Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the City of Albany's Clinton Square neighborhood will receive $10 million in funding as the Capital Region winner of the third round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. As in the first two rounds of the DRI, one municipality from each of the state's 10 regional economic development regions is selected as a $10 million winner, marking another overall state goal to target $100 million in funding and investments to help communities boost their economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise a family.
"The City of Albany already serves as a thriving downtown destination, and this $10 million award will attract even more new businesses, residents and visitors, bringing real change to the neighborhood," Governor Cuomo said. "As a historic gateway to the heart of the city, Albany's Clinton Square is an ideal candidate for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. I congratulate the City of Albany and its leaders for putting together a plan that will have a lasting impact on this deserving community for generations to come."
"Albany's historic Clinton Square neighborhood is the front door to our state capital, and this investment will ensure the community can advance significant revitalization projects," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement. "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative focuses on creating lasting change in our downtowns with new jobs, businesses, and housing as part of our ongoing efforts to boost local economies across the state. Upstate New York is moving forward like never before, and we are just getting started."
Albany's Clinton Square Neighborhood
With this DRI award, the City of Albany will focus on making Clinton Square a welcoming gateway to the capital city. This compact and walkable area, rich in history, arts and cultural assets and within easy reach of the Hudson River, is where five city investment zones converge. Clinton Square is poised to become a thriving gateway district and distinctive hub that connects and catalyzes activity downtown and in the Warehouse District. The momentum will spread into the Arbor Hill and Sheridan Hollow neighborhoods through public infrastructure enhancements, private project development and exciting arts and entertainment investments. The City envisions revitalizing Clinton Square to benefit both visitors and residents through infill development, corridor enhancements, and targeted housing revitalization projects.
The Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council went through a competitive review process of proposals from communities throughout the region and considered all eight criteria below before recommending Albany's Clinton Square 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.
Albany's Clinton Square's third round DRI win entitles the city to receive $10 million in state funding and investments to revitalize its downtown neighborhoods and generate new opportunities for long-term growth. The neighborhood now joins the Cities of Glens Falls and Hudson, which were the Capital Region's winner in the first and second DRI rounds, respectively.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The City of Albany's Clinton Square area is prime for development and New York State's $10 million investment will leverage the growing popularity of the Warehouse District and surrounding neighborhoods to encourage economic growth and opportunity."
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "The City of Albany should be proud of this important accomplishment. The Clinton Square neighborhood is a hub of activity for the city, and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative investment will usher in a new era of smart growth and economic development for Albany."
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Through Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, these community-led, targeted investments will combine with HCR's $288 million investment in the Capital Region over the last seven years that has created affordable housing for about 9,480 residents to help ensure that as Albany's economy grows, all New Yorkers have the opportunity to take part. In New York State, we are lucky to have a Governor who understands how to build inclusive, long-term economic success."
Senator Neil D. Breslin said, "This is great news for the City of Albany and the entire Capital Region. Albany's Clinton Square is ready for revitalization, and I thank Governor Cuomo for creating the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which is creating real improvements to cities like Albany across the state."
Assembly Member Patricia Fahy said, "Thanks to Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Albany is on the cusp of more growth, development and jobs. Historic downtown Albany and the Clinton Square neighborhood have an important past, and this investment and vote of confidence in Albany ensures a bright and resilient future."
Assembly Member John T. McDonald III said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative award to the City of Albany will be transformative not only for the city but for the Capital Region. The Capital City is the ideal location to provide this investment and these resources. The most impressive aspect of the City of Albany plan is that is reflects a community based engagement process and the input provided at charrettes were significant in the overall success of the application along with the focus on arts, culture, and historical preservation. Thank you to Governor Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Hochul, the State and local partners, and the Albany community for developing this plan and allowing it to come to fruition.
Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Ruth H. Mahoney said, "We are pleased that Albany has been selected as the Capital Region's DRI recipient. The city is culturally rich and diverse, with a strong history of public and private partnership to initiate and promote economic growth for the betterment of all. This year's winning projects will further advance Albany as the economic hub of our region, ensuring that the city can attract, develop and retain the next generation of workers by supporting valuable training programs, creating great employment opportunities and building vibrant neighborhoods that people are proud to call home."
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, while it delivers focused investments to urban centers, has ripple effects across the county and region. I'm proud of the work we have done at Albany County to spearhead downtown revitalization with our $20 million investment in upgrades at the Times Union Center. This led to a partnership with New York State and the Convention Center Authority to create our Albany Capital Center. And today we are seeing the next step as the revitalization moves north on Pearl Street. The projects funded by the DRI will improve the quality of life and make Albany a better place to live, work and visit."
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "The City of Albany is thrilled to win the latest round of Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. We are ready for this investment, which will improve the Clinton Square neighborhood and beyond. We will soon see comprehensive, smart projects come to life in the community, which will reverberate throughout all of Albany and the Capital Region. This is a great day for the Capital City."
Capitalize Albany Corporation President Sarah Reginelli said, "This investment is a huge win for Albany, providing a deserving city with the necessary funds to revitalize this up-and-coming downtown neighborhood. The projects funded through this DRI will not only attract more visitors to the capital city, they will improve local quality of life and make Clinton Square a premiere destination for new businesses and residents. We look forward to seeing the positive effects this award will have on our community, and thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to the city."
Albany 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 Clinton Square 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 Clinton Square Strategic Investment Plan 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 the DRI's third round will be complete in 2019.
For more information on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, go to: www.ny.gov/programs/downtown-revitalization-initiative.