December 27, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Lake George as the $10 Million Capital Region Winner of the Seventh Round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative

Governor Hochul Announces Lake George as the $10 Million Capital Region Winner of the Seventh Round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative

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 Lake George

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Lake George will receive $10 million in funding as the Capital Region winner of the seventh round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. For Round 7, each of the state's 10 economic development regions are being 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. 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.

“This investment in Lake George will be transformative, making what is already a beautiful community even better,” Governor Hochul said. “This commitment highlights our dedication to fostering vibrant communities for residents and visitors, alike. With an additional $100 million pledge this year for both the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward, the State has now proudly invested a monumental $1 billion in reshaping and revitalizing our downtowns, ensuring a brighter and more prosperous future for all New Yorkers.”

Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative will provide the spark for Lake George to ignite their revitalization efforts to enhance the visitor experience, quality of life for its residents and improve their waterfront economy. Thank you to Governor Hochul for her continued commitment to the Department of State’s flagship economic development program. Congratulations to Lake George and I look forward to seeing them develop their plan for success.”

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (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.

Lake George (Town/Village)

The Town and Village of Lake George DRI application—titled, Lake George Forward: Transforming Downtown for Tomorrow—focuses on improving the quality of life and sense of place of the Canada Street corridor and adjacent waterfront to create a more vibrant and prosperous downtown. The DRI will help develop accommodations for a growing population and enhance the “visitor experience.”

DRI strategies and projects build upon over $117 million in previous public and private investments to catalyze further cultural, recreational and community development opportunities and accelerate the redevelopment of underutilized properties, while also supporting an inclusive and diverse workforce to strengthen the year-round economy for future generations. Lake George will be looking to include transformative DRI projects in their Plan that enhance tourist sites and amenities; create housing opportunities, public spaces, and streetscape improvements; and expand broadband capacity.

The Capital Region 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 Lake George 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.

Lake George has been 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. Lake George joins Glens Falls, Hudson, Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Cohoes, which were Capital Region winners in the first six DRI rounds.

Lake George 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. This Plan will also guide the investment of DRI grant funds in revitalization projects to advance the community's vision for its downtown and leverage and expand upon the state's $10 million investment. Plans for the DRI's seventh round will be completed in 2024.

With an additional $100 million pledge this year for both the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward, the State has now proudly invested a monumental $1 billion in reshaping and revitalizing our downtowns"

Governor Kathy Hochul

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Lake George is known for its unparalleled natural beauty, rich history and its reputation as a family friendly destination. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative will allow Lake George to capitalize on its many unique attributes and unlock new economic opportunities that will and propel the community forward well into the future.”

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Lake George's location, pivotal role in our history, and natural resources make it a growing community that attracts thousands of visitors every year. This well-deserved Downtown Revitalization Initiative award will help the residents of Lake George build a stronger, year-round economy and make the most of the natural riches they enjoy. Along with Governor Hochul, we look forward to what's coming in the next chapter.”

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 “Lake George has crafted a strategy for its downtown that will create a welcoming path to attract first time and seasoned visitors to this picturesque community again and again. This plan will draw from Lake George’s rich tapestry of culture, entertainment and natural beauty, reimagining its main artery as an economic engine for prosperity and growth.”

State Senator Dan Stec said, “Lake George is already a vital hub of recreational activities and economic development for our region. This $10 million in DRI funding will allow the town and village to make needed quality of life improvements along the Canada Street corridor and nearby waterfront, helping make our community an even better place to work, live and visit.”

Assemblymember Matthew Simpson said, “The Lake George Region, a long time world renowned destination and gateway to a world of adventure and natural wonder in the Adirondack Park, will now be able to take the next step forward in realizing its vision for the future. With a bold vision to refresh the identity of Lake George’s downtown area to enhance its business footprint, develop community amenities, bring modern infrastructure, and match existing efforts protecting the pristine waters of the Lake, the future of the region has never felt so bright and invigorating. This award is a testament to the diligent hard work conducted on behalf of local town and village officials and residents in making this a reality. I’d like to thank Governor Kathy Hochul for believing in this community and their vision for the future.”

Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said, “The Town of Lake George is very appreciative of the Downtown Revitalization Award. We thank the governor and her staff and look forward to implementing our plans that will make significant improvements to the town. This will help us with municipal parking, housing along with some of our environmental preservation efforts.”

Governor Hochul Announces Lake George as the $10 Million Capital Region Winner of the Seventh Round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative

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 six years of the program, the state committed $700 million investing in 69 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.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640


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