September 18, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Ribbon Cutting on $14 Million Centerpiece Project of Elmira Downtown Revitalization Initiative

Governor Cuomo Announces Ribbon Cutting on $14 Million Centerpiece Project of Elmira Downtown Revitalization Initiative

West Water Street Mixed-Use Development Now Officially Open for Business in Downtown Elmira

Investment in Downtown Revitalization is Important Component of "Southern Tier Soaring," The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the City of Elmira has officially opened the doors on this centerpiece project of its Downtown Revitalization Initiative effort. Developer Park Grove Realty constructed a 65,000 square-foot, mixed-use development at 100 West Water Street downtown. The $14 million project included commercial and retail space and features 51 units of market-rate housing units, all of which are occupied. The West Water Street Project will also soon be home to a new coffee shop which will be run by Capabilities, an organization that empowers and assists people with disabilities

"As we focus on reenergizing Elmira's city center, the West Water Street project will help ensure that the Southern Tier continues to soar, laying the foundation for future growth and development across the entire region," Governor Cuomo said. "Today's ribbon cutting is just another testament that our Downtown Revitalization Initiative is working to boost local economies all across the state."

"Downtown Elmira is rich in culture and history, and we are building the momentum of excitement, growth, and prosperity in the area," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "I was proud to announce Elmira as a Downtown Revitalization Initiative award winner, along with the winning projects as part of the DRI and return again today to mark the opening of the West Water Street development. The project added 51 market-rate apartments, which are already fully occupied, along with new businesses in commercial and retail space. The DRI is helping to make Elmira's downtown more accessible and business-friendly, while increasing the use of the Chemung waterfront to enhance quality of life and strengthen the economy."

The project was supported by $4 million through Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which was awarded to the city during round one of the Governor's transformative initiative in 2016. Another $2.3 million came from Empire State Development through the Restore NY Communities Initiative. Additionally, Chemung County and Southern Tier Economic Growth provided incentives for the development. The project is also consistent with "Southern Tier Soaring," the regionally designed economic development plan which is growing the economy and creating new opportunities by investing in city centers.

Other DRI-funded projects include the rehabilitation of the Centertown Parking Garage, the creation of a walkable and inviting Clemens Square and enhancements to Mark Twain Riverfront Park which will include an elevated boardwalk.

Governor Cuomo's game-changing Downtown Revitalization Initiative is working to transform downtown neighborhoods statewide into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise families. Participating communities are nominated by the state's 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown's potential for transformation, and each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community's vision for revitalization.

Recognizing the momentum underway in the city, the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine earlier this year committed to constructing a two-story, 52,628 square-foot building at the vacant Arnot Park in downtown Elmira. Known as LECOM, they will invest nearly $20 million to construct the building on the Elmira College campus to accommodate a new medical school program, attracting students who will fill the need for physicians in the Southern Tier.

Strategically located between major commercial corridors, Elmira's compact and walkable downtown is well-positioned to become an active, desirable and diverse college community. The downtown development will cater to the needs of new residents attracted by the recent growth of the region's health care industry and impending college expansions.

Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative continues to be the proven economic engine that Governor Cuomo envisioned for communities around the state. We are proud to have worked closely together with the City of Elmira to build this complex that will create endless opportunities for its residents to live, work and raise a family in a great downtown area."

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said, "This new mixed-use development is the hub of a more vibrant Elmira city center, energized by Downtown Revitalization Initiative plans that include bringing innovative businesses and colleges to the region and further strengthening the local economy."

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University, and Judy McKinney-Cherry said, "The DRI investment is truly working to help downtown Elmira become more accessible and business-friendly while at the same time working to attract young professionals to the area. This project has helped to breathe new life into this beautiful city, ensuring that it is a critical player in the Southern Tier Soaring Upstate Revitalization Initiative vision."

Senator Thomas O'Mara said, "Through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the city of Elmira is building a number of exciting foundations, including this critical mixed-use centerpiece on West Water Street, that we are hopeful will lead to short- and long-term community revitalization and economic growth. It is important to note that the residential units in this project were 100% leased prior to the project's completion, which highlights the great need for these types of projects in the City of Elmira and bodes well for its future success. We are grateful to the Cuomo administration, our local DRI planning committee, and the important public input that's helped Elmira move forward. These Elmira-based projects represent exciting and fantastic additions to a city that's a cornerstone of the entire Southern Tier region."

Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss said, "The City of Elmira and its downtown play a vital role in the overall success of Chemung County when it comes to economic development and attracting new and keeping existing businesses healthy in the Southern Tier. The newly constructed, mixed-use development at 100 W. Water Street is one of the first steps in recreating and revitalizing our downtown area. The partnership between the state, the county and the city, as well as the private sector has brought this project to fruition. As downtowns and Main Streets across the country undergo a renaissance, this project will ensure that Elmira's downtown keeps pace. I would like to thank the Governor, the City of Elmira, Park Grove Realty and all of our partners for making this project a success."

City of Elmira Mayor Daniel Mandell said, "Many thanks to Governor Cuomo, New York State Department of State, Empire State Development and Park Grove Realty in making this project a reality. The Governor's Downtown Revitalization Initiative is working to transform Elmira's downtown into a vibrant place where people will want to live, work and raise their families. This mixed-use residential/commercial property along with all the other projects occurring throughout the City clearly demonstrates that Elmira is undergoing a resurgence."

Southern Tier Economic Growth President and the CCIDA Executive Director Joseph Roman said, "This project is truly one about partnerships where the State, County, City, and private sector came together to foster one of the most significant new construction projects for Elmira's downtown in recent years. We are very excited about the new housing and commercial development the project brings to the downtown area and would like to extend our appreciation to Park Grove Realty for making this investment in our community."

Park Grove Realty Partner Andrew Bodewes said, "Park Grove is pleased to be a part of the efforts to transform Elmira. The apartments are fully leased and occupied two months after completion. The Governor's revitalization plan is working and the County and City deserve credit for their assistance and vision to improve Elmira. We thank the Governor's Office, County and City for their vision and support. We look forward to continued progress in the revitalization of Downtown Elmira."

LaBella Assosciates President Robert A. Healy said, "We are excited and proud to be a part of new development in Elmira. With our new office space on W. Water Street, we can attract, develop, and retain talent. In turn, our employees are committed to the community and deliver projects that make the region a wonderful place to live, work, and play."

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring

Today's announcement complements "Southern Tier Soaring," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan - attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. 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 Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring 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 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.


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