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 Ticonderoga's Downtown
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the Town of Ticonderoga will receive $10 million in funding as the North Country winner of the sixth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. For Round 6 of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, 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 key to transforming towns across the state into sustainable, affordable, and walkable communities where residents and visitors alike can thrive," Governor Hochul said. "The infusion of $10 million into Ticonderoga will enhance its natural beauty, revitalize local businesses, highlight its rich history, and ensure it is a community resilient to the challenges the future holds."
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 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.
Located entirely within the Adirondack Park at the confluence of Lake George and Lake Champlain, the Town of Ticonderoga is poised to further enhance recent downtown investments and reactivate underutilized properties and public spaces to catalyze further pride and investment in its downtown corridor. Ticonderoga seeks to make new investments in new tourist sites and amenities drawing on deep historical roots, public parks, historic façade restoration, expansion of main street businesses, affordable housing options and enhanced streetscape and gateway opportunities to attract businesses, tourists and residents to downtown. These investments would transform Ticonderoga into a hub for Adirondack and Champlain Valley recreational opportunities and experiences with a pedestrian-friendly corridor surrounded by natural beauty and open public spaces.
The North Country 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 Ticonderoga 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 identied transformative projects that will be ready for near-term implementation with an infusion of DRI funds.
Ticonderoga 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. Ticonderoga joins the communities of Plattsburgh, Watertown, Saranac Lake, Potsdam, Tupper Lake and Massena, which were the North Country's winners in the first five DRI rounds.
Ticonderoga 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, "Ticonderoga is a hub for outdoor recreation surrounded by the natural beauty of the Adirondacks, making it an ideal destination for travelers from all across the state and country to enjoy. This funding through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will help realize Ticonderoga's vision of connecting its downtown to the surrounding recreational opportunities while also drawing on the town's deep historic roots to enhance public spaces and attractions. I look forward to seeing the transformational plan Ticonderoga creates to restore its downtown neighborhood."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Ticonderoga is home to rich history and natural beauty, and this Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding will harness both to increase opportunity and excitement for both residents and visitors. A community-led strategic plan will now focus on transformational projects that will further map the city's future as a thriving regional and recreational destination."
North Country Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair James McKenna said, "Under Governor Hochul's leadership, New York's investments in the North Country are sparking new interest and new development in our communities. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative continues to support and generate new economic growth in communities throughout the North Country and New York State. Ticonderoga has a rich and unique history that welcomes countless residents and visitors alike, and serves as a centerpiece for the town's strategic plan, and we're proud to support their selection."
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Today's $10 million commitment to Ticonderoga by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will result in much-needed community improvements, benefitting permanent residents and visitors to the Adirondacks alike. By involving community leaders and stakeholders in the planning process, the DRI will ensure that Ticonderoga's local needs are met. Thank you to Governor Hochul for her dedication to growing New York's towns and cities by enhancing downtown areas and creating new economic opportunities across our state."
State Senator Daniel G. Stec said, "Ticonderoga continues to grow and develop its downtown. The $10 million from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will further these efforts and ensure Ticonderoga remains a hub of economic and recreational activities for Adirondack Park residents and visitors alike for years to come."
Assemblymember Matthew Simpson said, "The people of Ticonderoga are some of the hardest working families and individuals in the North Country. They carry a widely shared vision of what their Town aspires to become and puts in the work each an every day to see this vision become a reality. This Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant signals a belief in this vision from those watching from afar. With these resources, Ticonderoga will take a giant leap forward to realizing many of the goals laid out to highlight the truly vibrant community it really is."
Ticonderoga Town Supervisor Mark A. Wright said, "The Town of Ticonderoga is extremely grateful to New York State and very excited for this DRI opportunity. We look forward to seeing our vision of economic revitalization completed. This opportunity not only benefits our downtown corridor, but the entirety of Ticonderoga as well as the surrounding municipalities and this region of Essex County."
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.