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 Port Jervis
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the City of Port Jervis will receive $10 million in funding as the Mid-Hudson Region winner of the sixth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. For DRI Round 6, 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.
"Our Downtown Revitalization Initiative is helping communities across New York reinvigorate their downtowns, jumpstart their economies, and attract the businesses and jobs that allow residents to thrive," Governor Hochul said. "With this award, the City of Port Jervis will begin a new chapter toward revitalizing its downtown and growing its local economy as a scenic destination for community members and visitors alike."
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. As part of the FY 24 Executive Budget, Governor Hochul has proposed $100 million to fund an additional round of DRI.
Port Jervis is located on the banks of the Delaware and Neversink rivers at the juncture of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, a strategic location that draws local and regional visitors to the City's downtown and nearby outdoor amenities. The entire City of Port Jervis is walkable and bikeable, offering its residents the benefits of a family-oriented urban/suburban environment supported by municipal services. Port Jervis is home to numerous community services and attractions - from the Carnegie Free Library to the local farmers' market to the Port Jervis Transportation History Center to its wide selection of restaurants, pubs and coffee shops. The City also offers outdoor recreational opportunities along its picturesque landscape, including over 50 miles of Watershed trails, a 6-mile historic walking tour and a 2.25-mile walking loop.
Recent local private investments over the past several years are helping to create momentum for downtown revitalization. Port Jervis's vision for revitalization is to combine its historic charm with modern technologies and methods that support climate sustainability, business opportunities and residents, while promoting its outdoor activities along the wild, scenic Delaware River and mountainsides. The Village seeks to realize its vision by enhancing downtown attractions, adding housing in new and existing buildings, creating safer streets, enhancing multi-modal transportation options and connectivity and improving energy efficiency throughout the community.
The Mid-Hudson 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 Port Jervis 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.
Port Jervis 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. Port Jervis joins the communities of Middletown, Kingston, New Rochelle, Peekskill, Haverstraw and Ossining, which were the Mid-Hudson Region's winners in the first five DRI rounds.
Port Jervis 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 eort, 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, "With its many historic buildings, community attractions and exciting outdoor recreational opportunities, Port Jervis has a real opportunity to become a central hub of activity for the entire Mid-Hudson Region. This $10 million award through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will give this growing community the boost it needs to revive its downtown and enhance the neighborhood for residents and visitors alike. Congratulations to the entire community of Port Jervis."
Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Port Jervis has joined the ranks of New York State communities that are being transformed by the DRI. The sixth-round funding will support a strategic plan that builds on the dramatic riverfront location of this Mid-Hudson Region destination, to better serve, connect and welcome the people drawn here to live, work and play."
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The $10 million awarded to Port Jervis in round six of the Governor's DRI program gives the city the chance to build on local assets and transform its downtown into one of the most vibrant in the Mid-Hudson Region. This award will help the city build out its dreams in the form of new housing and commercial space, improved public transit, and a strategic connection to the amazing natural resources that surround it. Congratulations!"
MHREDC Co-Chairs Dr. Marsha Gordon, President & CEO of The Business Council of Westchester and Dr. Kristine Young, president of SUNY Orange said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative transforms downtown neighborhoods into attractive destinations, bringing new life to the heart of a community that becomes a magnet for residents, visitors and businesses. Port Jervis will capitalize on its long history along the water and their plan will bring countless benefits to new generations, well into the future."
State Senator James Skoufis said, "Port Jervis is a vibrant city whose leadership and community members have been working tirelessly to write a new chapter of resilience, recreation, and economic success. This $10 million grant will supercharge the city's efforts, and I applaud Mayor Decker as well as his team on this important win and thank the Governor for her support."
Assemblymember Karl Brabenec said, "I'm thrilled to hear that Port Jervis was awarded $10 million in state funding to revitalize its downtown neighborhoods. These are the kinds of forward-thinking investments that make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers, and I'm proud that Port Jervis is receiving these funds and grateful to the state government for partnering with them."
Mayor of Port Jervis Kelly Decker said, "On behalf of the residents of the City of Port Jervis we are extremely grateful to Governor Hochul, her team, and the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council who have seen our city's vision and redevelopment. Receiving the Downtown Revitalization Initiative award of $10 million dollars will tremendously revitalize and invigorate our small city on the banks of the Delaware; Port Jervis. Many have worked extremely hard over the past several years to improve Port Jervis and this is the "icing on the cake." Now it is time to once again roll up our sleeves and work to make this gem (Port Jervis) shine!"
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "I commend Governor Kathy Hochul for her commitment to revitalizing small towns and cities across New York State. Sleepy Hollow is a vibrant community teeming with opportunity and possibility with its scenic locality on the Hudson River. I am excited to see what this multimillion dollar investment can do for the wonderful little village of Sleepy Hollow and what the NY Forward program and all of these investments can do for communities across New York."
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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