December 27, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Hoosick Falls and Schuylerville as Capital Region Winners of Second Round of NY Forward Program

Governor Hochul Announces Hoosick Falls and Schuylerville as Capital Region Winners of Second Round of NY Forward Program

Hoosick Falls and Schuylerville to Receive $4.5 Million Each

$100 Million NY Forward Program Builds on Momentum of the Successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative to Support a More Equitable Downtown Recovery for New York’s Smaller and Rural Communities

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced Hoosick Falls and Schuylerville as this year’s Capital Region NY Forward winners, receiving $4.5 million each in funding. Building on the momentum of the State's successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the $100 million NY Forward program adopts the same "Plan-then-Act" strategy as the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which couples strategic planning with immediate project implementation to support a more equitable downtown resurgence for New York's smaller and rural communities. Applicants submit a vision for their downtown and a slate of transformative projects to achieve that vision. With the Governor’s commitment this year of $100 million each for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward, the State has now invested a combined total of $1 billion in both programs since their inception.

“Investing in our New York communities means investing in their heartbeat – our downtowns,” Governor Hochul said. “Hoosick Falls and Schuylerville put forth plans to reinvigorate their downtowns, which contribute to making the Capital Region a world-class destination for businesses, families and tourists. As this year’s NY Forward’s winners, Hoosick Falls and Schuylerville highlights our state’s commitment to uplifting local economies across the state.”

New York State Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “The NY Forward program focuses on the smaller and more rural communities throughout the state who are looking to revitalize their downtowns. These awards to Hoosick Falls and Schuylerville will build upon previous investments to prompt more public-private partnerships and improve the economic, social, and cultural well-being of each community. The NY Forward program ensures that our hamlets, villages, and smaller neighborhoods across the State of New York have the opportunity to join in these transformative economic growth opportunities.”

NY Forward is a central component of the State's economic development policy. The program works in concert with the DRI to accelerate and expand the revitalization of smaller and rural downtowns throughout the State so all communities can benefit from the State’s revitalization efforts, regardless of size, character, needs and challenges. Both programs are creating a critical mass of vibrant downtowns in every region of the State that is enhancing economic development, quality of life and socio-economic diversity.

Once awarded, NY Forward communities are supported by a professional planning consultant and team of State agency experts led by the New York State Department of State (DOS) to develop a Strategic Investment Plan that includes a slate of transformative, complementary and readily implementable projects. NY Forward projects are appropriately scaled to the size of each community; projects may include building renovation and redevelopment, new construction or creation of new or improved public spaces and other projects that enhance specific cultural and historical qualities that define and distinguish the small-town charm that defines these municipalities.

The Strategic Investment Plans and projects are driven by a Local Planning Committee, which conducts extensive community outreach and engagement. The DOS also provides expansive technical assistance and capacity-building webinars—featuring staff, experts and peers from DRI communities—which are geared toward supporting communities that may have less resources and capacity than larger, more urban communities.

Village of Hoosick Falls

The Village of Hoosick Falls’ NY Forward application focuses on creating safe, walkable and accessible corridors that will serve as transformative connectors among past and future public, private and non-profit projects. Having made several strategic investments in the downtown in recent years, the Village is in the midst of a significant transformation that will be enhanced and expanded by the award. Proposed projects and strategies showcase the Village’s architectural and historic beauty; streetscapes; ecologically integrative parks and landscaping; and much-needed parking to accommodate the resulting growth. Connecting these projects will transform Hoosick Falls into a cohesive economic generator to grow the job and population base locally, with positive ripple effects for the Capital Region’s vision and strategies.

Village of Schuylerville

The Village of Schuylerville has experienced a downtown renaissance in recent years, spurred by millions of dollars in strategic public and private investments. The Village’s NY Forward application focuses on efforts to build upon these previous investments and partnerships to increase housing opportunities that will attract more residents; offer new public park and event amenities; create more commercial tourist attractions and overnight lodging; and improve historic signage and wayfinding. The Village plans to complete a slate of transformational NY Forward projects that will culminate in 2027 with the Village’s celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Turning Point of the American Revolution in Schuylerville.

Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Both NY Forward and the DRI highlight the strength and vision of public-private partnerships and economic development that is driven by the communities that best understand their needs and potential. These NY Forward awards will serve to continue the transformation that’s already begun in these colorful and historic Capital Region villages.”

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Today's awards from the Governor's innovative NY Forward program will build upon the strengths of these historic Capital Region communities by generating new economic activity through locally-developed strategic plans. Congratulations to Hoosick Falls and Schuylerville and thank you to Governor Hochul for her continued commitment to the revitalization of downtowns across New York.”

CREDC Co-Chairs Ruth Mahoney, Executive Vice President, President of Wealth Management and Regional President at NBT Bank, and Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, University at Albany President, said, “NY Forward is an economic development booster that is reimagining New York State communities. This funding will help to fully realize our strategic plans for transformative connectors in the Village of Hoosick Falls and to capitalize on the ongoing renaissance in the Village of Schuylerville, drawing more residents and visitors to live, work and play in the Capital Region.”

State Senator Jacob Ashby said, “The Village of Hoosick Falls is well-deserving of the NY Forward award as they are in the process of re-imagining what the Village was, is, and can be. Their proposal finds the balance of preserving its historic charm and modernizing into an economic hub through walkable corridors connecting homes, businesses, and public amenities. Congratulations to the village residents and Mayor Allen, and I look forward to partnering with him throughout implementation of this funding to ensure that Hoosick Falls reaches its greatest potential. Thank you to Governor Hochul for recognizing the potential that exists in Hoosick Falls and selecting them for this funding.”

Assemblymember Carrie Woerner said, “This significant NY Forward award is both a recognition of the historic importance of the Village of Schuylerville and a commitment to its future as a community that nurtures small businesses and growing families. I applaud Mayor Dan Carpenter and the community leaders who crafted the vision represented in the Village of Schuylerville’s application. And, I thank Governor Hochul for her vision in establishing the NY Forward program to invest in New York’s villages and small cities.”

Assemblymember Scott Bendett said, “Main streets are very important to our towns and villages. Hoosick Falls has been through a lot over the years and is well-deserving of this New York Forward Grant to help revitalize and build up its main street and infrastructure. I am proud Gov. Hochul has recognized Rensselaer County as a place to invest and I am excited about the changes we will see down the road.”

Schuylerville Mayor Dan Carpenter said, “We are excited for this opportunity to partner with the state to work on the Revitalization of Schuylerville, and to bring some of our economic dreams and goals to fruition. I want to thank the governor and the regional economic development team. We look forward to a great working relationship.”

Hoosick Falls Mayor Robert Allen said, “On behalf of our entire community, we are elated to be the recipient of this grant and to once again partner with the State to better serve and provide for our communities. We are extremely grateful for this honor, and look forward to hitting the ground running. Hoosick Falls is a strong and resilient community, and their efforts are why we are here today. We thank the Department of State, Governor Hochul, and all involved with the NY Forward program.”

The Capital Region Economic Development Council conducted a thorough and competitive review process of proposals submitted from communities throughout the region and considered all eight criteria below before recommending these communities as 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 all ages, 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;
  • 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 Strategic Investment Plan;
  • The municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for near-term implementation with an infusion of NY Forward funds; and
  • The municipality has the local capacity to manage the planning process and implementation of projects, including the ability to oversee contracts for awarded municipal projects.

Hoosick Falls and Schuylerville will now begin the process of developing a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize their downtowns. 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 to identify projects that align with each community's vision and that are poised for implementation. Funding will be awarded for selected projects from the Strategic Investment Plan that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and generate new opportunities for long-term growth.

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