Middletown Wins $10-Million Economic Development Sweepstakes
John Jordan | July 2016
MIDDLETOWN—Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a stop at the Paramount Theatre here on July 6th to announce that the City of Middletown had won a hotly contested $10-million state grant to help revitalize its downtown district.
A host of state, county and local dignitaries were on hand for the announcement that Middletown had secured the Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant competition for the Mid-Hudson region. Middletown won the $10-million award based on the recommendation of the governor’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council.
The City of Middletown bested six other finalists from the Mid-Hudson region, a knowledgeable source tells Real Estate In-Depth. The other finalists were: Ossining, Kingston, Peekskill, Poughkeepsie, New Rochelle and White Plains
The grant is part of a $100-million effort to improve the urban vitality of city centers across the state. Plans will be completed by early 2017. The state will be awarding $10-million grants to cities in the other nine regional councils throughout the state. On July 6th, the governor announced that the City of Plattsburgh had won the Downtown Revitalization Initiative for the North Country district and Geneva had won the award for the Finger Lakes region.
Gov. Cuomo cited the establishment of Touro Medical College at the former Horton Hospital, as well as the $60-million the city has spent in the past on its water and sewer infrastructure to help revitalize its downtown as part of Middletown’s “powerful application.”
“I’m here to tell you congratulations, you won the full $10 million,” Gov. Cuomo said as the several hundred attendees of the press conference stood up and applauded. “Congratulations, congratulations because it was a tough competition and a lot of people worked very hard, but you really did an extraordinary job. Cream rises to the top and you won and you should’ve won because it was really a job well done.”
Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano told Real Estate In-Depth that specific projects have not been selected as yet for the funding. The award includes up to $300,000 in planning funds for private sector experts to work with a local planning committee to draft a Strategic Investment Plan that will identify specific economic development, transportation, and housing and community projects for the City of Middletown. Mayor DeStefano said some of the priorities for funding would involve job development, infrastructure, parking as well as the possible expansion of the Orange County Accelerator (business incubator) to the City of Middletown.
He said he believes the strengths of the city’s application were the city’s past investments in its infrastructure as well as its willingness to be a “regional player,” supplying water to the CPV Valley Energy Center project in Wawayanda and water and sewer to Amy’s Kitchen in Goshen.
Mayor DeStefano said, “This $10-million award from the state is another example of Governor Cuomo’s continued commitment to reviving the state’s downtown areas, and ensuring they remain a source of economic development in regions all across the state. I applaud the Regional Economic Development Council on such an excellent choice and look forward to our collaboration with the council as we begin to implement this initiative across the region.”
Photo Caption: From left, New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano, Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus and State Senator John Bonacic.