FAST NY Shovel-Ready Grant Program

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Objective

Under New York’s FAST NY Shovel-Ready Grant Program, Empire State Development will provide up to $200 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 and semiconductor projects and other manufacturing, warehousing, 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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Overview

Under the Program, ESD will provide grants for pre-development activities and infrastructure investments to develop sites that will attract many eligible industries —including, but not limited to, high-tech manufacturing, renewable energy, life sciences, agribusiness, optics, transportation equipment, materials processing and industrial machinery manufacturing. These sites can also be used for warehousing, distribution and logistics. However, ESD may give priority to semiconductor manufacturing projects. The Program further provides ESD the ability to award a “FAST NY Site” 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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Eligibility

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 industrial development agencies and authorities and economic development corporations 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 not 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

ESD expects to launch applications for FAST NY later in 2022. Awards will be allocated on a rolling basis until funding is exhausted.

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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 Certification

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

  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) signoff on survey and 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) 
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) sign-off of survey and report 
  • Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) or Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) or Negative Declaration  
  • 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.) 
  • Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) signoff of preliminary plan 
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) approval of study 
  • Wetland avoidance and minimization plan - pre-application meeting with Army Corps of Engineers and DEC 
  • Wetland avoidance and minimization plan - preliminary plan approved 
  • 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. 
  • Regional distribution of awards. 
  • Leveraged investment, such as private and local investment. 
  • Tenant commitments, 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 Certification by the completion of the Pre-Development Grant shall be required. 
  • For Track C only, substantial completion of all requirements of FAST NY 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. 
  • ESD may consider regional or geographic parity in allocating awards.  
  • 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. 
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Contact

For questions about the FAST NY program, please contact [email protected]