Deborah Pease, who has a private practice that provides both design and construction management services.  The board also designated two alternates to the Canalside Design Review Committee: Michael Lennon and Seth Amman. Lastly, the ECHDC Board approved a measure that will allow ECHDC to grant a utility easement on the Outer Harbor to National Grid.  In order to provide electrical service to recent projects on the Outer Harbor, including a bike park and event lawn, the utility easement will permit extension of electrical service from Fuhrmann Boulevard to locations at Lakeside Complex.  The proposed easement, which is 20 feet wide, would prohibit building construction on the section and grants National Grid the right to access the property to inspect, maintain and repair the electric cabling as necessary.  The transfer will not provide any monetary compensation to ECHDC.  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 | [email protected] | 716-846-8309 | (800) 260-7313 Laura Magee | [email protected] | 716-846-8239 | (800) 260-7313
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Board Meeting

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 10:30am
With videoconferencing to: Empire State Development 633 Third Avenue – 37th Floor Conference Room New York, NY 10017
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Public Notice

Friday, October 11, 2019 - 2:00pm
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Public Notice

Friday, October 11, 2019 - 1:30pm
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