State to Work with Residents, Community Leaders and Public Officials to Revitalize Tannersville's Downtown
Downtown Revitalization Investments Are Crucial Part of the State's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Tannersville will receive $10 million in funding as the second Capital Region winner of the fifth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). As part of DRI Round 5, each of the state's 10 regional economic development regions are being awarded $20 million, for a total state commitment of $200 million in funding and investments to help communities boost their post COVID-19 economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods.
"With the impact COVID-19 has had on small businesses and communities, it is crucial that the state invest in their revitalization so we can come back better than before," Governor Hochul said. "This funding will help take Tannersville, a village rich with history, to the next level so that it may grow and flourish as an example of the best of what Upstate New York has to offer."
Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin said, "This $10 million in funding will allow Tannersville to continue its work towards becoming an affordable community that supports a four-season vacation and recreation industry. The residents of the 'Painted Village in the Sky' now join the residents of many other downtowns that have benefited from this important program."
Led by the Department of State, the DRI serves as a cornerstone 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 redevelopment, businesses, jobs, and economic and housing diversity. In this round, Governor Hochul doubled funding from $100 million to $200 million and allowed each Regional Economic Development Council to decide whether to nominate two $10 million awardees or one $20 million awardee for transformative and catalytic downtown redevelopment projects. 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 the potential to transform the downtown and leverage further private and public investments. DRI funds will then be awarded for selected projects that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and realize the community's vision for the downtown. Through the DRI, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will provide technical support to the awardees to assist them with including carbon neutral principles in support of the state's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050.
Tannersville's DRI will focus on the Painted Village portion of their downtown. Within the Catskills Forest Preserve, Tannersville envisions their compact, walkable and diverse downtown as a nimble coalition of businesses, private foundations, community members, elected leaders, and social innovators who work side-by-side to unleash entrepreneurship and make the Village extraordinary for everyone. With a dedication to becoming a four-season recreation and vacation community that is still affordable for local, long-term residents, the Village has worked hard to revitalize their downtown, seeing over $126 million in recent and upcoming investment. Continuing this dedication, Tannersville aims to create new affordable housing, expand community services, and increase arts and cultural amenities.
The Capital Region Economic Development Council conducted a thorough and competitive review process of proposals submitted from communities throughout the region and considered all seven criteria below before recommending Tannersville as one of the 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, including the use of local land banks, modern zoning codes and parking standards, complete streets plans, energy efficient projects, green jobs, and transit-oriented development;
- 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 DRI strategic investment plan;
- The municipality has the local capacity to manage the DRI process; and
- The municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for near-term implementation with an infusion of DRI funds.
Tannersville now joins the City of Troy as the Capital Region's winners of the fifth round of the DRI. The cities of Glens Falls, Hudson, Albany and Schenectady were the Capital Region's winners in the first four DRI rounds, respectively.
Tannersville will now 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 and identify economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with the 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 fifth round will be complete in 2022.
Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is about more than just helping New York's largest cities thrive, it is also supporting our unique downtown villages across the state like Tannersville. This award will help the Village of Tannersville fully realize its vision for a downtown that meets the needs of residents and visitors. The Department of State looks forward to working with the Village to broaden the State's impact in ways that leverage private investments to create more housing opportunities and additional recreational and cultural assets for the people of Tannersville to enjoy."
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Hope Knight said, "The heart of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is public-private partnerships that encourage new investments to generate sustainable economic growth. This funding will capitalize on the community's grassroots development efforts by supporting projects to create a destination that welcomes visitors and new residents alike."
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "We can boost our local economies and improve quality of life for New Yorkers by making targeted investments in our downtown districts that leverage existing community assets. Tannersville is a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts and art lovers, and this award will empower the village to build upon that reputation while expanding affordable housing opportunities and services for long-time residents. Through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Tannersville and the entire Capital Region will flourish for decades to come."
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, "Building our green economy and supporting more sustainable communities is essential as we combat climate change, and NYSERDA is looking forward to providing technical support to Tannersville as the village pursues its decarbonization efforts. We are pleased to continue working with working with the Department of State on achieving carbon neutrality in our communities as part of the State's Downtown Revitalization Initiative."
Senator Michelle Hinchey said, "With the unparalleled beauty and recreational resources of the Catskills as its backdrop, the Village of Tannersville serves as a powerful example of how rural economic development can elevate small area businesses, improve the quality of life for local families, and encourage smart investment that attracts more visitors to experience all that our region has to offer. I was proud to support Tannersville's DRI application and thrilled that this Greene County community has been awarded a $10 million grant to fully realize its potential as a world-class destination for year-round tourism. I'd like to thank Governor Hochul for recognizing the incredible opportunity we have on the Mountaintop and for her commitment to revitalizing downtowns across our state."
Assemblymember Chris Tague said, "Tannersville is a village surrounded by natural attractions and beautiful scenery unlike any other place on earth, so securing this funding to develop the Painted Village portion of its downtown area into something that will attract and engage visitors coming to take advantage of what the area has to offer is something I've been working hard with state and local officials to do for months. My hope is that this funding will help the downtown portion of Tannersville develop into a place where local business owners, residents and officials can work together to make Tannersville the best place it can be for all who live in and visit it. I want to thank Governor Hochul and the REDC for its awarding of this very important investment to a very deserving rural community, as well as my legislative partner Sen. Hinchey, my partners in local government, and all who volunteered in this effort for their work in advocating to make it a reality. Thank you."
Tannersville Mayor Dr. Lee McGunnigle said, "We are thrilled that Tannersville has been selected to receive $10 million as part of the Downtown Revitalization program. Thanks to the many in our village who worked so hard to make today's announcement possible, and to Governor Hochul for her support. I look forward to working with all in our community to hone our vision and develop a list of projects that will help us achieve this vision."
CREDC Co-Chairs Ruth Mahoney, NBT Bank President of Wealth Management, and Dr. Havidán Rodriguez, University at Albany President, said, "Tannersville's plan, coupled with the funding awarded through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, will support projects that maximize the community's unique assets to advance its local vision for a welcoming downtown area. On behalf of our fellow Council members, we congratulate and offer our best wishes to the Tannersville team."
About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
The Downtown Revitalization Initiative launched 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, the initiative represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation, bringing with it an interagency team of state experts to support local government capacity in realizing their community's vision.
In the first four years of the program, the state committed $400 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity. The fifth round of the DRI will have an additional $200 million commitment. 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 at least $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.
Downtown redevelopment plays a critical role in the State's nation-leading efforts to support sustainable economic development, reverse climate change, and promote climate justice by creating walkable, bikeable and transit-accessible communities that significantly reduce automobile use and greenhouse gas emissions. The DRI also supports the State's Health Across All Policies/Age-Friendly NY initiative by creating more opportunities for outside recreation and exercise; offering safe, accessible public spaces for social interaction, which improves mental health; and expanding access to fresh, nutritious food, particularly in underserved communities.
The initiative is headed by New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development, and state Homes and Community Renewal.