March 26, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces More Than $8.5 Million Awarded to Central NY Municipalities in Round 5 of Restore New York Communities Initiative

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces More Than $8.5 Million...

Five Projects Receive Funding to Generate Economic Opportunities by Removing Blight and Revitalizing Neighborhoods

Nearly $81 Million Awarded to 71 Projects Statewide

Announcement Complements "CNY Rising" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than $8.5 million has been awarded to five Central NY municipalities through Round 5 of the Restore New York Communities Initiative. Restore New York supports municipal revitalization efforts by awarding funding for projects that will reinvigorate downtowns and generate new economic opportunity in communities from Western New York to Long Island. Nearly $81 million was awarded to 71 municipalities statewide.

"Downtown communities are vital to keeping our economies thriving and to attracting businesses and families to put down their roots in New York," Governor Cuomo said. "The Restore New York Communities Initiative recognizes communities teeming with potential and invests in their transformation and their future, and turns them into neighborhoods New Yorkers are proud to call home."

"Traveling across the State, I see the many buildings in communities that have great possibilities to be restored with the charm they once had," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "With this Restore New York funding, we're committed to ensuring that our localities have the resources they need to pursue new development projects and transform abandoned properties. The Restore New York initiative continues to work with local leaders and stakeholders to unleash the full potential of economic development opportunities across the State."

Round 5 of the Restore New York Communities Initiative was enacted in the FY 2017 State Budget, and Empire State Development was designated to implement the program. Cities, towns and villages were all eligible to apply for support for projects that include demolition, deconstruction, rehabilitation or reconstruction of vacant, abandoned, condemned and surplus properties. Projects located in economically distressed communities were emphasized and encouraged.

ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Restore New York partners with municipalities to back projects that can have a transformative impact on neighborhoods and downtowns throughout the state. With our support, cities and towns are tearing down vacant, blighted buildings and rehabilitating outdated structures to help revitalize their community and generate new economic opportunities."

Central NY Projects

  • City of Syracuse - $4,867,681 - Demolition and/or rehabilitation of 20 sites within the urban core of the city to support the Northside Transformation Initiative. All 20 buildings are immediately adjacent to the Central Business District, and this project will create new residential units and commercial spaces.
  • City of Auburn - $1,000,000 - Rehabilitation of the former Schines Theater, creating a multi-use facility for concerts, entertainment, theater productions and movies, and a multi-use facility where the public can hold events, banquets, and gatherings.
  • City of Cortland - $1,000,000 - The renovation of the nearly vacant P&C Plaza into a hub for non-profits including a YWCA childcare center, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cortland County Historical Society and Seven Valleys Health Coalition, with plans for a year-round farmers market.
  • Village of Homer - $1,000,000 - The reconstruction and renovation of 23 S. Main Street into living units and commercial space, and the upper floors of 1-3 S. Main Street into six loft-style apartments.
  • City of Oneida - $700,000 - Rehabilitation of 155 Madison Street to create eight new apartments on the top two floors of a mixed-use facility.

A complete list of projects can be found here.

Assemblymember William B. Magnarelli said, "The Restore New York Communities initiative continues to make a difference in our cities and towns, including Syracuse, revitalizing neighborhoods and downtowns across Central New York and throughout the state. This round of funding will generate visible progress across the region, and I'm proud to support this program."

Assemblymember Barbara Lifton said, "I'm very pleased to hear about the important projects in my Assembly district that will be supported by this latest round of Restore NY funding. From the transformation of a vacant parking lot into a new building that will house retail and not-for-profits in the City of Cortland to the creation of much-needed housing in the City of Ithaca, this funding will bring major community benefits. Congratulations to the award recipients and to everyone involved in making these ground-breaking projects a reality."

Assemblymember Bill Magee said, "These investments will help to alleviate shortages of safe, affordable housing in our upstate urban areas like Oneida and Oneonta. Refurbishing and transforming the city streetscapes is likely to promote increased shopping and business, helping to improve commerce so that these downtown areas can move forward and thrive."

Accelerating Central NY Rising

Today's announcement complements "Central NY Rising," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.7 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 a destination to grow and invest in.

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.

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office