June 30, 2014
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $22 Million to Fund Projects that Will Spur Economic Opportunity in Seven Regions

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $22 Million to Fund...

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $22.3 million in funding for 11 projects that will spur economic opportunity across the Finger Lakes, Central New York, North Country, Capital Region, Mid-Hudson, Long Island and Western New York regions. The funding, approved by Empire State Developments (ESD) Board of Directors, will go to projects in the seven regions, creating nearly 300 new jobs and retaining more than 3,350 existing jobs. This funding will also leverage over $270 million in additional investments to support business growth and lay the groundwork for future economic growth and job creation.


By funding these projects, we are attracting new businesses and supporting local economic development priorities in communities across the State, Governor Cuomo said. Focusing on key industries like manufacturing, healthcare and tourism, these projects are creating jobs and leveraging millions of dollars in private sector investments. Todays announcement is a reminder that New Yorks economy is on the move, and this administration is actively working with local, federal, and private sector partners to keep that momentum going.


Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, we are making targeted investments that are supporting major economic development projects across New York State. From supporting municipal facility construction and expansion to advancing the manufacturing and health research industries, these projects are creating jobs and building a solid foundation for future growth.


The ESD Board approved the following Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Award grants:


Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation (Finger Lakes Region Monroe County) $5,000,000

The University of Rochester (UR), a higher education institution excelling in research and health care, will use a grant of up to $5 million for a portion of the cost of facility improvements and the installation of new generation supercomputing software at the Universitys off-campus data center and its on-campus visualization center, to further utilize supercomputing for health research. The University is partnering with IBM and New York State to create the Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation (HSCCI), which will be one of the worlds most powerful supercomputing systems dedicated to health research.


As a result of the Governors REDC initiative, UR was awarded $5 million in Round III of the competition. HSCCI will establish Upstate New York as a hub of innovation and technology in the health care field. This is IBMs first joint venture with a major U.S. research institution in advanced biomedical research, representing a significant new potential market for its products and services. This partnership is expected to advance medical knowledge and innovation to improve the quality, delivery and cost-effectiveness of health care and spur significant regional economic growth.


Midtown Tower Rochester (Finger Lakes Region Monroe County) $4,000,000

Midtown Tower, LLC, a joint venture of two successful commercial/residential real estate developers, will use a grant of up to $4 million for a portion of the construction costs for the $57.7 million adaptive reuse of a former downtown office building into nearly 400,000 SF of mixed use residential. Midtown Plaza was the first indoor urban mall in the nation, built in 1962 in the heart of downtown Rochester. In recent years, Midtown had fallen into disrepair, with an 85 percent vacancy rate, and was a blighting influence despite several revitalization attempts by the private sector. The mall ultimately closed its doors permanently in 2009. However, recognizing a need for government intervention, the City of Rochester established an Urban Renewal District to encompass the site in 2007, and also proposed public acquisition of Midtown. New York State provided a $55 million grant in 2008, managed by ESD, to undertake an extensive environmental remediation and selective demolition of the Midtown Plaza buildings, ultimately leaving for redevelopment a series of development parcels, a new street grid and open space, a 3-story underground garage and two buildings down to structural steel.


Once complete, this project will be an integral part of Rochesters extensive ongoing downtown revitalization efforts. After years of decline, the new street grid that is fully funded and currently in design phase and the new buildings that will soon rise on the Midtown site represent a significant step forward in revitalization efforts. The project will also contribute to the regions sustainability by focusing development in an area that is well?served by existing infrastructure. The grant funds will be a major catalyst in fostering significant new investment in the core of Rochesters downtown and increase the Citys tax base. As a result, economic revitalization will occur and enhanced sustainable neighborhoods will flourish. This positive cycle has proven itself in other urban communities around the country and the ESD funds help to level the playing field, thereby helping the City to grow and prosper.


Clayton Harbor Hotel (North Country Region Jefferson County) $3,000,000

Clayton Harbor Hotel, LLC will use a grant of up to $3 million to support the construction of a new $23.5 million hotel and conference facility in Clayton, Jefferson County, which will cater to tourism in the Lake Ontario?1000 Islands?St. Lawrence Seaway Region. The hotel requested ESD assistance to help develop its new hotel facility when limited local funding resulted in a financing gap. Clayton Harbor Hotel LLC was designated by the North Country REDC as a priority project and awarded $3 million. Without ESDs assistance, the project would not have moved forward.


The project was designated as a priority project by the NCREDC because it will support new business development, job creation, tourism, recreation, and improve quality of life in the Watertown?1000 Islands region. The new facility will contribute to regional economic viability with new additional year?round employment, support increased tourism activity, and provide enhanced quality of life for the community, with new recreation and entertainment opportunities. As a result of the project, Clayton Harbor Hotel will create 90 new jobs by January 2015.


Marist College Capital (Mid-Hudson Region Dutchess County) $3,000,000

Marist College, an independent liberal arts college, will use a grant of up to $3 million to support the establishment of the New York State Cloud Computing and Analytics Center (NYSCCAC), which was completed in December 2013. Marist College manages the NYSCCAC, a first?of?its?kind center, providing IT services, hardware, software, training, and consulting services. The NYSCCAC works with companies on early?stage IT projects with the goal to develop and test ways to deploy commercial cloud computing environments. The NYSCCAC also provides critical education and training, through the cloud, in analytics and cloud computing, as well as other critical areas. It is available to members of the high performance computing community. It specifically provides an analytics cloud, a Cloud Computing and Analytics Incubation Center, and a workforce development cloud.


The NYSCCAC programs will comprise IT services and consulting as well as business consulting, temporary office space, shared services, and administrative support offered on?site and over the internet to companies for periods of up to two years, at which point successful companies would graduate from the Incubator to other locations in the region, providing additional jobs and economic benefit to the local economy. Transition of these companies, and/or their cloud products, to other facilities will always be part of the initial business plan, project design, and implementation strategy.


The $35 million project is consistent with the Mid?Hudson Regional Strategic Plan to strengthen the diversified service?based economy with several technology?based industries and the educational resources, including engineering at SUNY and expertise in cloud computing and analytics research at Marist College, to prepare individuals for careers in technology?based industries.


St. Josephs Hospital Health Center (Central New York Region Onondaga County) $2,500,000

St. Josephs Hospital Health Center, a not?for?profit teaching hospital and comprehensive medical care institution located in Syracuse, will use a grant of up to $2.5 million to support the construction of a new $113 million patient tower and greenway corridor to North Side businesses in Syracuse as part of a major $265 million facility expansion, which is one of the largest green health care construction projects in the Northeast. St. Josephs provides acute inpatient, outpatient, primary care, emergency, psychiatric, clinic, home health and other services for residents of Central New York.


St. Josephs is finalizing the construction and equipping of a 104,000?square?foot patient tower including 110 private rooms, intensive care units, a 73,000?square?foot surgical suite with 14 operating rooms, a 12,100?square?foot central sterile area, and a greenway corridor. The tower will also contain space for support services, staff education and family waiting areas. As a result of the project, St. Josephs will retain 2,923 existing jobs at the project location and create 146 new jobs.


The project is closely aligned with the Central New York REDC's mission and identified strategic goals in the area of health care and biomedical sciences, and will create a green, state?of?the?art facility that fosters innovation, improve the health of the urban neighborhood surrounding the hospital through the creation of new infrastructure, serve as a training ground for the education of health care professionals, and contribute toward considerable energy and water savings each year.


Buffalo Streetscapes (Western New York Region Erie County) $2,000,000

The City of Buffalo will use a grant of up to $2 million for a portion of streetscape and infrastructure development costs in downtown Buffalo to advance and improve traffic flow and connectivity. This is a Priority Project for the Western New York REDC and is consistent with the Regional Plan to revitalize the Citys downtown core to promote smart growth, attract tourism and young adults, and retain and expand business opportunities.


Over the past five years, downtown Buffalo has benefited from $1 billion in private investment including over $50 million at the Erie Canal Harbor and $500 million at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and estimates the completion of an additional $1 billion in additional projects by 2020. The citys public infrastructure needs to complement these substantial capital investments. In an effort to achieve this goal, Buffalo is making an investment in streetscape and infrastructure development. As a result of the Governors REDC initiative, the City of Buffalo was awarded $4 million through the CFA process to improve street and streetscapes in an effort to improve traffic flow and provide connectivity between the separate downtown districts.


Following the CFA award, the grant was split to fund the project in two phases. The $2 million grant approved by the Board will fund the 500 Block of Main Street. Another $2 million grant will be used for the future development of Pearl Street between Goodell and Lower Terrace Streets, and Genesee Street between Washington and Oak Streets.


Jefferson County Watertown International Airport (North Country Region Jefferson County) $1,500,000

Jefferson County will use a grant of up to $1.5 million to support the construction of a new 14,000?square?foot hangar building at the Watertown International Airport. In an effort to modernize and expand the Watertown International Airport facility and buildings, the County sought ESD assistance to finance the airport improvement project. The County applied for funding assistance through the REDC initiative and the project is consistent with the North Country REDC Strategic Plan to support activity leading to new business development, tourism?travel, and to improve quality of life in North Country communities.


Jefferson County has planned, designed, and constructed the new hangar building to expand private and commercial aircraft operations. The new hangar building allows the airport to provide security, safe storage, maintenance and fueling of the commercial aircraft which are now using the airport. The new hangar will also provide adequate and safe space for passengers to connect with local transportation. Moreover, the facility is a new source of rental revenue to offset costly airport operations.


The new building is an initial step of a larger plan to develop airport facilities and modern business center for use by business travelers and to create adequate offices for airport administrative operations. The project is a safety and quality of life benefit as well as a regional economic development asset for the Watertown?North Country region. The earlier expansion of the airport runway has led to use by larger planes with more regular and connecting flights, which are more convenient for residents, business users, vacationers, and most importantly, for Fort Drum visitors, soldiers and families


Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, Inc. ATTAIN (Capital Region Albany County) $475,000

The Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, Inc. (Trinity), a not-for-profit organization located in Albanys South End whose mission is to improve the neighborhood for family life, contribute to the health and well?being of area residents, and to promote education and employment opportunities. It will use grants of up to $375,000 and $100,000 to support the purchase and installation of computer equipment, systems and infrastructure, and furniture and fixtures to establish ATTAIN, an Advanced Technology Training And Information Networking lab at the Albany Housing Authoritys Capital South Campus Center.


The ATTAIN project is a collaborative effort by Trinity, the Albany Housing Authority, SUNY University Center for Academic and Workforce Development (UCAWD), and SUNY  College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), to bridge the cultural, technological and economic divide that exists in a high poverty area. As a result of the Governors REDC initiative and the Capital Region Economic Development Councils (CREDC) 2013 Opportunity Agenda, Trinity was awarded a combined $475,000 in grant funding to establish the ATTAIN lab. The project is part of a larger redevelopment plan to transform Lincoln Square, a 4.5?acre block in Albanys South End, into a mixed?use educational campus. In keeping with CREDCs Opportunity Agenda, the project offers opportunities to inner city residents by providing collaborative education and training to participate in New Yorks growing high tech economy.


This is a Priority Project for the CREDC that leverages partnerships while building collaboration to make the Capital Region a destination of choice. The project furthers the goal of preparing for tomorrow by providing services to current and future inner city workers to meet the requirements of employers in the growing Innovation Economy. The project also brings cities to life by creating an urban hub for learning and educational attainment in a community that has been suffering from poverty and its effects.


J.M. Haley (Long Island Region Suffolk County) $200,000

J.M. Haley Corporation, full?service, sheet?metal duct shop that fabricates galvanized black?iron, aluminum and stainless?steel metals, will use a grant of up to $200,000 to support property acquisition, facility renovations, and the purchase of machinery and equipment needed to relocate its ductwork fabrication and installation operations to a new facility.


The company was experiencing significant growth and needed to expand its current operations, which are located in Farmingdale. The company considered relocating to New Jersey because of the lower facility and operations costs and proximity to New York City, where the majority of its contracts are performed. As a result of the Governors REDC initiative, J.M. Haley was awarded ESD grant funds to encourage the company to remain and expand in New York State. The project aligns with the Long Island REDC Strategic Plan for long?term economic growth by growing the advanced manufacturing base in the region while encouraging innovation in the life sciences, information technology, clean energy, defense and homeland security industry clusters.


J.M. Haley has purchased and renovated a 10,000?square?foot facility in Farmingdale and also purchased new machinery and equipment. The facility will enhance productivity and quality, will offer new technologies for improved financial visibility and planning and will provide a professional environment and capacity to increase fabrication volume without the need to outsource during peak business times. As a result of this project, J.M. Haley will maintain its current employment level of 65 jobs and create 50 new jobs.


Gowandas Historic Hollywood Theater (Western New York Region Cattaraugus  County) $166,667

Gowanda's Historic Hollywood Theater, Ltd., an historic 12,600?square?foot theater which was constructed in 1926 and was once home to big band performances, vaudeville acts, and reel movies until it was closed in 1992,will use a grant of up to $166,667 in support of interior restoration costs.


As a result of the REDC Initiative, the Hollywood Theater was awarded an ESD grant to support additional Theater restorations. Upon completion of the  Theaters rehabilitation, it will re?open as a regional center for the visual and performing arts, catering to the specific needs of area residents of a rural tri?county area and serving as a tourist attraction. The project is consistent with the Western New York REDCs Strategic Plan as it rehabilitates and preserves a historic building, increases tourism, creates jobs and spurs further economic development in the surrounding downtown district.


The project will allow for approximate 85% completion of the Theater, which is expected to re?open to the public on a limited basis in November 2015. Upon full restoration, the Theater will preserve and enhance the Village of Gowandas Historic District, while serving as a catalyst for economic redevelopment in the adjacent business district, providing employment in an area that has experienced a significant decrease in job opportunities over the last decade.


The ESD Board approved the following Empire State Economic Development Fund grants:


Kawasaki Rail Car (Mid-Hudson Region - Westchester County) $500,000

Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc., a market leader in rail car manufacturing, will use a grant of up to $500,000 to offset the purchasing cost of the companys currently leased manufacturing facility. Kawasaki manufactures rail cars for all of the major transit authorities in the United States, particularly in the New York/tri-state area. The company established its base operations in New York in the 1980s in the former Otis Elevator Company factory in Yonkers. Since then, the company has manufactured over 2,500 train cars, with major customers including New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road, PATH, and Boston, Virginia, and Maryland transit agencies.


In October 2010, Kawasaki considered leaving New York State and consolidating operations in Nebraska, where it has a rail car shell manufacturing facility. Kawasaki approached ESD for assistance with purchasing its current leased facility in Yonkers, New York, instead, and ESD offered Kawasaki a capital grant to assist with the purchase of the building to keep the company, and hundreds of jobs, in New York State. As a result of this project, the company will remain in New York and retain 375 existing jobs.

The next meeting of the ESD Board of Directors will be held in July.