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Blog Post

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 4:42pm
It’s been a transformational summer for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative—investing $10 million in communities across the state that have a winning vision for remaking their downtowns. In July and August, the Governor announced details of the winning projects from Round Three communities and began announcing its Round Four winners. Highlights of winning projects: Capital Region--Albany: Albany’s Clinton Square neighborhood, rich in arts, history and culture, is set to become a thriving gateway connecting downtown and the Warehouse District with enhanced and improved streetscapes and providing new development that includes affordable housing, residential and artists’ exhibition spaces and local Death Wish Coffee Company’s first standalone café.  Central New York—Auburn: Auburn will reclaim its rich cultural and artistic heritage, building on existing downtown historic assets with restoration of a historic theater and museum spaces, revamping a strip mall for a public safety building; creating modern facilities for culinary arts, addiction and health care services; and new mixed-use development. Finger Lakes—Penn Yan: Planned Penn Yan projects will capitalize on the village as a food and craft beverage industry hub and on the area’s natural beauty—transforming empty and underused spaces into restaurants, a bakery, mixed-use developments and housing; revitalizing historic buildings, including a theater, hotels and inns; improving waterfront spaces and expanding a parks and trails network.   Long Island—Central Islip:  Winning DRI projects will leverage access to the Long Island Railroad and continue the transit-oriented development that will make Central Islip a hub for the community, with infrastructure and pedestrian improvements, redevelopment of a former train station and building rehab and improvements to create additional commercial and residential opportunities. Mid-Hudson—New Rochelle:  New Rochelle will leverage DRI investments to better connect its residential areas to cultural and commercial resources, with planned projects that will improve traffic circulation, repurpose a stretch of highway as a public space for recreation, create a new theater and education center and encourage new neighborhood-scale development and affordable housing.
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Blog Post

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 4:35pm
It’s been a summer of love for the Mid-Hudson region, with natural beauty that’s a year-round highlight for residents and tourists who visit the area’s many parks, historic and cultural sites. The area’s ideal location—with proximity to New York City and major Northeast destinations—also makes it a draw for businesses. During the past three months, the Mid-Hudson region has added new attractions, hosted milestone concerts and broken ground on a leading food manufacturer’s hub—while continuing to serve as a headquarters for several Fortune 500 companies and a home to pioneering research and innovation. Amy’s Kitchen, a leading organic food manufacturer, broke ground June 21 on a new 389,000-square-foot facility in Orange County that will be the company’s East Coast hub, creating 680 new jobs. The specialty frozen food manufacturing facility in Goshen will be one of the largest manufacturing plants built in New York State in decades. Amy’s Kitchen, a family-owned and privately held company founded in 1987, makes more than 250 organic products and invests in local organic farms to produce them. State support for the facility includes up to $6.8 million in performance-based incentives—tied to job creation and investment commitments—as well as a low-cost power allocation from the New York Power Authority.     The day before the Amy’s groundbreaking, a new $3 million Dutchess Welcome Center opened at the eastern approach of the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park. The 1,800-square-foot Poughkeepsie Center opened as the 1.28-mile Walkway, once an unused railroad bridge, marks its 10th anniversary.  Next steps for the Welcome Center, which features tourism information and showcases local products, include a new pavilion.
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Blog Post

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 4:02pm
Workforce development in New York State is not just a goal, it’s a graduation—and, for the students among the first graduating class at Buffalo’s Northland Workforce Training Center (NWTC), it’s jobs with advanced manufacturing companies that are looking to fill skills gaps in these well-paying industries. The NWTC Aug. 16 graduation was among several summer announcements demonstrating the pace and progress of workforce development efforts throughout New York State, including new centers in the Finger Lakes and in the Capital Region and a first-in-the-nation fund to foster diversity and job training in the entertainment industry. The Advanced Manufacturing Training Center at Northland, in partnership with SUNY Erie Community College and Alfred State College, provides degree and certificate programs in tandem with work experience that reflects industry needs. Most of the NTWC graduates have been placed at jobs with Western New York manufacturers from Moog and Allied Circuits to Harmac Medical Products and Niagara Transformer Corp. The NWTC, a public-private partnership that is a Buffalo Billion signature workforce initiative, also addresses barriers to enrollment including transportation, cost and childcare. For up to three years following graduation, students continue to have the support of career coaches and placement specialists.       August also brought announcements of new homes for workforce development training in the Finger Lakes and Capital Regions, aligned with and targeted to the strategic industries in each area. The Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center, formerly located at the Eastman Business Park, will move to a more central location in downtown Rochester, on the campus of Monroe Community College. The more central MCC Forward Center will be more easily accessible to students and residents, while still offering programs to support Eastman Business Park tenants.  The $11.4 million complex is expected to create a $90 million regional economic benefit, training more than 2,300 workers over the next five years to fill the talent pipeline for high-tech companies in biomaterials, energy, functional films—and photonics, a key Finger Lakes industry. In the Capital Region, the new Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills (CAMS) celebrated its grand opening on Aug. 27 on the campus of the Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. The $14.5 million, 37,000-square-foot facility will help meet regional manufacturers’ needs for skilled workers by doubling the capacity in the college’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology degree program. Almost all of the students in the program, which trains machinists, toolmakers and programmers, have jobs before they graduate. CAMS features Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing simulation computer workstations, and includes labs, an advisement center and conference spaces—offering a one-stop support center for students and a place to connect with workforce partners. Two further summer announcements reinforce the different ways New York State is expanding opportunity and building talent pipelines in strategic industries. The Empire State Entertainment Diversity Job Training Development Fund, announced in July, will support job training and workforce development across New York State’s entertainment industry.  Productions participating in the New York State Film Tax Credit Program will see a small reduction in their tax credits that will be diverted into the fund.  The fund’s goal is to ensure that the jobs related to the growth of New York’s entertainment industry are filled by New Yorkers who represent the state’s diversity.  ESD will create regulations and administer grants to create the program—and also solicit input and suggestions from the film industry, educational community and the public to determine industry job needs and ways to ensure the greatest impact. A new Life Science Entrepreneur Development Grant program, announced in August and part of New York State’s $620 million Life Science Initiative, will help develop life science business leaders. The grant which will be awarded to qualified graduate schools of business in New York State to plan and implement an entrepreneurial training program, through a new MBA concentration or graduate-level certificate in life science entrepreneurship. Click here for more program details; applications are due Oct. 15.  
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Blog Post

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 2:12pm
Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo announced his nomination of veteran business executive Eric Gertler as ESD President and CEO—while continuing Howard Zemsky’s role as chair of the ESD board. The changes are effective as of Sept. 3. Gertler, the current Executive Chairman of U.S. News and World Report, has been an ESD board member since 2018 and accompanied the Governor earlier this summer on a solidarity trip and trade mission to Israel. The Governor called Gertler an “innovative leader” uniquely qualified to lead ESD based on his unique mix of experience “at the intersection of business, media and government.” That experience includes oversight of Ulysses Ventures, a multi-strategy investment fund based in New York City and prior leadership experience at the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Center for Economic Transformation—and as an author, newspaper publisher, foundation trustee and university board member. Gertler, a graduate of Brown University, also holds degrees from the Sorbonne and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris and has a J.D. from American University. Howard Zemsky, who continues as Chair of ESD, echoed the Governor’s confidence in Gertler’s leadership. In a note to ESD staff, Zemsky said “Eric is a flat-out fabulous choice to head ESD. He brings ‎extensive and relevant private sector experience closely aligned with our mission, including private equity and venture capital investing. Add to that his experience with municipal economic development as EVP with NYC Economic Development Corporation under Mayors Bloomberg and de Blasio, again aligned with our goals of growing the tech and life science economies.” Zemsky praised Gertler’s “engaged, prepared and insightful” ESD board service and, “most importantly,” the fact that “Eric places the highest priority on ethics and integrity, on leadership by example and on the importance of respect and decency.” Zemsky said he looks forward to their ESD partnership, which remains focused on “accomplishing great things for the economy and for the people of New York State.” He also described his tenure at ESD, which began in 2015, as “the honor of a lifetime for me.” Gertler is already busy gearing up for the transition, with planned trips to ESD and regional offices around the state, and is voicing his “boundless faith” in New York State’s economic potential “as we continue to attract business investment, stimulate new industry, reinforce our existing infrastructure and invest in workforce development.”
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Blog Post

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 1:58pm
First announced in December 2017, the Belmont Redevelopment Project will construct a new 19,000-seat arena for the Islanders, a hotel and a 350,000 square foot retail village on underutilized state land at Belmont Park. This summer, the project received final public approvals, paving the way for site preparations to begin and for the project’s long-term lease to be finalized. In the coming years, this $1.3 billion project will transform 43 acres of largely-vacant parking lots into an international sports and hospitality destination – creating 10,000 construction jobs and $2.7 billion in economic activity. Once the project is fully built, it will sustain 3,200 permanent jobs, create $858 million in economic activity annually, and generate over $40 million in new tax revenue each year. In addition, the LIRR will construct a full-time, Main Line LIRR station at Elmont to serve both the arena complex and the local community. This is the first new full-time LIRR station in decades, and, thanks to an innovative public-private partnership, the majority of the cost will be covered by the project’s private development team. In addition, the developers will fund upgrades to two local parks and provide space for community organizations on site. This project will help boost Long Island’s economy, expand the region’s transportation network and build the new home arena the Islanders and their fans deserve. To learn more about the project, click here.
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Blog Post

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 6:45pm
The Buffalo Skyway Corridor Competition challenges the nation’s top urban designers, economists, planners and architects to reimagine the corridor—stretching four miles from  downtown to Lackawanna—drawing inspiration from the community’s unique waterfront landscape, responding to the community’s collective vision for the City, building upon current momentum and significant investments, and acknowledging the region’s rich history while ensuring that past mistakes are not repeated. Teams were challenged to share solutions that could be implemented with a degree of affordability, feasibility and technical achievability (particularly regarding accommodating anticipated traffic) and superior design quality. The top submission will be awarded a $100,000 prize, second place will be awarded $50,000 and third place will be awarded $25,000.  We received over 100 submissions under Part 1 of the Competition – which included “summary-level” submissions that were screened against the “affordable, feasible, and achievable” criteria to get to 20 teams that were invited to submit final presentation boards and proposals under Part 2 of the Competition.    Sixteen of the top 20 teams submitted final proposals --- and are now available to view online. 1. Skyway 2.0 This submission bills itself as a “future-proof design for the skyway corridor.”  It envisages a gradual development of the area through a systematic implementation of complementary stages that address the Inner Harbor, Outer Harbor North and Outer Harbor South.  The Skyway Bridge remains in this proposal and is gradually used for a light rail extension.  In addition, other pedestrian bridge connections would be implemented between the Inner and Outer Harbor areas.    2. Skyway River Loop (Second Place) This submission says it will “Keep the Skyway and reinforce the heart of Buffalo.”  It proposes keeping the Skyway, lighting and painting it, and reframing it for new use.  Skyway River Loop is about making connections to the existing neighborhoods and supporting their further development and use.  A bridge connection to the Outer Harbor would be restored at Michigan Avenue; various underutilized ramps from the Skyway would be removed in selected areas to allow for new development, and a series of open space and public building investments would be made to support access and infill development. 3. Olmsted Remixed The vision of this proposal is preserving the “Skyway’s capacity for ships, trucks, and commuters while creating new waterfront connections for recreational users.”  It calls for keeping the Skyway—and its traffic—high above the city’s shipping lanes and waterfront parks—and creating new multi-modal connections under and alongside it, as well as under a portion of I-190.  The proposal also calls for a new local lift bridge connecting Canalside to the Outer Harbor. 4. City of Lights: Re-View Our Waterfront (WINNER) The concept for Skyway and Route 5 Corridor here is “actually quite simple; remove the barriers separating the City of Buffalo from its waterfront.”  Removal of the Skyway (Church Street to Prime Street) along with the access ramps makes 12 acres available for development in downtown and Canalside. The Skyway bridge over the Buffalo River would remain and be re-purposed as “Skyway Park,” an overlook/trail and sculptural element.  South of the bridge, the Skyway’s elevated expressway section would be removed, and the land redeveloped for mixed uses. 5. Queen City Harbor (Third Place) This submission proposes a strategy that “capitalizes on this historic opportunity to remove the notorious ‘Skyway’ and extend the positive legacies of Buffalo’s artistic, cultural, and industrial past directly into an intelligent, beautiful, and ennobling future. This vision depends on a robust program of mixed use, and primarily residential, development in and around the Queen City Harbor.  It would repurpose a series of the Skyway’s concrete piers for solar and wind power generation structures.  A new double lift bridge would cross the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal at Main Street, and a series of dense, urbane infill projects would be realized near Canalside and on the Ship Canal portion of the Outer Harbor. 6. Rustbelt Resurgence The main objective of this design proposal is to “connect the inner and outer harbor regions without the need for individualized transportation, while comfortably providing all aspects of the inhabitant’s everyday needs.”  This vision promotes active mobility and transit-oriented development and involves a series of phased access improvements—such a light rail extensions and an autonomous bus system on the Outer Harbor—with the goal of essentially eliminating the need for the Skyway by the end of its useful lifespan has run its course in 2040.  The Skyway’s concrete piers would then be used to support a tramway to the Outer Harbor. 7. Sky Scape This proposal for “Buffalo’s New Front Porch” reuses the existing infrastructure as a way of activating and better connecting an existing waterfront.  It totally reimagines the Skyway as a space for the public and a car-free multimodal corridor, incorporating the structure into new facilities such as, but not limited to offices, a rooftop garden, a new hotel with restaurants, a skyway bar, retail stores, and a 400-seat theatre complex for lectures, theatre, and concerts.  This plan terminates the Skyway at a redesigned Outer Harbor Drive interchange and provides the opportunity for revitalization of several arterial routes leading to downtown Buffalo. 8. Highways to Parkways This plan envisions the Skyway Corridor to be “redeveloped through multiple mixed-use neighborhoods, each with an intimate relationship with public open space by designing with nature and driven by new modern infrastructure networks.”  The plan removes the Skyway, adds a new double-lift bicycle bridge over the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal at Main Street, a replacement to the Michigan Avenue lift bridge over the Ship Canal, and replaces a portion of I-190 with an Olmsted parkway. 9. Olmsted Parkway This proposal is inspired by Olmsted’s vision of connecting his earlier parks to the north.  This vision replaces the elevated expressway portion of the Buffalo Skyway with an Olmsted Parkway, Olmsted Park, and real estate development on land previously occupied or made less usable by the Skyway.  The Olmsted Parkway would replace the Buffalo Skyway –and in some segments also Fuhrmann Boulevard—from Ridge Road north to the Buffalo River.  A new Buffalo River lift bridge would be constructed to connect the new parkway on the Outer Harbor with Main Street. 10. The Sapphire Necklace The centerpiece of this proposal is to remove the Skyway and Rte. 5 entirely from I-190 through the Outer Harbor and south to Tifft. With it fully gone and replaced by a “grand boulevard along Ohio Street, the entire corridor will transition to being some of the city’s premier living, entertainment and recreational venues with nature preserves, havens for fish and other water life.” 11. REC – Customize Your Experience REC stands for Recreation, Experience and Circulation.  This plan strengthens the value of the space and its relations with its environment through flexible and sustainable design solutions.  It promotes repurposing the Buffalo Skyway in a manner “designed holistically to elaborate contemporary approaches, integrate the latest technologies and preserve the site’s unique cultural and natural values as well as Buffalo identity.”  The Skyway structure itself would be redesigned to become an attraction in itself, with features added such as landscaped walkways, festival structures, suspended offices, galleries, and ateliers. 12. Making Sense of the Outer Harbor This proposal envisions “major improvements with minimal change to the transportation network while making sense of the Outer Harbor though urban design.”   The essential elements include the removal of the bridge and elevated portions of the Skyway, and construction of a new lift bridge extending from I 190 over the Buffalo River at Erie Street and connecting to an at-grade “Hamburg Turnpike” limited access expressway, with beneficial consequences for development and reimagining the area. 13. Vision for Skyway Corridor and relocated NY Route 5 highway As part of this vision, traffic that currently travels on the Skyway Corridor as far south as the Union Ship Canal will be diverted onto a new highway and Fuhrmann Boulevard will be reduced to one traffic lane in each direction within the Corridor.  The Skyway bridge structure would remain standing and be adapted to new purposes for the next few years, beyond which its long-term future may be determined by a decision process. 14. Buffalo Up! This plan’s vision is to create a sustainable transport system for the Skyway Corridor that makes a major contribution to the corridor’s livability by replacing the existing highway. This system would apply intelligent transport systems (ITS) strategies to existing routes thus increasing their efficiency and build a sustainable transport network through the corridor.  Over time, the Skyway would be phased out, first by reducing its lane capacity to provide pedestrian/bicycle access, and later fully removing vehicular access through adding a Michigan Avenue lift bridge and other pedestrian connections. 15. Erie Green This plan involves a complete redesign of the Buffalo Skyway from a limited access highway to an integrated urban boulevard employing a multitude of transportation modes.  Multi-use paths will both run parallel to major roadways and meander throughout green space. The plan also envisions a new multi-modal bridge crossing between Downtown Buffalo and the Outer Harbor. 16. Buffalo SkyBeach This submission plans to put Buffalo on the map as a tourist destination.  This year-round venue will also provide a “strong boost to tourism from nearby Toronto, and will give the ‘snowbirds,’ who traditionally fly south for the winter, a slice of Miami Beach in Buffalo as a convenient alternative destination.”  It calls for a post-industrial transformation of the Skyway structure to a glass-enclosed structure (a “linear dome”), creating a programmable civic space full of tropical plants, beaches, recreation, art, and cafes, all enabled by sustainable technology.
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Press Release

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 4:00pm
Expansion Enables College to Double Program Capacity Project Furthers State's Workforce Development Efforts by Creating Pipeline of Skilled Workers Photos Available Here Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of the Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, Rensselaer County. The 37,000-square-foot facility has doubled the total enrollment capacity in the college's Advanced Manufacturing Technology degree program to 288 students, and will help meet the demand for skilled labor at Capital Region manufacturers. "When we invest in our workforce, we are creating a stronger New York by showing companies that we have the skilled labor they need to grow," Governor Cuomo said. "The Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills at Hudson Valley is the latest example of how the state is supporting projects that train and prepare New Yorkers for the jobs of today and tomorrow." "We want to make sure individuals are trained for manufacturing jobs as demand continues to increase across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Hudson Valley Community College's new Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills will train students with the skills they need for jobs of the future in the Capital Region and beyond. We are committed to investing in programs to help close the skills gap, ensure financial independence, and meet businesses' needs to expand and grow." Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Monday, August 26, 2019 - 10:45am
The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council (MVREDC) today announced that Dr. Marion Terenzio, President of the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, has been appointed Co-Chair of the Council. Dr. Terenzio succeeds Dr. Dustin Swanger, President of Fulton-Montgomery Community College who served as Co-Chair since 2017. "The Regional Economic Development Council has invested in projects to revitalize communities, attract more visitors, and improve the economy and quality of life in the Mohawk Valley," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Chair of the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils. "With the appointment of Dr. Marion Terenzio as the Mohawk Valley REDC’s new co-chair, the council will advance its work to continue economic growth and success across the region." MVREDC Co-Chair and SUNY Cobleskill President Dr. Marion Terenzio said, "It has been my privilege to serve on the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, and I'm honored to assume one of the Council Co-Chair positions. The Council's collective efforts have supported sustainable economic growth by encouraging new investments and job creation across the Mohawk Valley, and I would like to thank Dusty Swanger for his years of dedication to the region. I look forward to working with Lawrence Gilroy to ensure that we build upon all the successes that this Council has achieved for the last eight years." MVREDC Co-Chair and President of Gilroy, Kernan & Gilroy, Inc., Lawrence T. Gilroy III said, “I am looking forward to working closely with President Terenzio as MVREDC Co-Chairs and after working closely together on the Council for these many years, I know that she brings to the table a wealth of knowledge about our regional economy. I would also like to thank Dusty Swanger for his years of service to the region and to the people of New York State.” Dr. Terenzio became SUNY Cobleskill’s twelfth president on July 1, 2015. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Terenzio was Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Bloomfield College in New Jersey, and professor at The Sage Colleges in New York, where she also served as Vice President for Campus Life. Under her leadership, Bloomfield College became a nationally recognized minority-serving institution, where she and faculty reimagined the preparation necessary to succeed in college coursework. She has received numerous awards for her work emphasizing the critical role of higher education as a partner and economic driver in communities. Dr. Terenzio has served on national, regional and state association boards, councils and task forces, and presented and published on the effective role of the arts in community well-being and economic revitalization. Dr. Terenzio currently serves on the MVREDC’s workforce and STEM workgroups. Under Dr. Terenzio’s leadership, SUNY Cobleskill is at the forefront of workforce development and training, collaborating with the PTECH high school in Johnstown to provide job training and college coursework to high school students. Because of this partnership, high school students at the PTECH are able to graduate with credits equivalent to what is needed for an associate’s degree. Dr. Dustin Swanger, President, Fulton-Montgomery Community College said, “I am proud of the many accomplishments that the Council has made and the visible transformation that is currently underway in the Mohawk Valley. I am confident that the Council is good hands with Dr. Terenzio and Mr. Gilroy at the helm and cannot wait to see what the future holds for the Council and the region.” Through eight rounds of the REDC initiative, the MVREDC has delivered $615 million for 640 projects. The MVREDC is composed of Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie Counties. For more information about the MVREDC, please visit our website. About the Regional Economic Development Councils The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo’s approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After eight rounds of the REDC process, more than $6.1 billion has been awarded to more than 7,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 230,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. Contact: Kristin Devoe | [email protected] | (518) 292-5107 Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 11:23am
WNY Regional Economic Development Council Project Provides Permanent Location for Olean’s Farmers Market See photo of Lincoln Square here Empire State Development today announced the completion of Lincoln Square, a $1.25 million project providing permanent buildings to house the Olean Farmers Market and other events. The project, located at 100 East State Street includes an open-air pavilion structure for vendors, restrooms, park furniture,landscaping, an outdoor bistro facility, and lighting. Located in the center of Olean’s North Union business district, the market is a destination that will draw visitors from outside areas, contribute to the vibrancy and walkability of the neighborhood, and increase sales for area businesses. Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The new Lincoln Square is the latest piece of the puzzle in the ‘Walkable Olean’ plan and continues this downtown’s revitalization. The permanent event space will draw more people to the area to shop at the farmers market, attend community events and boost local businesses.” "Our transformational investments through the Regional Economic Development Council are delivering real progress for Olean,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Lincoln Square provides a new home for the Olean farmers market alongside event space and other amenities. This new space will make the city more walkable and welcoming for both residents and visitors. The Lincoln Square project builds on our investment in the area as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, advancing progress and strengthening Olean’s role as an economic, educational, and recreational hub in Western New York.” ​ The Rural Enterprise Association of Proprietors (REAP) has held farmers markets in various locations in Olean since 1988. The new Lincoln Square facility, which is an extension of the City’s “Walkable Olean” project, provides the market with its first permanent year-round site, offering shoppers a variety of locally grown, produced, crafted and raised items. From soaps to vegetables, blueberries to ice cream, prime rib to apple pies, the market has more than a dozen vendors with literally hundreds of choices and options. Part of the mission of the Market is to only offer items produced or grown locally, by locals. Each vendor at the Saturday Farmers Market is a REAP member who is happy to discuss their products and wares with the public. New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We thank the ESD for supporting construction of these new buildings to house the Olean’s Farmers Market. Our farmers markets are a win-win, helping our agricultural partners expand their consumer base, while also providing more New Yorkers with access to fresh, delicious, local food and beverages. To help with the market construction, Empire State Development, through the 2016 Regional Council Capital Fund (Round 6), awarded capital grant funding totaling $220,000. The New York State Senate provided an additional $600,000 legislative grant. WNYREDC Chair and SolEpoxy CEO Jeff Belt said, “I am grateful to Governor Cuomo as well as my colleagues on the Regional Economic Development Council and our many community partners for their support and dedication to making the Lincoln Square project a reality. The investment in this new destination supports local businesses, creates jobs and attracts new visitors to enjoy Olean’s walkable downtown.” Olean Mayor William Aiello said, “We are very pleased to have the construction of our new Walkable Olean attraction completed and ready for business. Lincoln Square is another attraction in our walkable community that will be used for the farmers market and a variety of community and private events.” Stephanie Beneng, Olean Farmers Market manager said, “Local vendors at the farmers market will benefit greatly from having a new permanent location to sell their goods. Lincoln Square will allow us to hold the market even when the weather is less than ideal. We have already experienced an increase in people interested in setting up shop at the new location. We look forward to welcoming additional local farmers, craft makers, and new customers to the vibrant downtown district.” For more information about the Olean Farmers Market click here. About the Regional Economic Development Councils The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After seven rounds of the REDC process, over $5.4 billion has been awarded to support job creation and community development projects consistent with the 10 regions' strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 220,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. Contacts: Pamm Lent (Governor’s office) | [email protected] | 716-846-8309 Laura Magee (ESD) | [email protected] | 716-846-8239
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