Notable Commercial, Civic Projects in Mid-Hudson, New York City Regions Secure CFA Funding Awards
John Jordan | December 3, 2021
ALBANY—New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Nov. 22 that more than $81 million has been awarded to support 97 priority projects across New York State through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
Among the award recipients include a host of major projects in the Hudson Valley and New York City regions, involving bioscience, downtown revitalization initiatives, the arts and even the development of a Dinosaur Park.
This year, $150 million in grant funds from Empire State Development was made available on a continuous and competitive basis to support the immediate needs of applicants. Additionally, projects within each region are eligible for a share of $75 million in Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in their region.
“The pandemic toll touched every corner of the state and every sector of New York’s economy, and as a result we must ensure that our recovery does the same,” Gov. Hochul said. “As we move forward from the pandemic we are using the rolling grant process to build New York State back better by supporting shovel-ready projects with the potential to accelerate new investments and catalyze economic growth in every community.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Hope Knight said, “The COVID pandemic has had a devastating impact on our state, and this is especially true for the businesses and organizations that are the foundation of our economy. The Regional Economic Development Councils, made up of people who know their own communities best, have recommended innovative projects that will help their regions rebuild, and reemerge stronger and smarter for the future.”
This initial round of priority projects was recommended by each Regional Council because of their project readiness and alignment with each region’s strategic plan.
Some of the more significant projects receiving CFA funding in the Mid-Hudson and New York City regions include:
The North 80 Development Project-Phase One (Mid-Hudson Region)—The project being developed by Fareri Associates LP is located on 60 acres of land owned by Westchester County on the Grasslands campus in Valhalla and another adjoining 20 acres. Plans call for the property to become a mixed-use village with nearly 490,000 square feet of medical offices, biomedical facilities, housing, hospitality venues, shopping and retail.
Fareri Associates is in the final approval stages for the North 80 project, a 1.2-million-square-foot science and technology center to be created on an 80-acre site adjacent to the Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College and the nearby headquarters complex of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
“We are very pleased and honored to have received this important grant for our North 80 development. Phase one of this $227-million project is expected to create nearly 490,000 square of innovatively designed buildings whose tenants will bring an estimated 1,177 new jobs to Westchester County and the Mid-Hudson Valley,” said John Fareri, CEO of Fareri Associates. The project secured $3 million in ESD Grants.
Grand Street Downtown Revitalization Project (Mid-Hudson Region)—The project being developed by Foster Supply Hospitality Inc. will transform three long-vacant county-owned buildings on Grand Street in Downtown Newburgh into a hospitality complex featuring an 80-room hotel, rooftop tavern, a premier spa, restaurants and event space. Once operational in 2023, the $24-million project will provide up to 61 full-time jobs. The project will receive $1.25 million in ESD grants.
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Mid-Hudson Region)—The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will create a new year-round cultural campus in Garrison. The site will offer world-class theater productions with accessible Hudson River view pathways and meadows, on-site dining and concessions, and an ecologically sustainable operation. The project will receive $2 million in ESD grants.
Dinosaur Country (Mid-Hudson Region)— The Orange County Dinosaur Park, located in the Town of Wallkill, will be a recreational experience that spans more than 136 acres and will feature over 60 realistic life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. The Dinosaur Park experience will include six dinosaur themed playgrounds, a splash park and six education pods. There will be a fossil dig site, robotic dinosaur rides, an amphitheater, a T-Rexpress train that circles the park, multiple dining options and a dinosaur carousel. The company will invest $12 million into this project and will create more than 100 new jobs. The project will receive $1.2 million in ESD grants.
Aspire Brewery Development Project (Mid-Hudson Region)— Aspire Brewing will transform a mostly vacant 90,000-square-foot commercial building in the Town of Wallkill into a micro-brewery and hospitality attraction, featuring, a casual dining restaurant, beer garden, an outdoor patio and a unique indoor entertainment space. The project will receive $500,000 in ESD grants.
Storm King Art Center Capital Project (Mid-Hudson Region)— Storm King Art Center in New Windsor offers local, national, and international audiences a chance to discover sculpture amid 500 acres of Hudson Valley landscape. In response to growth, Storm King launched Art that Moves You Outside, a Capital Project to enhance the experience of residents and visitors, and protect its art, nature and people. The Art Center will begin phase one that includes two building elements: The Welcome Sequence and the Conservation, Fabrication, and Maintenance Building. The Welcome Sequence will streamline the arrival into Storm King, and the Art Center’s Conservation, Fabrication, and Maintenance Building will protect the safety of staff and the artwork. The project will receive $2 million in ESD grants.
Camp Fimfo Catskills (Mid-Hudson Region)— Sun NG Kittatinny RV, LLC will transform the former Kittatinny Campground and Canoes in Barryville in Sullivan County, into Camp Fimfo (“Fun Is More Fun Outside”) Catskills. Substantial upgrades will include the installation of infrastructure to support the creation of improved RV/cabin sites and new amenities that enhance the natural, historic, cultural and recreational assets of the region. The project will receive $1.5 million in ESD grants.
Advancing the Revitalization of West Nyack (Mid-Hudson Region)— The Town of Clarkstown will invest in several infrastructure projects for the Revitalization of Historic West Nyack Hamlet. Projects include upgraded streetscape, improve parking, EV charging stations, and a new bus stop along with new sidewalks, curbs, energy-efficient lighting, and expanded green space with an accessible playground and benches that will accommodate and encourage economic activity. The project will receive $1.25 million in ESD grants.
Viking Industries (Mid-Hudson Region)— Viking Industries of New Paltz is looking to expand its long-established factory in New Paltz to meet growing needs for corrugated packaging among its diverse customer base. The Viking Industries Expansion Project will significantly increase capacity and efficiency by constructing and equipping a new 45,000-square-foot addition on the plant at 89 South Ohioville Road in New Paltz. Th project is receiving $780,000 in ESD grants and $550,000 in ESD EJP funding.
Upriver Studios (Mid-Hudson Region)—Upriver Studios will create a carbon neutral campus and a more competitive series of sound stages for film and television production projects in a 101,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Saugerties. The project will allow Upriver to attract and retain major network productions. The project will receive $500,000 in ESD grants.
EICC Bronx Building Renovation Project (New York City Region)— The Emerald Isle Immigration Center will renovate its Bronx Immigration Center in Woodlawn. The project will assist EIIC in its efforts to provide free employment, educational, and immigrant legal services to overcome systemic barriers and to help immigrant seniors stay engaged in the local economy. By doubling and modernizing program space within the existing footprint, EIIC expects to increase the number of clients served by at least 20% in the first year after project completion. The project will receive $500,000 in ESD grants.
Education and Welcome Center (New York City Region)— Green-Wood Historic Fund is constructing an Education and Welcome Center directly across the street from The Green-Wood Cemetery’s main gate in Brooklyn. It will welcome both neighbors and tourists, offer additional public programming and educational opportunities, and engage visitors in the art, history and nature of this National Historic Landmark cemetery. The project will receive $1.5 million in ESD grants.
Center for Planetary Health (New York City Region)— Newlab will develop and operate the Center for Planetary Health (C4PH) a facility that will anchor the redevelopment of 125 West End Ave. in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and attract the region’s top life science startups. C4PH will serve as springboard for new startups working in non-therapeutic life sciences. The project will receive $2 million in ESD grants.
Rgenix Expansion (New York City Region)—Rgenix, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing drug candidates that target key pathways in cancer progression. Currently, Rgenix is located in the New York Blood Center in Manhattan and is seeking to significantly expand its operations. Rgenix will relocate and build out a new space that will accommodate its new staff members as well as a new vivarium. The project will receive $200,000 in ESD grants and $800,000 in ESD EJP funding.
Governors Island Climate Resiliency Accelerator (New York City Region)—Historic Building 301 on Governors Island will be transformed into the $13.35-million Buttermilk Labs, an accelerator hub for climate change-focused businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits. The project will provide a platform for supporting and scaling green- and blue-tech businesses, such as offshore wind, and is a critical step in establishing a future Center for Climate Solutions on the island. The project is expected to create 150 jobs employed by accelerator tenant companies. The project will receive $2.5 million in ESD grants.
Bronx Hall of Music Capital Project Enhancements (New York City Region)—Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation will make critical enhancements to the Bronx Music Hall, a 250-seat theater and multi-use community facility to ensure that it is best positioned to attract and accommodate more and higher profile artists and events. Enhancements are to include: a dynamic overhead canopy/marquee spanning two sides of the music hall, as well as acoustical treatments, risers, drapery, increased seating and rigging which will more than double the economic impact of the Bronx Music Hall and ensure that the facility will serve as a cultural magnet for generations to come. The project will receive $300,000 in ESD grants.
State officials noted that the application for ESD Grant funds remains open, and applications are being reviewed on an on-going basis until funds are exhausted. Applicants with strong, shovel-ready projects that align with the state and region’s economic development priorities can apply through the Consolidated Funding Application.