June 2, 2016
Albany

Governor Cuomo Announces Expansion of Terakeet and TCG/Ascension Gaming to Create and Support More Than 450 Jobs in Downtown Syracuse

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Expansion of Terakeet...

TCG/Ascension Gaming to Invest $255,000 to Expand Office and Warehousing Operations, Creating 42 New Jobs and Retaining 69 Existing Jobs

Terakeet to Invest $2.4 Million, Creating 200 Jobs and Retaining 150 Existing Jobs

Governor Also Highlights Progress on Newly Renovated Hotel Syracuse; Project Expected to Create 186 Jobs, With 100 Positions Already Filled

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Terakeet, a software development, marketing and brand strategy company, and TCG/Ascension Gaming, an online gaming marketplace, are creating and supporting more than 450 high-tech jobs in downtown Syracuse. The expansion builds on the progress of “Central New York Rising,” the region’s strategic plan to generate robust economic growth and community development. The plan was awarded $500 million through Governor Cuomo's Upstate Revitalization Initiative in December 2015. The Governor made the announcement at the grand opening of the new convention center at the Hotel Syracuse, which is currently being restored and expected to create 186 jobs.

“New York has fundamentally transformed our approach to economic development through the Regional Economic Development Councils – and today, our investments are bearing fruit,” Governor Cuomo said. “From the complete renovation of the Syracuse Hotel to attracting top talent and big business to the region, this state is committed to revitalizing Central New York and strengthening the upstate economy. By harnessing this region’s unique resources, we are keeping the momentum moving forward, and driving growth and creating jobs for years to come.”


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Terakeet, located in downtown Syracuse, develops and enhances web visibility for their customers through an innovative technology platform called Chorus. The company has not only helped boost the web presence of numerous Internet Retailer 100 companies, startups, advocacy groups, and political campaigns, but also considers cultivating sustainable economic growth in the region as a core part of its mission.

Thanks to $600,000 in funding through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, $4.3 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits through Empire State Development, and $2.4 million in private investment, Terakeet will add 200 jobs at its downtown Syracuse headquarters, while retaining 150 existing jobs. These new positions focus on digital marketing, account management, sales, data analysis, web analytics and software engineering.

Mac Cummings, CEO of Terakeet, said, "We are extremely lucky to have the support of New York State as we embark on our next wave of growth. We are proud to be adding jobs in Syracuse, our home town, and are comfortable that these incentives require us to meet aggressive objectives before we benefit from them." 

TCG/Ascension Gaming operates an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of collectible trading cards and has invested approximately $255,000 to expand and equip its office and warehousing operations in downtown Syracuse. The move supports the company's efforts to enter the international marketplace, particularly Canada, England and Australia. As a result of this expansion, the company is adding 42 new jobs including web developers, U/I developers, customer service representatives and fulfillments specialists, to its current workforce of 69.

TCG/Ascension's growth was supported by $50,000 in funding through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and $300,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. Additionally, the company's international expansion was supported by the Global NY initiative, which was established by Governor Cuomo to offer one stop shopping to both foreign businesses looking to invest in New York and to local businesses who want to export globally.

Chedy Hampson, a founder and CEO of TCGplayer.com, said, “This investment by the Governor and the Central New York REDC has made it possible for TCGplayer.com to develop new technologies, create high-paying jobs and attract new talent to the region. I’m excited to say that we’ve added the pledged 42 employees in only six months.” 

Hotel Syracuse

The Hotel Syracuse, an iconic landmark located in the heart of downtown Syracuse, is currently undergoing a major renovation project. After being vacant for over a decade, the newly renovated hotel will house more than 280 rooms and a state-of-the-art convention center.

In 2006, Onondaga County received a total of $15 million in grants to construct a convention center hotel, but the project never progressed. In 2007, $1.75 million was awarded to Onondaga County through Empire State Development’s Restore NY grant for remediation and restoration of the then-vacant hotel as an alternative to building a new convention center hotel. Nearly $650,000 of that grant money has been disbursed and the remainder will be used for the hotel’s restoration. The project was also awarded $3.64 million by the state in round four of the REDC awards for Central New York. Additionally, a $1.7 million grant secured by Assemblyman Magnarelli was administered to the project. To date, the project has received a total of $22.1 million in state funding.

The fully renovated hotel is expected to create 186 jobs, approximately 100 of which have already been filled, and open to the public in July.

“The Hotel Syracuse, soon to be the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, is part of this region’s rich history and we are committed to restoring it to its full glory and continuing to attract major events, big business and tourism to Central New York. This project, however, would not have been possible without the steadfast commitment of Governor Cuomo, the Central New York REDC and the support of our local elected officials. We look forward to completing construction in the coming weeks and months, and continuing to generate growth and create jobs in the region.” 

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “We are bullish on Central New York and the plan this region has developed for creating jobs and strengthening its economy. Since Governor Cuomo took office in 2011 and began focusing on fixing the Upstate economy like never before, Syracuse and Central New York have seen a tremendous amount of public and private investment, and as a result are building an increasingly strong and diverse economic backbone.”

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, “This is terrific news for Central New York and shows we are building on the great progress this region has seen under the leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo. We are pleased that Tarakeet and TCG/Ascension Gaming are expanding in Syracuse and creating and retaining more than 450 jobs for hardworking Central New Yorkers. By leveraging our unique resources and investing in emerging industries, we are not only positioning Syracuse for growth today, but driving significant economic development down the line.”​

Accelerating Central NY Rising

This announcement advances “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested nearly $3 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy.

Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as destinations in which to grow and invest.

Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here

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