December 11, 2014
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $709.2 Million in Economic Development Resources Awarded in Fourth Round of Regional Council Initiative

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $709.2 Million in...

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $709.2 million in economic and community development funding has been awarded through Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative.

A centerpiece of the Governor's strategy to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, the Regional Councils were established in 2011 to transform the State's approach to economic development from a top-down model to one that is community-based and performance-driven. The initiative empowers community, business, and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region's unique strengths and resources in order to create jobs, improve quality of life and grow the economy.



“Four years ago we decided to take a different approach on economic development – emphasizing cooperation and investing in local assets instead of continuing the State’s old and ineffective top-down mentality,” Governor Cuomo said. “That’s what the Regional Councils are all about, and today is proof that they are continuing to drive an economic renaissance in every region of the State. Each council presented bold ideas for how to create jobs and new opportunities in their communities, and I am proud to work with all of them to continue moving New York forward.”

“The work taking place in each region across the State is so important because it lays the groundwork that will continue to drive the economy – not just today and tomorrow, but for years to come,” Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils, said. “I applaud Governor Cuomo for establishing the Regional Economic Development Councils and am proud to have worked with them over the last four years. I urge everyone to keep up the good work alongside our Governor, so that together we can continue building a new New York.”


Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos said, “The investments announced today will enable businesses to grow and create new private sector jobs so young people can stay here and enjoy the careers of their choice. The best hope for a bright future for every region of our great state begins and ends with the ability to strengthen our economy and give everyone the opportunity to succeed.

Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein said, "Our economies throughout New York are as diverse as our residents, and thus it is imperative that we take a comprehensive approach through these Regional Economic Development Councils to spur job creation and sustained growth. Since its inception in 2011, the Governor has delivered on his promise to remake our economic landscape through greater collaboration and public-private partnerships. Without question, this strategy has paid enormous dividends, launching new development projects and putting people back to work. I applaud today's winners and beneficiaries and look forward to continuing to support this vital program."

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, "For years and years, we have advocated regional economic development and university/industry partnerships and have worked with local leaders to advance projects across the Empire State ranging from CNSE here in Tech Valley to the Marcy Nanocenter; the Connective Corridor in Syracuse; the Clinical and Translational Science Institute in Rochester; and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. On behalf of the Assembly Majority, I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership and for his continuing commitment to regional economic development. We look forward to continuing this partnership with the Governor and with our colleagues in the Senate."

The first three rounds of the Regional Council process awarded more than $2 billion to more than 2,200 job creation and community development projects across the state, supporting the creation or retention of more than 130,000 jobs.

On April 28, 2014, Governor Cuomo kicked off Round IV and introduced several new components to the initiative, including developing regional Global NY strategies, promoting Veterans’ participation in the workforce, and supporting NY Rising Community Reconstruction plan projects. These new aspects of the Regional Councils will keep New York at the forefront of the global economy, increase economic opportunities for our heroes back home, and ensure the communities most impacted by recent storms are building their economies back even stronger.

During Round IV, members from the 10 Regional Councils traveled to Albany to make in-person presentations of their proposals to the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team. Over the course of two days, the SIAT, which is composed of State agency commissioners and policy experts, heard from each of the Regional Councils directly, reviewed the progress being made on projects that have previously received state funding, and assessed the regions’ strategic plan implementations and proposals for funding in 2014.

Highlights of the 852 projects across the state receiving $709.2 million in awards through the fourth round of the REDC competition are outlined below:

Mid-Hudson: Top Performer Awardee | $82.8 million supporting 118 projects

Highlights of these projects awarded economic development funding in Round IV include:

  • $3.1 million to the Merlin Entertainments Group for LEGOLAND. This project would consist of the development of a site in Haverstraw for a new LEGOLAND theme park resort, including a theme park initially, followed by a water park and hotel. LEGOLAND Parks are designed for families with children ages 2-12 and have a strong educational component. LEGOLAND parks typically spur additional economic development in the area, including an increased need for lodging and retail space, and boost employment in the area.
  • $2.5 million to Jawonio Inc. The preeminent provider of services for the disabled and people with special needs in the lower Hudson Valley, Jawonio is embarking upon a major enhancement, consolidation, and expansion of its 16.8-acre main campus in New City, Rockland County. This four-year, $24-million project will include the construction of 97,000 square feet of state-of-the-art space and will include a significant investment in IT infrastructure that will better position Jawonio for the planned expansion of its employment services division.
  • $1.25 million to USAI Lighting. A cutting edge industry leader in manufacturing LED fixtures, USAI Lighting has grown from a $5.9 to $35.6 million company in just seven years. To continue this positive growth trend, the company plans to expand its facility to include: new technology; testing; training and welcome centers; modernized office space; specialized testing equipment for increased research and development capability; a prototype machine shop; exterior modernization; and an ergonomically redesigned factory and product testing area. The building will pursue LEED certification and the project optimum eco-efficiency.

Long Island: Top Performer Awardee | $81.9 million supporting 97 projects

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round IV include:

  • $4.7 million for the Wyandanch Rising Station Drive Project. This project is expected to increase employment opportunities in the greater Wyandanch community. The project will include the construction of a three-story, approximately 95,000 square-foot commercial building to be located immediately adjacent to the Long Island Rail Road Wyandanch Station building.
  • $2.5 million to Adelphi University for the Nursing Innovation Lab and Training Center. This high-tech training center, which will be located in the University’s state-of-the-art Nexus Building, will be outfitted with cutting edge digital learning devices, alternative and home care settings, and health-event simulators that ensure that an Adelphi nurse remains the best trained in the region and is job-ready on day one. This $15 million project will be a major educational asset for Adelphi, which plans to partner with regional healthcare providers to offer ongoing continuing education to their workforce to ensure regional nurses remain well trained to meet the changing nature of healthcare.
  • $1.5 million to Hofstra University’s STEM Learning Center. This project will address the shortage of qualified STEM workers and the gap between the skills of many of Long Island’s college graduates and those skills required for jobs in STEM and Sustainability fields. By renovating Hofstra’s Gittleson Hall to create a “collaboratorium” consisting of advanced teaching and research facilities to be shared by multiple departments, the project seeks to break down physical and organizational barriers that divide space and equipment by departments, and instead match infrastructure to the increasingly interdisciplinary scientific practice. This will allow Hofstra to better prepare more students to work in STEM and sustainability fields, while addressing urgent health, environmental quality, and sustainability issues facing Long Island.

Southern Tier: Top Performer Awardee | $80.8 million supporting 91 projects

Highlights of these projects awarded economic development funding in Round IV include:

  • $2.9 million for the Delaware County Broadband Initiative. This project presents a unique collaboration of telecommunications providers, a not-for-profit electric cooperative, and two economic development agencies in a partnership to extend broadband availability to the un-served residents and businesses located in the rural Delaware County Region of New York State. MTC Cable, a subsidiary of the Margaretville Telephone Company, proposes to partner with DTC Cable, a subsidiary of the Delhi Telephone Company, along with the Delaware County Electric Cooperative to extend 213 miles of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) facilities, encompassing more than 1,800 un-served residents in eight municipalities.
  • $2.25 million to Watkins Glen International Racetrack. Watkins Glen International will undertake a necessary and complete racetrack re-paving project to address critical safety deficiencies, including removing and replacing the existing track, portions of the aprons/runoffs, and pit road pavement.
  • $2 million to the Corning Hospital Redevelopment Project. This project consists of a two phase redevelopment of Corning Hospital's site in the City of Corning after the hospital is relocated to the Town of Corning. Phase I will include necessary site assessment, abatement, demolition, and remediation activities to create a “shovel-ready” site attractive for future mixed use redevelopment.

Finger Lakes: Top Performer Awardee | $80.7 million supporting 100 projects

Highlights of these projects awarded economic development funding in Round IV include:

  • $5 million to High Tech Rochester, Inc. to assist with the Business Accelerator Cooperative. The Finger Lakes Business Accelerator Cooperative will significantly increase company and job creation through entrepreneurship and innovation, and establish the Finger Lakes region as a nationally known entrepreneurship, innovation, and commercialization leader. The project will create an online Entrepreneur Resource Center; establish a region-wide video conferencing system to better connect entrepreneurs across the region with available programs and services; and create a business accelerator "Hub" facility within the City of Rochester.
  • $3 million for the Sibley Tower Redevelopment. A comprehensive renovation strategy for the 1.1 million square foot historic department store in downtown Rochester, this project will create 94 units of low-income housing, 92 units of market-rate housing, a new Lifespan Senior Center, 57,000 square feet of Class A office space, 10,000 square feet of retail space, 10 retail pushcarts, an urban farmers market, and 200 underground parking spaces.
  • $1.5 million for RIT’s MAGIC Laboratory Construction. RIT will construct a hub to drive activity from RIT's academic programs to commercial viability in the areas of computer gaming, film and animation, illustration, graphic design and imaging science. The facility will allow RIT to link together academic programs and high-tech experimental facilities needed for technology development and off-campus, commercially viable start-up activity.

Central New York: Top Performer Awardee | $80.2 million supporting 85 projects

Highlights of these projects awarded economic development funding in Round IV include:

  • $3.6 million to the Hotel Syracuse. The project will transform and reopen the previously closed Hotel Syracuse as the Onondaga County Convention Center Headquarters Hotel. When renovation is completed, the property will provide 261 guest rooms, three main ballrooms, a restaurant, lounge, lobby, back of house areas, generating 261 jobs and related economic activity. It will also support the Convention Center.
  • $1.8 million to the Syracuse Smart Regrowth Sustainable Corners Project. The project will accelerate revitalization in the Near Westside neighborhood in Syracuse. As envisioned in the LEED for Neighborhood Development Plan, the project will implement changes in land use that will convert an underutilized parking lot, a vacant building, and multiple vacant parcels on three corners of an intersection into a mixed-use development.
  • $750,000 to the Colgate University Center for Art and Culture. The proposed project is the relocation of two Colgate University museums to a newly constructed 25,880 square foot Center for Art and Culture in downtown Hamilton, strengthening the synergy between the University and the local community. Currently, the Picker Art Gallery and the Longyear Museum of Anthropology are located on campus and function as separate and distinct entities. Both occupy outdated facilities with little public exposure, and neither is easily accessible. This project will bring the museums into the heart of the Hamilton community.

North Country: Regional Council Awardee | $63.4 million supporting 69 projects

Highlights of these projects awarded economic development funding in Round IV include:

  • $5 million to the Development Authority of the North Country. The project will establish the North Country redevelopment fund that would assist transformational redevelopment, rehabilitation, revitalization, blight clean up, and infrastructure projects in the North Country Region.
  • $2 million for the Agri-Mark Manufacturing Facility Modernization Project. The Project will involve the demolition and construction of a new facility as well as replacing all of the major existing equipment necessary to make cheese. The new facility encompassed by the Project will handle approximately 1.5 million pounds of milk per day which is about 20 percent more than the current capacity.
  • $1.2 million for the Arts and Interactive Learning Revitalization Project. RAIL is a comprehensive, intra-regional collaboration that is the first mixed-use venue to provide arts/learning/living experiences and advanced opportunities to residents of the North Country. The benefits impact all areas of commerce, education and life. This solution-driven project, framed around two revitalized historic buildings in Potsdam, includes STEAM K-12 learning spaces, art gallery/studios, a virtual learning hub, artists’ business incubators, quality living units and graduate student housing. 

New York City: Regional Council Awardee | $61.2 million supporting 71 projects

Highlights of these projects awarded economic development funding in Round IV include:

  • $2.5 million for the National Urban League Redevelopment Project. The Urban League Empowerment Center, LLC will redevelop the site as a mixed-use development that will include retail and office space, community facility space, conference center space, 114 units of residential housing and approximately 225 parking spaces. The National Urban League will relocate its national headquarters to the new office space and develop a civil rights museum, an Entrepreneurship and Conference Center, and establish the Urban Empowerment Fund to support minority entrepreneurs.
  • $6 million for the Brooklyn Brewery Expansion Project. The Brooklyn Brewery plans to construct a state-of-the art 400,000 expandable to 1 million-barrel brewery on Staten Island. The $70 million project will enable the brewery to maintain a rapid growth trajectory, particularly as an international exporter, and as capacity ramps up the company anticipates creating at least 140 new jobs.
  • $1.5 million for the Redevelopment of the Victoria Theater. The primary goal of the project is to redevelop the site in a manner that fosters economic growth through revitalization of the area as an arts, entertainment, cultural, and commercial destination; and addresses the persistent need for affordable and market rate housing. The project will have a component of Historic restoration in addition to a new 26 story building which will house a hotel, cultural arts facility, retail, housing and parking.

Capital Region: Regional Council Awardee | $60 million supporting 93 projects

Highlights of these projects awarded economic development funding in Round IV include:

  • $1.5 million for the Troy Farmer’s Market Project. Phase I will include the construction of a mixed use facility on the site of the former Troy City Hall, combined with a farmer’s market. The overall project will result in a 180,000 square-foot mixed-use facility in Downtown Troy featuring 100 residential units, 40,000 square-feet of retail space, a 100 space underground parking garage, and a public plaza,
  • $1.2 million to the Schenectady Metroplex Authority for The Robinson Block Transformation. This project will leverage public and private investments of over $18 million to revitalize three blighted city blocks in downtown Schenectady, which are within walking distance of Schenectady County Community College and Union College, the Downtown business district, and Amtrak and Capital District Transportation Authority access points. The redevelopment will include 105 apartments and 9,900 square-feet of restaurant/retail space. The project will bring desirable market rate housing for young professionals attracted by long standing employers such as General Electric, and new businesses such as Transfinder and Quirky.
  • $1 million to Finch Paper LLC. This $20 million modernization project of the company’s Glens Falls mill will strengthen its competitive position and help sustain more than 600 existing jobs by reducing Finch Paper’s overall cost structure without negatively impacting employment. The key areas for modernization include the wood processing operation, pulp mill facility and No. 4 paper machine.

Mohawk Valley: Regional Council Awardee | $59.6 million supporting 59 projects

Highlights of these projects awarded economic development funding in Round IV include:

  • $4 million to Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance. The project will install surveillance and radar at the FAA-designated Griffiss International Airport test range and to the north in the Lowville area. This will allow for high accuracy data collection and advance testing capability of the Griffiss Test Range. The project will supply aircraft tracking data for safety and awareness for UAS operators; and give the FAA NY UAS Test Site the potential to take on lead development of a Detect and Avoid system for safe UAS operations in national airspace.
  • $1 million to the Marcy Nano Center. This project continues the development of the Marcy Nano center at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute by supporting planned improvements to the project site. This phase of the development supports plans for an end-user for the project site to expand its investment in the G450 Consortia by developing the site to support full build-out for a three-fab campus that can support 8.25 million square-feet of advanced manufacturing and related facilities.
  • $750,000 to the City of Utica for Harbor Marina Infrastructure Improvements. The City of Utica will advance the Utica Harbor Master Plan through design of bulkhead, infrastructure, and site improvements; construction of infrastructure improvements; and implementation of a developer selection program. 

Western New York: Regional Council Awardee – $58.6 million supporting 69 projects

Highlights of these projects awarded economic development funding in Round IV include:

  • $1.5 million to the National Comedy Center for the renovation of two buildings and construction of a new structure. The project will enable the National Comedy Center to draw over 120,000 visitors each year and generate more than $26 million annually in local economic activity, sparking further economic development and helping to improve the economic environment in the region.
  • $900,000 to People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) for the Buffalo Sustainability Community Initiative. The Community Sustainability Initiative project will strengthen the organization’s community-driven, nationally recognized sustainability district on Buffalo’s West Side; undertake renewable energy projects on three sites; and partner to generate 250 solar photovoltaic installations in low-to-moderate income communities across Western New York.
  • $500,000 to Erie County for the Bethlehem Steel Acquisition and Redevelopment. Erie County will purchase approximately 180 acres of brownfield property on the former Bethlehem Steel site and prepare the industrial zoned land to become shovel ready property. The site will include new public roads, sidewalks, street lighting, and sewer lines that will be available to new companies locating on such property.

A full list of the 2014 REDC awards is available at


Additionally, five regions across New York State were awarded funding to launch Innovation Hot Spot programs. A new facet of the REDC initiative that was introduced last year by Governor Cuomo, the Innovation Hot Spots Competition is designed to make New York State a leader in growing new technology based companies by attracting venture capital and industry-sponsored research spending. The Hot Spots will foster innovation by offering start-ups valuable business support services to help commercialize academic research and promote further collaboration between business and academia.


The Mohawk Valley, Capital Region, Mid-Hudson, New York City and Long Island regions were each designated today in the second round of the Innovation Hot Spots program. The five winning Hot Spots will receive up to $250,000 annually in financial support from the state to expand their direct assistance to young firms, including legal, technical and business support services.


The 2014 Innovation Hot Spots awardees are:

Mohawk Valley Community College Foundation – For the Mohawk Valley Innovation Hot Spot, the thINCubator, a project of Mohawk Valley Community College, will offer a unique incubator for entrepreneurs to tap into the creativity of all segments of the regional population. The thINCubator works with a broad coalition of partners, with support from the Community Foundation, the Workforce Development Institute and MVCC – as well as in-kind partnerships from local colleges and expert advice and support from similar, more established projects in Syracuse.

SUNY Albany Research Foundation – For the Capital Region Innovation Hot Spot, the i518 program will provide entrepreneurial support and training in points of presence in downtown Albany, Troy and Schenectady. This will nurture the growth of new employers in these areas that are accessible by public transportation to low-income and underserved people. Through the University at Albany’s SEED program, business mentorship and counseling is provided to low-income entrepreneurs. Additionally, i518 entrepreneurial training will be provided to SEED companies in IT-enabled, web services, or other innovation-based businesses.

Biotechnology Incubator at New York Medical College ([email protected]) – For the Mid-Hudson Innovation Hot Spot, New York Medical College has partnered with other entities in the Region to provide a variety of services through its partners, but will focus on the diverse needs of the fast-growing biotechnology and life sciences industries in the Mid-Hudson region.

CUNY Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – For the New York City Innovation Hot Spot, CUNY will use its institutional reach to offer the most diverse set of services and assets to New York metro area entrepreneurs.

Long Island High Technology Incubator Inc. – For the Long Island Innovation Hot Spot, Long Island's incubators are coming together to create a collaborative regional innovation network that embraces the region's world class research institutions, technology business organizations, investment resources, technology business-oriented colleges and universities, and business service providers. The Hot Spot’s goals are to expand successful entrepreneurial venturing, retain technology startups on Long Island and unify the region's burgeoning, but dispersed, efforts to foster a vital, self-energizing and sustaining region-wide entrepreneurial environment.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils

The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After three rounds of the REDC process, over $2 billion has been awarded to more than 2,200 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, supporting the creation or retention of more than 130,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit


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Contact the Governor's Press Office

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