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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Blog Post

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 12:38pm
Amazon’s decision to withdraw their headquarters from Long Island City is a major lost opportunity for New Yorkers and a loss for Empire State Development. Despite this, I think it’s important to highlight a couple of words that have been missing from the public dialogue in the months since this project was announced. Those words are simply THANK YOU. THANK YOU to our team at ESD who did exemplary work supporting every area of the state that submitted a proposal to Amazon. From helping cities evaluate their real estate options and research their relative strengths to presenting their proposal in the most positive way, ESD brought every resource to the table – and the team should be immensely proud of their efforts. THANK YOU to the Amazon selection team who spent so much time with us. You took the time to understand the state of our state and city – our creditworthiness, our investments in infrastructure, our commitment to higher education (particularly the Excelsior Scholarship Program), the quality of our colleges and universities, and the core values of our state as a champion of civil rights and as a proponent of tolerance in an era of…well, the opposite –  virtues that will undoubtedly continue to serve New York well. New York City was not on anyone’s short list and Long Island City, Queens was not on anyone’s long list – so, thank you for the vote of confidence. THANK YOU to the team at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, who did a fantastic job from beginning to end. One silver lining for us is the relationships and trust we’ve developed with EDC during this project, and we look forward to continuing that partnership. My final THANK YOU is to Governor Cuomo, who has been in our corner fighting for this project from day one. His trust and confidence in ESD continues to be the honor of a lifetime. On a personal note, I am of course profoundly disappointed in the outcome. I’ve always encouraged my colleagues to steer clear of hyperbolic language, but this is just tragic – while no lives were lost, many thousands of livelihoods were. The only productive way forward is for ESD to be true to ourselves. Being in economic development means being in the business of providing people with opportunity – and we still have work to do. Now more than ever, we must promote the many remarkable assets that brought Amazon to New York in the first place. Howard Zemsky CEO, Commissioner, and President Empire State Development
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Press Release

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 11:00am
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the WorldPride 2019 Ambassadors competition, ahead of the WorldPride and Stonewall 50 commemorations planned for June. WorldPride, the largest international LGBTQ Pride celebration, is coming to New York City in 2019, marking the first time it has been held in the United States. The commemoration includes marches, performances and festivals that promote the LGBTQ rights movement, and the WorldPride Ambassadors selected to highlight the diversity of New York's LGBTQ community will be invited to join I LOVE NY in New York City to be part of the celebration, including participating in the Pride March. "From the Stonewall rebellion to the recent passage of GENDA, New York State has been at the forefront of the LGBTQ rights movement, making it the ideal destination for WorldPride this year," Governor Cuomo said. "Together with our WorldPride Ambassadors, we will show that there is no place for hate in our state as we celebrate the LGBTQ community and continue to fight for a safe and equal nation for all." "There is no better venue for the first WorldPride coming to America than New York City during the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which launched the national modern day LGBTQ rights movement," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "We stand with the LGBTQ community continuing to fight for their rights and protections, including the passage of the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act and a ban on conversion therapy recently. The WorldPride 2019 Ambassadors Competition will allow New Yorkers to share what makes their community special with countless tourists here to celebrate love and diversity." Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 4:00pm
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Innovative Solutions has officially marked the company's move to its new location in the Town of Henrietta. The software development company has relocated to a 19,000-square-foot facility on East River Road, repurposing a building at the former Eastman Kodak Marketing Education Center. The facility, now dubbed the Riverwood Tech Campus, is being developed to service the region's developing collaborative technology companies' industry. The state's investment in the state-of-the-art company complements "Finger Lakes Forward"—the region's comprehensive strategy to revitalize communities and grow the economy. "New York State and the Finger Lakes region in particular are home to some of the most talent-rich tech companies in the industry," Governor Cuomo said. "Supporting businesses like Innovative Solutions that invest in the area and support a 21st century economy while creating good-paying jobs helps generate new opportunities and move the Finger Lakes forward." "The opening of Innovative Solutions in a repurposed building at the former Eastman Kodak Center is creating new ideas in old spaces," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement. "With their expansion, the software company already hired 10 employees in Henrietta, some from the local talent pool at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This investment is growing the high-tech industry and creating new opportunities for residents, while continuing to move the economy of the Finger Lakes region forward." Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 4:39pm
See photos of Gigi’s Northland Restaurant here. Empire State Development (ESD) and the City of Buffalo today announced the grand opening of Gigi’s Northland restaurant located at the Northland Workforce Training Center (NWTC) in Buffalo. The 3,900 square foot, full-service kitchen and café at 683 Northland Avenue will serve a clientele that includes students from NWTC, area residents, and previous diners who enjoyed the restaurant at its former location on East Ferry Street. The well-known restaurant has been located on Buffalo’s East Side since the 1960’s but closed three years ago following a fire at its previous location. “This project is a great example of the public-private partnerships happening across the Western New York region,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky.  “Gigi’s will further catalyze Buffalo's East Side redevelopment while adding to the overall success of the Northland Workforce Training Center.” “Today is a day to celebrate new beginnings and a new future for Buffalo’s iconic Gigi’s restaurant,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke at today’s event. “When a devastating fire tore through Gigi’s, the community rallied together determined to reopen the establishment and continue serving residents. The new Gigi’s complements our investment at the Northland Workforce Training Center, which is transforming the East Side with an innovative workforce development strategy for Western New York.”  “Gigi’s is one of the most iconic restaurants in the City of Buffalo," said Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. “While I am saddened that Gigi's founder Blondine Harvin is not here for this grand opening, I am comforted knowing her legacy lives on at the restaurant. I am proud to partner with Governor Cuomo and the Empire State Development Corporation to bring back this East Side staple to the sleek, state-of-the-art Northland Campus. I encourage residents to support this local treasure and enjoy some of the best soul food in the City.” Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC) selected Gigi’s as a tenant for the Northland restaurant space to provide food for the NWTC students, employees and staff, as well as for diners from the surrounding neighborhood and elsewhere. The eatery is located on the northeast corner of the building and is accessible to the public either through the main lobby entrance or through a separate patio. “Buffalo Urban Development Corporation is pleased to have Gigi’s Northland opening up as our second tenant at Northland Central (683 Northland),” said Peter M. Cammarata, President of BUDC. “Early in the planning process for the Northland Campus, we felt that is was imperative to have a food service operator in place to support the students, businesses, and neighbors who would be gravitating to this transitional community.  With its rich heritage on Buffalo’s East Side, GiGi’s Northland is the perfect match.  The State of New York and the City of Buffalo have worked closely with Darryl Harvin to make his mother’s vision of a resurrected community icon come true.” Gigi’s was operated for decades at 257 East Ferry Street by Blondine “Gigi” Harvin. Gigi’s son, Darryl Harvin, is the owner and operator of the new Gigi’s, which features a menu that includes many of the soul food favorites that made it famous, plus some healthier options that include farm-to-table selections, yogurt and paninis that can be taken to go. The restaurant will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. “Gigi’s is excited to be open at Northland,” said Darryl Harvin, Gigi’s Northland Owner. “We thank BUDC and Empire State Development for this opportunity to once again serve the community the food they know and love with a few new specialties also on the menu. To the students of Northland and the entire region, I am pleased and proud to say, ‘Welcome to Gigi’s!” The Northland Workforce Training Center is an important part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion vision for a new and vibrant Northland Avenue community. It is designed to create a successful workforce pipeline for qualified community members to become highly-skilled workers in the advanced manufacturing and energy industries. Since it opened in the fall of 2018, the center’s focus has been on providing a comprehensive pathway to manufacturing and energy careers with good pay through industry education, job training, leadership development, life skills training, quality of life and community assistance, job placement, and follow up to ensure a successful job transition. Stephen Tucker, Northland Workforce Training Center President & CEO, said, “We are excited about the opening of Gigi’s Restaurant in Northland Workforce Training Center. Their history as a staple in the community that provides quality food options is a welcomed addition to the Northland Corridor and supports the renaissance that’s happening on Buffalo’s East Side.” The Workforce Training Center is being funded with $29 million from the Buffalo Billion and $15 million from the New York Power Authority. John R. Koelmel, New York Power Authority Chairman said, “The return of Gigi’s is a welcome boost for the City of Buffalo and entire Western New York region, and is specifically significant in the economic transformation of the East Side. The Northland Workforce Training Center is on track to be a world class facility, attracting new businesses and training for clean energy and manufacturing jobs in the region. The Power Authority is pleased to welcome back an enterprising business that will support existing tenants and encourage additional growth in the neighborhood.” Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “While this is a celebration of Gigi’s reopening here at the Northland Workforce Training Center following that devastating fire almost four years ago, it’s also a bittersweet reopening, because Blondine Harvin, the woman responsible for bringing Gigi’s to the Queen City, is no longer with us. But I can assure you she’s smiling down on us knowing that her legacy of bringing the best soul food, fried chicken, sweet potato pie, peach cobbler, and my favorite salmon cakes and grits will continue for another 60 years.  We thank and congratulate Blondine and her son Darryl for one of the greatest gifts you can offer anyone- a good home cooked meal.” Senator Tim Kennedy said, “For years, Gigi's has been an iconic Buffalo gem, embedded in the fabric of our city's East Side and cherished by the people who call it home. While a fire may have halted operations temporarily, I'm thrilled to see this restaurant reopen inside a new city anchor: the Northland Workforce Training Center. This new partnership will not only benefit the students and staff who visit the Center daily, but the surrounding neighborhoods and the many who have missed the soul food Gigi's is known for serving.” Common Council President Darius Pridgen said, “This opening is important to the Buffalo community. It's wasn't just a symbolic choice to open at the Northland Corridor, it was a necessary one for the city. I'm thankful Miss Gigi got a chance to know that her name would live on and that it will be located within a facility to help train and educate everyone that enters the building. Today, her legacy will continue to take care of men and women when they need it.” Common Council Member Ulysees O. Wingo, Sr. said, “We are proud to have worked alongside the Harvin family to ensure that the vision of Gigi’s staying on the East Side is realized. Blondine ‘Gigi’ Harvin would be proud of the progress and the coalition around keeping her dream of serving the community alive.”   Contacts: Pamm Lent (Governor’s office) | pamm.lent@esd.ny.gov | 716-846-8309 Laura Magee (ESD) | laura.magee@esd.ny.gov | 716-846-8239
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Press Release

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 1:11pm
The New York Empowerment Zone Corporation (NYEZC) today announced the development of Bronx Kreate Space, which will renovate existing manufacturing space in the South Bronx to create 100 individual and shared studio spaces, a total of over 21,000 square feet. The Mott Haven space will be available for mostly Bronx-based artists. NYEZC approved a $350,000 loan from the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) that will complement an added $595,000 in investment Bronx Kreate received through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). New York City has one of the highest concentrations of artists and makers in the United States, and the number of artists in Mott Haven has nearly doubled since 2000. NYEZC is a subsidiary of Empire State Development (ESD). Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “New York City’s thriving arts scene is only possible if artists and makers have access to affordable space, and this loan to Bronx Kreate will enable more of them to prosper while contributing to the economic growth of the South Bronx.” The building’s first floor will host a cafe and gallery space. Studio spaces, common areas and kitchens will take up the remaining three floors. 14,910 square feet of space will be available for rent. The space will be marketed to artists and makers once the renovation is completed this Fall. Bronx Kreate Space CEO Dan Herdoon said, “The Bronx has always been the home of artistic talent—from hip hop to graffiti and salsa dancing. Bronx Kreate Space is now rekindling the creative spirit and giving the South Bronx a permanent hub to work, connect and create.” The DRI investment was announced as part of a $10 million investment in the South Bronx in July 2018. The New York Empowerment Zone is one of nine empowerment zones (EZs) established by the federal government in 1994 to revitalize distressed communities by using public funds and tax incentives as catalysts for private investment. New and existing businesses located in or expanding to the South Bronx or Upper Manhattan can qualify for a variety of federal, state and city incentives, including direct loans and grants and other tax incentives. Senator José M. Serrano said, "As Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, I understand that an investment in the arts is an investment in economic development. Communities that have experienced revitalization in recent years have always had a cultural community at the forefront, and the South Bronx is no exception. This investment ensures that as the Bronx continues to grow and evolve, the artists who have helped generate its transformation are able to continue working in the borough. Many thanks to Commissioner Zemsky and NYEZC for their commitment to creating opportunities for growth in Mott Haven." Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “The Bronx Kreate Space will be instrumental in sending the message that art is for everyone and we need to keep it alive in the Bronx. My office supports projects like this to help break down barriers of entry for local artists and the community and I am excited to see this project come to fruition. I thank KZA Realty Group and Kathy Zamenchansky for their contribution to the Bronx arts community through the development of this project and The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp for providing a significant percentage of the funding to make this happen.” BOEDC President Marlene Cintron said, “The Bronx has a long-standing history of creativity. Doo Op, Salsa, Wall Art, Hip Hop and Rap are all art and music forms that started in this borough.  Bronx Kreate will provide our talented residents with an affordable work place where artists can ‘Kreate’, exhibit and co-inspire each other to greater heights.”  About Empire State Development Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.     Contact: Adam Kilduff | adam.kilduff@esd.ny.gov | (212) 803-3744 ESD Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Friday, February 22, 2019 - 11:38am
Investment Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of alternative energy technology headquartered in Latham, Albany County, is expanding in the Finger Lakes region. The company is investing $3.7 million to establish a Membrane Electrode Assemblies facility in Rochester's Eastman Business Park, creating more than 80 new jobs. Combined with a previously announced expansion plan in the Capital Region, the company has committed to investing nearly $6.5 million total to create more than 180 jobs statewide. This project furthers New York State's commitment to clean, renewable energy and complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's Upstate Revitalization Initiative strategy to encourage community and economic growth. "Plug Power is a key partner in New York State's nation-leading efforts to move away from dirty power sources and toward renewable energy products such as hydrogen fuel cells," Governor Cuomo said. "This new investment and expansion at Eastman Business Park will create new green jobs, boost economic growth and continue to move the Finger Lakes forward." "Plug Power joins the growing list of companies expanding and creating jobs in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement in Rochester. "This investment is a boost for good paying clean energy jobs and complements our statewide efforts to focus on renewable energy production to combat the growing threat of climate change." Read the full press release here. 
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Board Meeting

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 9:30am
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Press Release

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 12:59pm
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the parent company of world-renowned clothier Hickey Freeman, Luxury Men's Apparel Group, has committed to creating up to 80 new jobs over the next three years. By stabilizing operations and improving efficiencies at the historic factory in the City of Rochester, the company will not only create new jobs, but also retain its current 420 positions to further supporting anti-poverty efforts in Monroe County. "Hickey Freeman has been a fixture of Rochester's business and manufacturing community for generations, and this investment will ensure it remains part of the city's economic fabric for decades to come," Governor Cuomo said. "We are proud to support the expansion of this iconic Rochester company, creating quality jobs for hardworking residents and moving the Finger Lakes forward." "Hickey Freeman suits are a cut above the rest and are proudly made in New York State," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement in Rochester. "Their clothing is a storied part of Rochester's history, and we are committed to supporting their expansion and continued growth in upstate New York. Hickey Freeman is the latest company to announce new, good paying jobs in the City of Rochester, and this investment will help to ensure continued economic progress in the Finger Lakes region." To facilitate the plan, New York State is providing $4 million through a Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative convertible loan in exchange for the job creation commitment. In addition to the URI funding, efforts to ensure Hickey Freeman's continued presence [at the] at the company's North Clinton Avenue location were also supported by Federal Government officials, Monroe County, the City of Rochester, and the Greater Rochester Enterprise. Already underway, upgrades at the factory are expected to be completed by the end of 2019 with an estimated total project cost of $8.2 million. Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 11:21am
Empire State Development (ESD) today announced a revolving loan fund of up to $4 million for small businesses in economically distressed areas in parts of Nassau, Rockland and Westchester Counties. The funding is provided by ESD’s Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund (MERF), which provides loans to businesses and governments in the New York portion of the territory covered by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “This new revolving loan fund from the Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund will help more small business owners and MWBEs from economically distressed areas get access to capital, a vital tool for economic success.” The fund will focus on providing loans to New York State small business owners who have historically had difficulty accessing regular credit markets, particularly Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). Funding will be disbursed through four Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund (MERF) provides loans to organizations investing in projects that retain or create a significant number of private-sector jobs in economically distressed areas within its service area. MERF works to address the lack of access to capital for people of color in the areas it addresses. Loans can be used for improving land and/or buildings, construction and renovation, and for machinery and equipment purchases. The fund will build upon the resources and capacity-building opportunities that New York State offers the MWBE community such as the Bridge to Success Loan Program, which provides short term bridge loans for New York State Certified MWBEs. Since its inception, the program has provided 153 loans totaling just over $24 million supporting over $201 million in contracts for New York State MWBEs. The New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program also provides technical and financial assistance to help MWBEs and small businesses secure surety bonding.  More than 469 MWBEs and small businesses have graduated from bond readiness training and MWBEs represent $89 million in surety bonding capacity as a result of New York State training and credit facilitation. Through collateral support alone, over $66 million in bonding was supported, of which over $42 million went to MWBEs. Small businesses interested in loans from the MERF program should contact the CDFI closest to their location directly. The CDFIs that have each been awarded up to $1 million in MERF funds are: BOC Capital Corporation Community Capital New York, Inc. Excelsior Growth Fund TruFund Financial Services, Inc. About Empire State Development Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.   Contact: Adam Kilduff | adam.kilduff@esd.ny.gov | (212) 803-3744 ESD Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313
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Public Notice

Friday, February 15, 2019 - 3:00pm
Village of Owego-Gateway Capital RESTORE IV Project
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