February 13, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Perry as the $10 Million Finger Lakes Region Winner of Sixth-Round Downtown Revitalization Initiative

Governor Hochul Announces Perry as the $10 Million Finger Lakes Region Winner of Sixth-Round 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 Perry's Downtown

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the Village of Perry will receive $10 million in funding as the Finger Lakes region 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, which will total a $100 million state commitment to help communities boost their economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods.

"Our downtowns are the lifeblood of New York communities, and my administration is committed to delivering the resources they need to thrive, flourish and reach their full potential," Governor Hochul said. "Through this $10 million investment from our Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we're helping Perry drive economic development in its downtown and enhance the rich history of the village while strengthening the community."

The DRI serves as a component of the state's economic development policy by transforming downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers of activity that oer 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 identies 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.

Village of Perry

The Village of Perry is known for its historic character and array of arts festivals and recreational opportunities for residents and tourists from across the state. The Downtown Historic District and several other landmarks in the community are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, contributing to the unique character of the village. From the Perry Farmers' Market to the top-30-nationally ranked Letchworth Arts and Crafts Show to the Tour de Perry, the community's thriving arts and recreational scene continues to draw thousands of visitors to Perry and support the local economy. Over the past several years, Perry has experienced a resurgence of businesses in its downtown and completed several projects to revitalize the community, which include renovating its Public Beach, updating its Village Park with a Splash Park and completing a Main Street Improvement Project. During this time, downtown Perry has also seen a gain of 36 independent businesses, established 11 signature events and created hundreds of new jobs village wide.

Perry intends to leverage its small-town character and recreational visitors to continue to make improvements to solidify the village as a coveted first-choice hospitality hub in the Genesee Valley region. Perry seeks to realize its vision by adaptively re-using existing historic buildings, creating diverse housing options, expanding community service opportunities, supporting downtown business owners and enhancing accessible pedestrian and bicycle routes through its downtown.

The Finger Lakes 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 Perry as the nominee:

  • Downtown is compact, with well-dened 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 identied transformative projects that will be ready for near-term implementation with an infusion of DRI funds.

Perry 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. Perry joins the communities of Geneva, Batavia, Penn Yan, Seneca Falls, Newark and Rochester, which were the Finger Lakes region winners in the rst five DRI rounds.

Perry 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, "Our Downtown Revitalization Initiative is proof that investing in downtown communities leads to local and regional economic growth. With this funding, Perry will focus on projects that create more diverse housing and business opportunities and preserve the charm of this historic village, in turn cementing its place as a premiere hospitality and tourism destination for the entire Finger Lakes region."

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Perry's targeted, forward-thinking plan is expansive and takes full advantage of this charming village's historic past and its promising future. The DRI funding will serve to enhance that vision, further catalyzing economic development that will broaden opportunity and draw visitors to this beautiful community for years to come."

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The $10 million commitment New York is making today will result in improvements to Perry's historic downtown that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors to the Finger Lakes for decades. This significant investment through the State's Downtown Revitalization Initiative will help Perry's community leaders renovate existing historic buildings and create new, diverse housing options. Thank you to Governor Hochul for her leadership and dedication to revitalizing communities across our State."

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Co-Chairs Bob Duffy, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Denise Battles, President SUNY Geneseo said, "We are incredibly pleased to see the Village of Perry named as the latest DRI recipient for the Finger Lakes region. This beautiful community stands ready to get to work on its strategic plan that is aimed at attracting investment and reenergizing and redeveloping the heart and soul of the village's historic business district."

State Senator George Borrello said, "This is great news for the Village of Perry and the entire Genesee Valley region. This $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant will enable Perry to continue its renaissance as a destination for business and tourism and a gateway to beautiful Letchworth State Park. This award is the result of the hard work of the local leaders who came together to plan a path toward prosperity for their community and the region. It will leverage private investment to revitalize Perry's historic downtown district. Perry is one of only 10 communities across New York to receive a $10 million DRI award. That's a testament to the strength of their vision and commitment. Thank you to Gov. Hochul and New York State for recognizing the importance of investing in our rural communities as they renew and reinvent themselves, building a brighter future for our region."

Assemblymember Marjorie Byrnes said, "I am thrilled the Village of Perry was awarded funding for continued downtown revitalization. When I first met with the mayor, I was brought up to speed on the many projects and events the village has planned. I'm sure this funding will be put to excellent use expanding Perry's thriving downtown area."

Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Chair Rebecca Ryan said, "Wyoming County is comprised of many small communities and villages rich in history, beautiful architecture and charm. Public/private partnerships are vital to be able to tap into our full potential and reinvigorate our downtowns. This investment, and the projects planned with it, promise exciting new development for the village of Perry thereby enriching the lives of current and future residents, businesses and visitors to Perry and Wyoming County. We thank Governor Hochul for her commitment and for making sure no upstate community is left behind."

Perry Mayor Rick Hauser said, "During our revitalization journey, the scrappy little village of Perry has never lacked for smart, savvy people, vision, determination or action. But this award allows us to 'turn the volume up to 11' on action! In areas such as housing, dining, outdoor recreation, the arts and guest accommodations, an opportunity like this will have an enormous impact, spurring the kind of targeted private investment and civic improvements to gallop towards that vision to support a vibrant, resilient downtown. Thank you Governor Hochul, ESD, the REDC and New York State for your partnership, for these progressive programs, and for believing in the Perry Project."

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 New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, 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.

Contact The Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

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


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