Downtown Revitalization Investments are a Critical Part of the State's Comprehensive Economic Development and Community Growth Strategy
State to Work with Residents, Community Leaders and Public Officials to Revitalize Downtown Kirkland and Clinton
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the Town of Kirkland and the Village of Clinton will jointly receive $10 million in funding as the Mohawk Valley winner of the sixth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. For DRI Round 6, each of the state's 10 economic development regions will be awarded $10 million, to make for a total state commitment of $100 million in funding and investments to help communities boost their economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods.
"Our Downtown Revitalization Initiative allows communities across New York to execute their vision to transform and improve their downtowns for residents and visitors alike," Governor Hochul said. "With this funding, Kirkland and Clinton will be able to increase their housing supply and modernize their infrastructure while enhancing the historical character of the downtown area."
The DRI serves as a component 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 businesses, jobs and economic and housing diversity. 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 transformative potential and leverage further private and public investments. The Department of State will then award DRI funds to selected projects with the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and realize the community's vision.
The Village of Clinton and the Town of Kirkland
The Village of Clinton and Town of Kirkland are anchored by a strong village center surrounded by shops and businesses, as well as a large concentration of quality-of-life amenities like the Kirkland Art Center and Village Green. The community is known for its commitment to hockey, evidenced by winning the 2018 Kraft USA Hockeyville Title and its newly renovated Clinton Arena. The Village of Clinton is also home to Hamilton College, a nationally recognized liberal arts college that attracts diverse students, faculty and staff.The community's proposed DRI area encompasses parts of the Village of Clinton and Town of Kirkland and includes the community's federally designated historic district. The DRI area also includes key properties, such as the Village Hall, the Clinton Cider Mill and Alteri's Restaurant, and many of the buildings in the DRI area are between 80 and 100 years old.
Recent investments in the Village of Clinton and Town of Kirkland have brought about job growth, infrastructure improvements and enhancements to small business and nonprofit organizations. Building from recent investments and its rich history and active arts and culture traditions, the communities seek to modernize infrastructure, further commit to ongoing environmental, climate and economic initiatives and enhance programs for wellness, health and quality of life for its increasingly diverse residents and visitors. Clinton and Kirkland's vision focuses on opportunities to expand existing uses in the Village Center, grow the local housing stock, modernize infrastructure and encourage the use of underutilized parcels.
The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council conducted a thorough and competitive review process of proposals submitted from communities throughout the region and considered all the criteria below before recommending Kirkland and Clinton as the nominee:
- Downtown is compact, with well-defined boundaries;
- Downtown can capitalize on prior, or catalyze future private and public investment;
- Recent or impending job growth within, or close to, the downtown that can attract workers, support redevelopment and make growth sustainable;
- Downtown is an attractive and livable community for diverse populations;
- Municipality already embraces, or has the ability to create and implement policies that increase livability and quality of life;
- Municipality conducted open and robust community engagement resulting in a vision for downtown revitalization and a preliminary list of projects and initiatives;
- Municipality has the local capacity to manage the DRI process; and
- Municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for near-term implementation with an infusion of DRI funds.
Kirkland and Clinton have been jointly awarded $10 million in state funding and investments to revitalize its downtown neighborhood and generate new opportunities for long-term growth following the local planning process. Kirkland and Clinton join the communities of Oneonta, Rome, Amsterdam, Utica, Gloversville and Little Falls, which were the Mohawk Valley's winners in the first five DRI rounds.
Kirkland and Clinton will 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 to identify economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with each community's vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation. The 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 sixth round will be complete in 2023.
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is New York's unique approach to local and regional economic resurgence that gets communities directly involved in deciding their own futures. This $10 million award will allow Kirkland and Clinton to revitalize and reinvigorate their downtowns with a vision that is created by these communities, for these communities. I look forward to seeing their success into the future."
Empire State Development CEO, President and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Hockey, Hamilton College and history all contribute to the ageless appeal of Kirkland and Clinton, and this sixth-round DRI funding will further add to the vibrancy of these Mohawk Valley communities. A locally driven strategic investment plan will guide projects that modernize buildings and expand the area's housing and business potential, attracting further growth and opportunity."
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "This $10 million investment in the town of Kirkland and village of Clinton is the latest example of the State's commitment to protecting the resources of downtown areas across New York. This funding will play an important role in the revitalization efforts of these communities, and helps ensure the work being done will benefit future generations."
Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs, Lawrence T. Gilroy III, President of Gilroy, Kernan & Gilroy, Inc. and Dr. Marion Terenzio, SUNY Cobleskill President said, "The MVREDC enthusiastically supports the opportunity that this DRI funding represents for the Town of Kirkland and the Village of Clinton. This initiative will help to build on the sports, education and cultural strengths of these communities, and further ensure their long-term revitalization."
State Senator Joseph Griffo said, "I am pleased that the Town of Kirkland and Village of Clinton will jointly receive funding through the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. This investment will enhance, revitalize and strengthen both communities and help to position them for even brighter futures."
Assemblymember Brian Miller said, "I am excited to see that the Town of Kirkland and Village of Clinton's joint application for the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), has been awarded at $10 Million. The DRI funding will greatly contribute to the community's commitment to enhance the economic, environmental, educational and cultural quality of life for all residents. The Town of Kirkland and Village of Clinton will leverage the DRI award to develop a vibrant and sustainable downtown economy, and I commend the municipalities for their continuing efforts on behalf of their residents to provide the needed funding to help strengthen their community. Thank you to Governor Kathy Hochul, and to everyone involved that made this a possibility."
Town of Kirkland Deputy Supervisor Gary Colarusso said, "This is a work in progress for three years. This is our third attempt and I'm very proud for a group of people who brought this today. For those folks, my heart and hand is out to them. This is a great group of folks that were not only within the Township or Village Itself. We have a great relationship with the village being almost at the center of the township and all of things that made this a very special place."
Village of Clinton Mayor Elizabeth Tantillo said, "This is just a splendid day to get $10 Million dollars for this community. All those who have helped prepare for this day have really united the county and the Village together and we are looking forward to great things in the community."
About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
The Downtown Revitalization Initiative was created 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 with assistance from Empire State Development, Homes and Community Renewal and NYSERDA, the DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative "plan-then-act" strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation and results in compact, walkable downtowns that are a key ingredient to helping New York State rebuild its economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to achieving the State's bold climate goals by promoting the use of public transit and reducing dependence on private vehicles.
In the first five years of the program, the state committed $600 million investing in 59 downtowns ripe for revitalization and that have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity and opportunity. 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 $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.
More information on the DRI is available here.
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