State to Collaborate with Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council to Revitalize Peekskill's Downtown
Part of Governor's Comprehensive Approach to Transform Communities into Vibrant Neighborhoods and Boost Local Economies
Downtown Revitalization Investments Are Crucial Part of Mid-Hudson's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Peekskill will receive $10 million in funding as the Mid-Hudson winner of the fourth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. As in the first three 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.
"With the downtown revitalization initiative, we challenged local governments to propose innovative ideas to create jobs and drive economic growth," Governor Cuomo said. "Peekskill proposed a brilliant plan that builds on their natural resources including the beautiful waterfront - a magnet that draws people and businesses to the area. And they demonstrated they have the secret ingredient: the capacity to actually get it done. This investment will help Peekskill utilize these assets to maximize their full potential."
"Peekskill has so much to offer with arts, entertainment, and restaurants along the waterfront," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This significant funding as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will continue to grow the downtown area and increase tourism in the area. Through the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, local projects will build on the city's employment and recreational opportunities, increasing quality of life and strengthening the local economy."
The City of Peekskill in Westchester County invites people to "Take a Peek ... Discover Peekskill!" Its DRI target area includes the Downtown Central Business District and waterfront Transit-Oriented Development District which boasts cultural and educational institutions, an award-winning waterfront and parks system, and a core string of restaurants and boutique retailers. Niche markets in entertainment, fine and digital art, culture, craft food and beverages, sports and recreation, waterfront tourism, and personal services have emerged in recent years and serve as a solid foundation upon which to continue the community's revitalization. The DRI award will enable Peekskill to build on these successes with strengthened pedestrian amenities that link existing community assets and increased offerings in tourism, the arts, media, and light manufacturing that create employment and training opportunities for a range of skill and wage levels.
The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council went through a competitive review process of proposals from communities throughout the region and considered all seven criteria below before recommending Peekskill as its nominee for winner:
- The downtown should be compact, with well-defined boundaries;
- 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.
Peekskill's fourth-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. Peekskill now joins the Cities of Middletown, Kingston and New Rochelle, which were the Mid-Hudson winners in the first three DRI rounds, respectively.
With the downtown revitalization initiative, we challenged local governments to propose innovative ideas to create jobs and drive economic growth.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative gives communities around the state vital resources to fund projects, identified by residents, that support thriving city centers and promote local economic growth. These targeted, strategic investments in quality-of-life and infrastructure improvements will enable Peekskill to capitalize on its waterfront appeal and strengthen the City's businesses and industries."
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "Peekskill is a wonderful community with so much to offer for those who live there as well as those who visit. I am proud that the City has been recognized through Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which brings true transformative projects to life in communities across New York State."
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "This $10 million investment from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will help build a stronger future for the city of Peekskill and the entire Mid-Hudson region. Through this strategic program, Governor Cuomo is able to direct state resources towards the creative projects that are breathing new life into our cities, towns and villages."
Senator Pete Harckham said, "Peekskill is a special place which is why I located my district office here. I'm proud to see the city advance into a bright new future. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the community will see targeted economic investments that foster real change and improvements. This $10 million in revitalization funds will go a long way to make Peekskill an even more inviting place to live, work and play."
Assembly Member Sandy Galef said, "Peekskill has proven itself to be a community at the forefront of progress. Through strong leadership and innovative planning, the city continues to develop in many ways. We are excited to see how Peekskill plans for these investments and how the community bands together even further to bring much-needed projects to life."
Dr. Donald Christian, Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and SUNY New Paltz President, said, "This $10 million investment will improve Peekskill's local infrastructure and foster its new development district, helping to create a sustainable downtown that contributes to the economy in Westchester County and the Mid-Hudson region. I am happy to see Peekskill receive this award today and look forward to seeing the many projects there that will benefit from Downtown Revitalization Initiative investment."
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, "Peekskill is one of the many outstanding communities in Westchester County, and I am thrilled to see it benefit from Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. I look forward to assisting Peekskill's strategic plan and the long-term investments that will be borne out of this successful economic development program. I join the people of Peekskill in thanking the Governor for his commitment to Westchester."
Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey said, "This is a wonderful day for Peekskill. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, our city has an opportunity to build on what we've accomplished and forge a great new future for our community. This investment will create lasting improvements that will attract more residents, prompt businesses to invest here and entice visitors to see what we have to offer."
Peekskill 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 downtown Peekskill 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 downtown Peekskill 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 fourth round will be complete in 2020.
For more information on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, go to: www.ny.gov/programs/downtown-revitalization-initiative.