FAST NY Shovel-Ready Grant Program

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Under New York’s FAST NY Shovel-Ready Grant Program, Empire State Development will provide up to $300 million in grants to prepare and develop sites statewide to jumpstart New York’s shovel-readiness and increase its attractiveness to large employers, including high-tech manufacturing, particularly semiconductor manufacturing, interstate distribution and logistics businesses. The program will help diversify New York State’s economy while propelling new investments for businesses, communities and job creation.

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Under the Program, ESD provides grants for pre-development activities and infrastructure investments to develop sites that will attract many eligible industries —including, but need not be limited to, high-tech manufacturing, clean-tech renewable energy, life sciences, agribusiness, optics, transportation equipment, materials processing, industrial machinery manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing. These sites can also be used for interstate distribution and logistics. However, ESD may give priority to semiconductor manufacturing projects and related industry and supply chain projects. The Program further provides ESD the ability to award a “FAST NY Shovel-Ready Certification,” for sites that meet high standards of shovel readiness, to support and enhance their marketing efforts to attract many more industries. 

Track A - FAST NY Shovel-Ready Certification 

  • This no-cost designation by ESD for site-marketing purposes establishes that the applicant has worked proactively with New York State (the “State”) to address all major permitting issues prior to a business expressing interest in the location. 

Track B - FAST NY Pre-Development Grants  

  • Working capital grants of up to $500,000 per site will be awarded to fund the cost of necessary pre-development site planning and reviews for future shovel-ready sites.  
  • Grants will fund necessary costs to assist grantees in completing pre-development activities, such as those required for FAST NY Shovel-Ready Certification. 

Track C - FAST NY Infrastructure Improvements  

  • Capital grants will be awarded to improve the shovel-readiness of existing, mature sites by funding infrastructure improvements such as water, sewer, transportation, electricity, gas and other capital-eligible site improvement costs.  
  • Competitive grant awards will be available to sites that have substantially met the requirements of FAST NY Shovel-Ready certification. 
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Program Status

*as of June 2024

Since formally launching in December 2022, the FAST NY program has been working to create Shovel Ready Sites throughout New York State. The program announced a first round of grant awards in August 2023, a second round in November 2023, and a third round in March 2024, with combined awards totaling more than $175 million for 20 projects across the state and improving over 2,700 acres of industrial property. Awarded projects include both pre-development (Track B) projects totaling nearly $1.5 million and infrastructure improvement (Track C) projects totaling nearly $174 million.

Actively accepting Letters of Intent and Applications for Track B and Track C grants.

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Click here to view FAST NY Guidelines


Eligible Applicants: 

  • Municipalities - a municipal subdivision that is a county, city, town, or village in New York State 
  • Municipally designated non-profit economic development organizations - New York State-based nonprofit economic development corporations designated to act on the behalf of the municipality in which the site is located. 
  • Municipally designated Local Development Corporation/Industrial Development Agency – New York State-based nonprofit industrial development agencies and authorities designated to act on the behalf of the municipality in which the site is located

Site Condition Eligibility: 

  • Sites must be at least 40 acres in size to be eligible for grant consideration. Exceptions may be made for smaller sites demonstrating compelling site assets or public benefits, including, but need not be limited to: proximity to intermodal transportation assets, such as transportation terminals; population centers; the possibility for brownfield redevelopment. 
  • Applicant must either 
    • have ownership or control of the site, or  
    • provide written consent from the ownership entity and, if different, the entity that has legal control of the site, to the application for FAST NY funding and, if awarded, agreeing to use FAST NY funds as outlined in the application. 
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How to Apply

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through the CFA portal.

After ESD receives an Intent to Apply form, applicants will receive an email confirming receipt within 7 calendar days. A determination regarding eligibility to submit the full application will be made within 30 calendar days. Full applications will not be accepted until applicants have received an approved Letter of Intent to Apply from ESD.

For additional information on the application process, please see detailed program information using the instructions above and/or contact your regional office.

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Documentation Requirements

This section outlines the documentation necessary to be considered for an award, broken down by Award Track. Please note that additional documents may be requested in order to complete ESD’s evaluation of applications.  

Track A – FAST NY Shovel-Ready Certification

ESD will award FAST NY Shovel-Ready Certification to those applicants that satisfy the production requirement of the following documents, as applicable: 

  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) consultation on plan 
  • Site plan and subdivision approval by local municipality 
  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and/or Phase II ESA report 
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mapping 
  • Park rules, regulations and covenants document (created by developer) 
  • NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Natural Heritage Program correspondence and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) database search findings 
  • Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) and Negative Declaration or Draft & Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)   
  • Site plan and boundary survey map  
  • Soil survey map 
  • Signoff by oversight body if needed for special district (e.g., Adirondack Park Agency, agricultural district, etc.) 
  • Preliminary storm water management plan
  • NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) review of traffic impact study 
  • Wetland avoidance and minimization plan - pre-application meeting with US Army Corps of Engineers and DEC 
  • Smart Growth Impact Statement
  • Other necessary project approvals specific to site 

Track B – FAST NY Pre-Development Grants 

The following documents are required to be considered for a FAST NY Pre-Development grant: 

  • Letter of Intent with an executive summary of the applicant, proposed property, proposed outcome, proposed funding request, and how the funding will be used to develop a FAST NY-certified Shovel-Ready Site. 
  • Letter of support from the chief executive and/or legislative resolution of the local municipality that maintains land use control over the proposed project site.  
  • Detailed plan to market the FAST NY site for the intended industries. 
  • Documentation of site ownership or control or written consent from the ownership entity consenting to the application for FAST NY funding. 
  • Other materials as may be required under a FAST NY program application. 

Track C – FAST NY Capital Infrastructure Improvements 

The following documents are required to be considered for a FAST NY Capital Infrastructure Improvements grant: 

  • Letter of support from the chief executive and/or legislative resolution of the local municipality that maintains land use control over the proposed project site. 
  • Documentation of site ownership or control or written consent from the ownership entity consenting to the application for FAST NY funding.  
  • Documented research and/or market study showing the specific industry that will be targeted and the specific infrastructure needs. Applicant must demonstrate that the requested infrastructure will serve to help attract the specified economic development.  
  • Detailed cost estimates for capital upgrades. 
  • Documentation of engagement with water and sewer districts, transportation departments, and local utility providers for needed infrastructure. A detailed and documented plan for how infrastructure upgrade(s) will be accomplished is required, including a willingness of the necessary parties. 
  • Other materials as may be required under a FAST NY program application. 
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Additional Information

Additional Award Criteria to be Considered by ESD 

In addition to meeting documentation requirements outlined in Section VI of the Program Guidelines, ESD will consider the following criteria when evaluating applications.   

Track B (FAST NY Pre-Development Grants) & Track C (FAST NY Capital Infrastructure Improvements) 

  • Demonstration of industry interest. 
  • Demonstration of financial viability. 
  • Alignment with Regional Economic Development Council’s regional economic development strategy. 
  • Leveraged investment, such as private and local investment. 
  • For Track C only, tenant commitments or strong indications of interest, including but not limited to signed letters of interest and/or contributions. 
  • For Track B only, commitment to substantially complete all requirements of FAST NY Shovel-Ready Certification by the completion of the Pre-Development Grant shall be required. 
  • For Track C only, substantial completion of all requirements of FAST NY Shovel-Ready Certification prior to being awarded a Capital Infrastructure Improvement grant shall be required.  

Additional Information  

  • Up to $200 million will be made available for capital grant funding, of which up to 10% may be allocated for working capital grants.  
  • Awards will be allocated on a rolling basis until funding is exhausted. 
  • Projects will initially be reviewed for eligibility, may be subject to site visit, and will ultimately be selected for advancement or denial based on an internal project review committee. 
  • In the case of Capital Infrastructure Improvement grants, as part of its grantmaking, ESD may require restrictions on the future use of awarded sites consistent with the purposes of their FAST NY grant terms. 
  • A one percent (1%) non-reimbursable commitment fee based on the grant awarded, will be assessed to all awardees.