State to Collaborate with Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council to Revitalize the City of Kingston's Downtown
Part of Governor's Comprehensive Approach to Transform Communities into Vibrant Neighborhoods and Boost Local Economies
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the City of Kingston will receive $10 million in funding and investments as the Mid-Hudson Valley winner of the second round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. As in the first round of the DRI, one municipality from each of the state's 10 regional economic development regions will be selected as a $10 million winner, marking another overall state goal to target $100 million in funding and investments to help communities identify catalytic downtown projects to boost the local economy.
"Thanks to strategic investments in vibrant local assets, downtown Kingston is primed for future opportunities and growth, and this investment will catalyze that potential," Governor Cuomo said. "Downtown neighborhoods are the urban centers of commerce, culture and activity for cities across New York, and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative ensures that municipalities with vision and creativity have every opportunity to bring new life and bolster these vital areas."
Weighing the eight criteria below, the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council reviewed Kingston's proposal together with the proposals from other participant communities from the Mid-Hudson region before recommending Kingston as its nominee for winner:
- The downtown should be compact, with well-defined boundaries;
- The municipality, or the downtown's catchment area, should be of sufficient size to support a vibrant, year-round downtown;
- The downtown is able to capitalize on prior or catalyze future private and public investment in the neighborhood and its surrounding areas;
- There should be recent or impending job growth within, or in close proximity to the downtown that can attract workers to the downtown, support redevelopment and make growth sustainable;
- The downtown must be an attractive and livable community for diverse populations of all ages, including existing residents, millennials and skilled workers;
- The municipality should already embrace or have the ability to create and implement policies that increase livability and quality of life, including the use of local land banks, modern zoning codes and parking standards, complete streets plans, energy efficient projects, green jobs, and transit-oriented development;
- The municipality should have conducted an open and robust community engagement process resulting in a vision for downtown revitalization and a preliminary list of projects and initiatives that may be included in a DRI strategic investment plan; and
- The municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for implementation with an infusion of DRI funds within the first one to two years.
Kingston's second-round DRI win entitles it to receive $10 million in state funding and investments to revitalize its downtown neighborhoods and generate new opportunities for long-term growth. Kingston now joins the City of Middletown, which was the Mid-Hudson region's winner in the first DRI round.
"Thanks to strategic investments in vibrant local assets, downtown Kingston is primed for future opportunities and growth, and this investment will catalyze that potential."
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, "The City of Kingston's recent renaissance has created an influx of new opportunities for expanding on a flourishing downtown area. As the second round winner of the Mid-Hudson New York Downtown Revitalization Initiative award, Kingston will further the growth of its Stockade Business District and jump-start new economic development opportunities throughout the region."
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative infuses communities with targeted funding and investments to achieve long-term, local economic development goals. As the Mid-Hudson Valley'swinner of the second round of the DRI, Kingston will receive $10 million to kick-start new job creation, catalyze vibrant growth, and revitalize the downtown area for residents, visitors, and businesses. I look forward to the transformative work ahead to make Kingston an even better place to call home."
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding will help invigorate Kingston's downtown, offering opportunities for job creation and economic growth, while also making the area more livable to keep existing residents and attract new ones. The Department of State will continue to work closely with communities across New York State to help develop their communities and downtowns."
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative helps breathe new life and bring new opportunities into cities like Kingston, putting them on a path to prosperity. This $10 million investment in Kingston is part of a strategic goal to harness the amazing assets of downtowns across the state—increasing access to housing, creating jobs and attracting cultural and recreational opportunities, and enriching and improving quality of life in the entire region."
Senator George Amedore said, "Vibrant downtowns are vital to a strong and healthy economy. The City of Kingston has unique assets and characteristics that, when partnered with this significant investment, will support generations of economic growth and success. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his continued support of investing in our downtown communities."
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein said, "With the collaboration of business, civic and academic leaders, working along with the state, we are witnessing positive change in our region's economy. We are lucky to have Governor Cuomo on our side, who doesn't just talk about doing something -- he gets it done. With this DRI funding, he is once again delivering for the people of the Mid-Hudson Valley."
City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble said, "I am thrilled and honored that Kingston has been chosen to receive this funding. Through his vision for an inclusive, bottom-up approach to economic development, Governor Cuomo is providing regions with the tools and resources necessary for their communities to succeed and grow stronger local economies, and this funding will help revitalize our Stockade Business District and lay the foundation for even more growth and success."
Kingston's downtown has historically been the city's economic hub, containing county office buildings, financial and professional services offices, the city's sole supermarket, and key recreational spaces. Within the past ten years, downtown Kingston has experienced a renaissance led by an influx of new investments and a resurgence of new cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. Kingston has an ideal combination of recent strategic investments, shovel-ready future opportunities, involved anchor institutions and partners, recent infrastructure improvements, and supportive policies and plans to jump-start the DRI planning process. Additional Downtown Revitalization Initiative investments in the area dubbed the "Stockade Business District" will continue the area's economic revitalization and create new opportunities for the surrounding neighborhoods, towns and counties.
Kingston will now begin the process of developing a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize its downtown with up to $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant. A Local Planning Committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders will lead the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners. The Strategic Investment Plan for downtown Kingston will examine local assets and opportunities and identify economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with the community's vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation. The downtown Kingston Strategic Investment Plan, as well as the plans developed by the other nine DRI winners, will guide the investment of DRI grant funds in revitalization projects that will advance the community's vision for its downtown and that can leverage and expand upon the state's $10 million investment. Plans for DRI's second round will be complete in early 2018.
For more information on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, go to: https://regionalcouncils.ny.gov.