Mid-Hudson Region Secures $83M in State Grant Funds
John Jordan | December 2016
Legoland Project Awarded $3 Million
ALBANY—The Mid-Hudson Valley region came out the big winner in this year’s Consolidated Funding Awards, netting $83.3 million in state aid that will support 105 economic development/infrastructure projects in the seven-county region.
In an announcement on Dec. 9, Gov. Andrew Cuomo awarded a total of $716.9 million in CFA funding for the state’s 10 regional economic development councils. The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) was tabbed as a “Top Performer” securing the most state funds of the other nine regional councils. Other regional councils earning Top Performer designations were: the Capital Region at $83.1 million supporting 116 projects; Mohawk Valley at $81.9 million for 88 projects; New York City at $80.2 million for 121 projects; and the Finger Lakes region at $80.5 million at 97 projects.
Other council awards were: Western New York at $62 million; Long Island at $62 million; Central New York at $62.2 million; the North County at $61.4 million; and the Southern Tier at $60.4 million. Since 2011, the first year of the initiative, more than $4.6 billion has been awarded to more than 5,200 projects that are projected to create and retain more than 210,000 jobs statewide. Through six rounds of REDC competition, the Mid-Hudson REDC has delivered $475.9 million for 574 projects, according to figures released by New York State’s Empire State Development Corp.
This year, all 10 REDCs competed for designation as a “Top Performer.” The five Top Performers will receive up to $25 million in additional Empire State Development grant funding to support priority projects, with the remaining five regions receiving up to $10 million. Additionally, each region is eligible for up to an additional $15 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits to help attract and grow businesses in the region.
“Through the Regional Economic Development Councils, we have replaced the ‘one-size fits all’ approach to economic growth with a ‘ground-up’ strategy that focuses on cooperation and investing in regional assets to generate opportunity,” Gov. Cuomo said. “By bringing together ideas from local government and community leaders with state resources, we are giving these councils the tools to create jobs and drive economic activity in their communities for generations to come.
“We were gratified to learn that the Mid-Hudson had been named a top-performer in REDC Round 6, and that so many of our priority projects would move forward as a result of targeted state investment,” said MHREDC Co-chairs Leonard S. Schleifer, MD, Ph.D., founder, president and CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and Dennis Murray, president emeritus and professor of public policy at Marist College. “Our Council worked hard to develop a robust pipeline of strategy-aligned projects in industries including advanced manufacturing, food and beverage, and tourism, and New York State obviously took our recommendations very seriously. As these projects move forward, we are confident that they will have a transformational impact on our economy, create thousands of jobs, spur additional investment in our downtowns, and ensure that the Mid-Hudson region remains a great place to live, work, and play.”
Some of the major projects in the Mid-Hudson region that secured CFA funding included LEGOLAND New York, which was awarded $3 million in funding commitments for its proposed theme park in the Town of Goshen in Orange County. Legoland New York developer Merlin Entertainments had applied for $6.29 million in incentives in this round of CFA funding. Previously the project secured $3.1 million in committed CFA funding in 2014 and another $1 million last year. It should be noted that the $7.1 million in CFA funding commitments for the project thus far have yet to be funded and forwarded to Merlin since the project has not secured approvals as yet from the Town of Goshen. The project is currently in the environmental approval process there.
Another Orange County project that secured CFA funding was Star Kay White’s new manufacturing facility ($2.6 million in two separate awards) at the Warwick Valley Office and Technology Park. The project will involve the upgrade of the company’s infrastructure, technology and equipment.
The Village of Brewster’s revitalization program (phase one) was awarded $2 million in Empire State Development grants. The multi-phased plan includes the reconstruction of the Main Street corridor and the abandoned Garden Street School. For phase one a transit-oriented development and a museum are proposed.
The expansion of the Urban Electric Power, Inc. battery manufacturing facility in Pearl River was awarded $1 million in ESD grants. Also in Rockland County, non-profit social services agency Jawonio received $925,000 in three grant awards for job and skills training for individuals with disabilities and displaced workers. The lion’s share of the funding ($825,000) will complete construction of its new campus on Little Tor Road in New City.
Historic Hudson River Towns’ Sing Sing Historic Prison Museum project landed $500,000 in state funding. The museum to be developed is envisioned as an educational and historical museum at the site of the existing operating correctional facility, using the 1936 Prison Power House to house the museum, with access to the original 1825 Cellblock. In addition, Historic Hudson Valley was bestowed $400,000 in state funding for the completion of the restoration of the Phillipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow.
For the first time in the CFA awards, the City of Mount Vernon received significant funding for its revitalization efforts. Mount Vernon was awarded $1,641,928 to investigate and repair the city’s aging sewer infrastructure. The city also received $520,000 for the redevelopment of Memorial Field and $40,000 for an arts and cultural master plan to develop and support creative works.
Mayor Richard Thomas said of the CFA awards, “New York State has joined the team to move Mount Vernon forward. We are so thankful to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Regional Economic Development Council for listening to us and recognizing how important it is for Mount Vernon to restore Memorial Field, repair our sewers and keep our reputation as the birthplace of arts, music, and culture.”
The City of Yonkers also landed $4.4 million in two separate awards. The Armory Foundation’s Yonkers Sports Event Center to be built atop the Kawasaki Rail Car plant in iPark Yonkers was awarded $2 million in ESD grants, while the fourth phase of the Saw Mill River Daylighting initiative garnered $2.4 million in grants from three separate funding sources.
Other project awards of note in the Mid-Hudson region:
- Tuxedo Hudson Management LLC was granted $750,000 in ESD funds for its Tuxedo Sloatsburg Revitalization Project (phase two) that will transform an undeveloped stretch of Route 17 in parts of Tuxedo and Sloatsburg into a commercial gateway to Rockland and Orange counties. The project includes the renovation of the Tuxedo Market, Tuxedo Tavern, the Sloatsburg Garden Hotel, the Sloatsburg Antiques/Art Center and the Sloatsburg Farm.
- New York Medical College was awarded $750,000 in ESD grants in connection with Touro College of Dental Medicine, the first new dental college to open its doors in 50 years in New York State.
- The Foundation for Vassar Brothers Medical Center was granted $2.5 million in ESD funding for phase two of its $466-million expansion and renovation project at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.
- Marist College landed $1 million in ESD grants for its Fulton Street Technology Crossroad project at its campus in Poughkeepsie.
- $2 million in ESD grants were awarded to Poughkeepsie Waterfront Development, LLC for its multi-phased Poughkeepsie Landing Waterfront Redevelopment Project.
- T-Rex Hyde Park Owner LLC was awarded $2 million in ESD grants for its Bellefield at Hyde Park mixed-use project (phase two) being developed across the street from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
- AKRF and the City of New Rochelle were awarded $500,000 in ESD grants to undertake a project to convert two one-way streets (Main Street and Huguenot Street) into two-way streets.