Peekskill Scores $10 Million to Improve Downtown
Real Estate In-Depth | August 2019
PEEKSKILL—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled from Albany down to Peekskill on Aug. 13 to announce that the city had been selected as the Mid-Hudson winner of the fourth round of the governor’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
As this year’s winner, Peekskill be awarded $10 million in state funding and investments to revitalize its downtown neighborhoods and generate new opportunities for long-term growth. Peekskill now joins the cities of Middletown, Kingston and New Rochelle, which were the winners of the prior three rounds of the DRI.
As in the first three rounds of the DRI, one municipality from each of the state’s 10 regional economic development regions is selected as a $10-million winner, marking another overall state goal to target $100 million in funding and investments each year to help communities boost their economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods.
A host of city, Mid-Hudson and state officials were on hand for the governor’s announcement at The Hudson Room in Peekskill, including Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey, members of the Mid-Hudson Regional Council and others.
The city’s DRI target area includes the Downtown Central Business District and waterfront Transit-Oriented Development District, which boasts cultural and educational institutions, a waterfront and parks system, and a core string of restaurants and boutique retailers. Niche markets in entertainment, fine and digital art, culture, craft food and beverages, sports and recreation, waterfront tourism, and personal services have emerged in recent years and serve as a solid foundation upon which to continue the community’s revitalization.
The DRI award will enable Peekskill to build on these successes with strengthened pedestrian amenities that link existing community assets and increased offerings in tourism, the arts, media, and light manufacturing that create employment and training opportunities for a range of skill and wage levels.
Dr. Donald Christian, Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and SUNY New Paltz President, said, “This $10-million investment will improve Peekskill’s local infrastructure and foster its new development district, helping to create a sustainable downtown that contributes to the economy in Westchester County and the Mid-Hudson region. I am happy to see Peekskill receive this award today and look forward to seeing the many projects there that will benefit from Downtown Revitalization Initiative investment.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “Peekskill is one of the many outstanding communities in Westchester County, and I am thrilled to see it benefit from Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. I look forward to assisting Peekskill’s strategic plan and the long-term investments that will be borne out of this successful economic development program. I join the people of Peekskill in thanking the governor for his commitment to Westchester.”
Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey said, “This is a wonderful day for Peekskill. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, our city has an opportunity to build on what we’ve accomplished and forge a great new future for our community. This investment will create lasting improvements that will attract more residents, prompt businesses to invest here and entice visitors to see what we have to offer.”
Peekskill 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 for downtown Peekskill 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 downtown Peekskill 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 fourth round will be complete in 2020.
The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council went through a competitive review process of proposals from communities throughout the region before recommending Peekskill as its nominee for this year’s DRI award.