Governor Tours Sites to See Progress of Finger Lakes Region Projects
Albany, NY (November 27, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today continued a statewide Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Progress tour in Rochester, where he toured Finger Lakes projects to see, firsthand, their progress and their economic impact in the region.
This is the sixth visit in the Governor’s REDC Progress Tour that is part of a review of last year’s strategic economic development plans and job-creating projects.
Following these tours, the Finger Lakes REDC provided a formal presentation outlining the progress they have made in advancing last year’s strategic plans and projects, as well as their endorsed projects for the coming year to the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team at Monroe County Community College.
“Instead of a one size fits all approach to economic development, New York State has given individual regions the power to design plans that make sense for their own local economies,” Governor Cuomo said. “As you can see in the Finger Lakes, the Regional Council is putting their plan to work and as a result, it is creating jobs and growing their economy.”
“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council has successfully developed a shared vision for our region’s economic future,” said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and University of Rochester President Joel Seligman. “Today, we were able to show the Governor that progress is being made and now, more than ever, we are effectively growing jobs, strengthening our economy and achieving an even better quality of life.”
“Governor Cuomo saw today that we are accelerating the Finger Lakes region’s transformation into a diverse, knowledge-based economy,” said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman. “Last year the Finger Lakes REDC developed a focused strategy that encouraged collaboration and galvanized innovation. Today, thanks to the vision of Governor Cuomo, we have turned that plan for economic growth into a reality.”
The Governor visited the following FLREDC project sites:
Port of Rochester
The City of Rochester was awarded $943,545 to continue construction of a $19.9 million five-acre public marina and related infrastructure at the Port of Rochester. The project will result in the creation of 500 construction jobs, 300 permanent jobs and will help leverage $80 million to $133 million in private sector investment upon full build out. Project elements include realignment of a public right-of-way, installation of new and relocation of existing utilities, reconstruction of a portion of the Genesee River wall, and the installation of docks and associated amenities.
Eastman Business Park
Eastman Business Park is one of the Finger Lakes region’s most important industrial development sites. Originally built to house the R&D, manufacturing, and logistical operations of Kodak, the park encompasses 1,200 acres with over 100 buildings and has more than 2.5 million square feet of available office, manufacturing, laboratory, clean room, and warehouse space, and 100 acres of land suitable for development. It houses 35 business tenants with 3,500 employees in addition to more than 3,000 Kodak employees. The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council has repeatedly voted EBP and its maintenance and expansion the council’s top regional priority.
The City of Rochester is converting the Midtown Tower into a focal point of commercial/retail, office and residential space. The proposed project will renovate and redevelop the first two floors of the Midtown Tower, a 17 story masonry and steel frame that sits above a portion of the former mall. The project will result in the creation of 200 construction jobs, 86 new, permanent jobs, and will help leverage nearly $54.5 million in private sector investment. The Tower is part of the larger redevelopment of the former Midtown Plaza and the third project to follow a $106 million public infrastructure project.
Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) was awarded $200,000 for its GRE Regional Economic Gardening Program, an innovative, entrepreneur-centered economic growth program. PharmaSmart International, which develops easy to use blood pressure management and pharmacy services, was one of 20 local second-stage companies to participate in the GRE Regional Economic Gardening Program. PharmaSmart International also received an Excelsior tax incentive to increase its workforce from 40 to 100 employees, further accelerating its growth.
Additionally, the Governor reviewed presentations on the progress being made on the following projects:
New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST)
NY-BEST was awarded $3.5 million toward a Battery and Energy Storage Product Commercialization Center at the Eastman Business Park in Rochester, which will provide a key missing element necessary for product commercialization and business growth in New York including a suite of test, validation, prototyping and pilot manufacturing capabilities for energy storage technologies.
High Tech Rochester Business Accelerator
High Tech Rochester was awarded $2.5 million for the creation of a Finger Lakes Business Accelerator Cooperative, an interconnected hub and node business support infrastructure that will provide needed incubation facilities and extend support services throughout the nine-county Finger Lakes Region.
Finger Lakes Museum
The Finger Lakes Museum was awarded $2.28 million for the development of the education, research and community campus, the progression of design for the exhibit-based museum and operating capital during the period of Phase 1 development.
University of Rochester-IBM Health Center Science Center for Computational Innovation
UR-IBM HSCCI was awarded $5 million for the creation of a Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation at the University of Rochester. This project represents a partnership between the U of R and IBM, allowing the University to utilize the world’s most powerful computer system to address health concern.
This 2011 priority project received $26 million in NY Works funds. Identified as the largest infrastructure priority for the Finger Lakes region, the corridor of I-390 just south of the City of Rochester and UR Medical Center campus will be reconfigured to relieve traffic bottlenecks and allow for substantial job growth in and around the University of Rochester Medical Campus for the next 20 years. State funding will be used for the two initial phases that will start by adding a new on/off ramps to I-390 at Kendrick Road. Site work began in September 2012.
“Governor Cuomo created Regional Councils to serve as the new approach our state needs to create new jobs and economic opportunities,” said Lieutenant Governor Duffy. “Today is an exciting opportunity for an open discussion of the incredible progress Regional Councils are making in the Finger Lakes and across the state, as well the steps we are taking to build on that success for the coming year.”
“Governor Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative is taking New York from a state known as a frustrater of business growth to a facilitator of new business and private sector job development,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “Through its first year, we have seen job-creating projects in the Finger Lakes and across the state start to take shape and pay dividends in new jobs and economic activity to boost our local economies.”
In the first round of the Regional Council initiative, the Finger Lakes region was awarded $68.8 million in state resources through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process to support 93 projects. Currently, 94 percent of these projects have executed contracts with State funding agencies and are now underway as a result of funding they received. Once completed, the projects awarded funding in the Finger Lakes region through the 2011 CFA will significantly boost the local economy by creating and retaining 8,664 permanent, non-construction jobs and leveraging more than $346 million in additional private sector investment.
The Council’s progress report and full list of endorsed priority projects for 2012 can be found at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/finger-lakes.
To learn more about each Regional Council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.