State to Work with Residents, Community Leaders and Public Officials to Revitalize Endicott's Downtown
Downtown Revitalization Investments Are Crucial Part of the State's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Endicott will receive $10 million in funding as one of the Southern Tier region winners of the fifth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). As part of DRI Round 5, each of the state's 10 economic development regions are being awarded $20 million, for a total state commitment of $200 million in funding and investments to help communities boost their post COVID-19 economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods.
"These revitalization investments are a core part of New York's efforts to build our economy back after the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure inclusive growth in every corner of the state," Governor Hochul said. "This proposal from Endicott will spur successful and dynamic development in the downtown area, and with the funding now awarded, I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the residents of this great village."
"The Downtown Revitalization Initiative has a proven track record of transforming communities into thriving areas where people want to live, work and raise a family," Lieutenant Governor Benjamin said. "Endicott's creative proposal will make their downtown uniquely suited for 21st century jobs that will complement its Advanced Manufacturing I/District."
Led by the Department of State, the DRI serves as a cornerstone of the State's economic development policy by transforming downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers of activity that offer a high quality of life and attract redevelopment, businesses, jobs, and economic and housing diversity. In this round, Governor Hochul doubled funding from $100 million to $200 million and allowed each Regional Economic Development Council to decide whether to nominate two $10 million awardees or one $20 million awardee for transformative and catalytic downtown redevelopment projects.
Like past DRI rounds, each selected community will develop a strategic plan through a bottom-up, community-based planning process that articulates a vision for the revitalization of its downtown and identifies a list of signature projects that have the potential to transform the downtown and leverage further private and public investments. DRI funds will then be awarded for selected projects that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and realize the community's vision for the downtown. Through the DRI, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will provide technical support to the awardees to assist them with including carbon neutral principles in support of the state's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050.
In response to the growth of their Advanced Manufacturing I-District, Endicott aims to create a synergistic and complementary relationship between the downtown area and the companies in the district by creating a downtown suited for 21st century jobs. Endicott is already well-underway with this plan as they have seen over $600 million invested in the village in the past 10 years and have public and private projects ongoing or expected within the next 3 years that total $300 million in investment. Building on this momentum, Endicott wants to create new food and entertainment opportunities, improve connectivity, and increase mixed-use space.
The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council conducted a thorough and competitive review process of proposals submitted from communities throughout the region and considered all seven criteria below before recommending Endicott as one of the nominees:
- 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 every age, income, gender, identity, ability, mobility and cultural background;
- 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 streetplans, 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;
- The municipality has the local capacity to manage the DRI process; and
- The municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for near-term implementation with an infusion of DRI funds.
Endicott now joins Elmira, Watkins Glen, Oswego and Hornell, which were the Southern Tier Region's winners in the first four DRI rounds, respectively.
Endicott 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 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 Strategic Investment Plans 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 fifth round will be complete in 2022.
Acting Secretary of State Brendan C. Hughes said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative will help build on recent public and private sector investments taking place in Endicott to bolster the advanced manufacturing sector. The Department of State looks forward to working on developing and implementing their strategic plan to create better spaces for residents, businesses, and visitors right here in the Southern Tier."
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Hope Knight said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is helping to reimagine New York State's cities for the future. This DRI award will help the Village of Endicott to further build its downtown as a hub for 21st century jobs and create greater synergy with area companies."
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "In the Southern Tier, HCR's investments have enabled historic factories to be put back to work as affordable housing, funded the construction of new homes, and injected resources that continue to spur the revitalization of entire communities. Thanks to Governor Hochul and the visionary leaders in the Southern Tier, this DRI award will build on those successes, working on behalf of the people to restore and further revitalize Endicott."
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, "NYSERDA is pleased to provide technical assistance and support to Endicott as they seek to connect their business district and their downtown while incorporating carbon neutral principles into this revitalization planning process. Endicott and other regions of the state are advancing the state's climate and clean energy goals by thinking strategically as they strengthen their communities and create opportunities for residents."
Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "New York's legacy communities like Endicott have great potential to support economic growth and job creation, promote livable neighborhoods, and offer quality housing while preserving local heritage. With the assistance of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, New York State is leading the way in promoting sustainable growth while renewing the historic core of our cities and towns."
State Senator Fred Akshar said, "Congratulations to our Endicott community for all your hard work in securing $10 million to revitalize the historic downtown district. This kind of transformative investment is not an attempt to reclaim the past, when Endicott-Johnson and IBM helped build a thriving community, but an investment in a brighter future with more opportunities for the next generation of families and residents to help move this community forward."
Assemblymember Donna Lupardo said, "Endicott's persistence, along with their vision for downtown, has finally paid off with this wonderful news. Endicott has reached an important turning point with new businesses bringing new energy to this once thriving hub. Congratulations to all who worked so hard and never gave up on this effort. And special thanks to the Governor and all involved with the economic recovery of our downtowns."
Endicott Mayor Linda Jackson said, "The Village of Endicott is a community on the rise. The DRI funds will increase our momentum and expand our current investment bringing continued economic growth and transformation to our Village. Thank you for recognizing our potential."
Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Judy McKinney Cherry, Executive Director, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) and Broome Community College President Kevin Drumm said, "The STREDC is incredibly proud to support the Village of Endicott with its exciting future. This community driven strategic plan will benefit both residents and visitors alike. The $10 million in DRI funding will help to fuel an array of targeted, transformative projects, promoting economic growth and creating a more vibrant downtown where people will want to live, work, and play."
About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
The Downtown Revitalization Initiative launched in 2016 to accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhoods in all ten regions of the state to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment. Led by the Department of State, the initiative represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation, bringing with it an interagency team of state experts to support local government capacity in realizing their community's vision.
In the first four years of the program, the state committed $400 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity. The fifth round of the DRI will have an additional $200 million commitment. Participating communities are nominated by the state's 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown's potential for transformation. Each community is awarded at least $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community's vision for revitalization and leverage additional private and public investments.
Downtown redevelopment plays a critical role in the State's nation-leading efforts to support sustainable economic development, reverse climate change, and promote climate justice by creating walkable, bikeable and transit-accessible communities that significantly reduce automobile use and greenhouse gas emissions. The DRI also supports the State's Health Across All Policies/Age-Friendly NY initiative by creating more opportunities for outside recreation and exercise; offering safe, accessible public spaces for social interaction, which improves mental health; and expanding access to fresh, nutritious food, particularly in underserved communities.
The initiative is headed by New York State Department of State. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development, and state Homes and Community Renewal.
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