Community leaders all across the state of New York celebrate $68 million to support 74 regional economic revitalization projects

Community leaders all around the state of New York celebrated on November 23, 2022, when it was announced that more than $68 million has been awarded to support 74 economically revitalizing projects through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

Round XII included core capital grant and tax-credit funding from Empire State Development, which was made available on a continuous and competitive basis to support the immediate needs of communities.

Funding will support impactful projects that align with each region’s strategic goals.

New York State continues to invest in projects that will generate new investments and spark economic growth to further support our post-pandemic recovery,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils.

Our bottom-up approach to economic development – one that is inclusive, collaborative, and regionally-focused – is working, and I’ve seen the results first-hand in communities across the state. This latest group of awards will further those efforts by supporting shovel-ready projects that will grow our state and regional economies more quickly,” he added.

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of the state’s approach to State investment and economic revitalization. In 2011, 10 Regional Councils were established to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions.

The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations.

The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.

Through the Regional Economic Development Councils, we continue to make strategic investments across New York that align with each community’s top priorities,” newly-reelected Governor Kathy Hochul said.

I’m proud to announce this next round of awards that were recommended by stakeholders who live and work in the regions they represent. This investment will help bring more opportunity for New Yorkers, spur economic development, and fuel the future success of communities across our state,” she added.

This first round of projects was recommended by each Regional Council because of their project readiness and alignment with each region’s strategic plan.

Highlights include:

  • National Black Theatre Victory Development Project (New York City) – $2,500,000 ESD Grant: The historic National Black Theatre is anchoring a new mixed-use development in Harlem. Born out of Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s 1968 vision to provide space for Black creatives, the project delivers a state-of-the-art, permanent home for the city’s longest-running Black theater as part of an arts complex that includes retail, restaurant and mixed-income apartments.
  • Kite’s Nest (Capital Region) – $1,600,000 ESD Grant: The Kite’s Nest ReGeneration Capital Project is transforming a two-acre formerly industrial Hudson Riverfront property into a campus for education, youth employment, environmental justice, and the arts. The campus will serve as an anchor in Hudson’s 2nd Ward neighborhood as a place to nurture youth leadership and catalyze relationships across communities, generations, and organizations. It will feature a carbon neutral building, event space, greenhouse, and extensive outdoor amenities.
  • Advanced Motors & Drives Manufacturing (Central New York) – $1,300,400 ESD Grant, $325,000 Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit: Advanced Motors & Drives will expand its manufacturing capabilities by adding two new manufacturing lines and upgrading and expanding its current facilities in East Syracuse, Onondaga County. The project will position AMD to be a leader in two important emerging manufacturing technologies: the renewable energy section (windmill energy), and the large-traction electrification of vehicles (buses, delivery trucks, off-road construction vehicles, etc.).
  • Roechling Medical Expansion (Finger Lakes) – $1,500,000 ESD Grant, $227,000 Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit: Roechling Medial Rochester, the North American flagship facility in the Roechling Medical family is expanding to better serve the increasing U. S. medical device needs. The Rochester facility is a leader in the medical device injection molding and assembly markets. Funding supports the addition of a new Roechling facility in the Rochester / Gates area and expands current specialty clean room capacity operations.
  • Life’s WORC WORCForce Initiative (Long Island) – $735,000 ESD Grant: Life’s WORC will renovate a building to create the WORC Force Center. The new program will help individuals with special needs identify their calling, enjoy a robust sense of community, and live with greater joy. The center will be equipped with multiple vocational training centers, including a retail environment, computer lab, automotive shop, professional kitchen, and other settings that promote workplace skills. It will also serve as a venue for special seminars and events.
  • The Milk Factory (Mid-Hudson) – $1,500,000 ESD Grant: The Milk Factory is an adaptive reuse of the iconic Borden Milk Condensery located in the Village of Walden, in Orange County. Constructed in 1884, the 20-acre property that will become the Milk Factory features 12 contiguous brick structures with elegant brick masonry, now in ruins after a fire and neglect. While breathing life into the ruins of the factory, the adaptive reuse will create a modern self-sustaining small village for the community as well as travelers to live, work and play. The Milk Factory is a winery/distillery, and boutique hotel that will feature hotel rooms, extended stay suites, restaurant, a gym, spa, and retail shops.
  • Mohawk Lifts Automation Improvements (Mohawk Valley) – $300,000 ESD Grant: Mohawk Lifts, LLC., the leader in heavy duty auto lifts has been a staple to the community for over 40 years in Amsterdam, Montgomery County. Mohawk Lifts will grow its operations by updating manufacturing equipment and processing (adding automation to their process, updating the steel cutting/burning table, investing in material handling and welding support equipment, and creating a new factory floor layout to increase productivity and efficiency). These improvements will support increases to market share and growth into material handling distribution lifts, an area of competitive advantage with leading technology recently developed by the engineering team, and an increase to their workforce to support the new growth.
  • Thousand Islands Winery Facility Expansion (North Country) – $86,000 ESD Grant, $152,890 Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit: The Thousand Islands Winery, located in Alexandria Bay, Jefferson County will expand its wine and wine slushy manufacturing capabilities to meet current market demand. The winery will phase out its manual pouch filling process and replace it with an automated pouch filling operation. This expansion will create one of the most advanced wine pouching capabilities in the state and allow the company to have greater control of its supply chain.
  • Best Bev NY Project (Southern Tier) – $3,200,000 ESD Grant: Best Bev, LLC. provides co-packing, material sourcing, storage, and brand distribution for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Currently located in Pennsylvania, BestBev will establish a facility in New York State. To move its operation, Best Bev will undertake the renovation of a leased facility in Tioga County including the purchase of machinery and equipment, and furniture and fixtures.
  • BestSelf Headquarters Child Advocacy Center (Western New York) – $2,000,000 ESD Grant: BestSelf Behavioral Health, the largest community behavioral health provider in Western New York, will renovate 899 Main Street on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The centrally located facility will allow the Child Advocacy Center at BestSelf to relocate and expand, enabling it to provide services to all children in the area. The facility will also house a community training center that will help with workforce development efforts.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The Regional Councils continue be a strong economic driver for our state’s economy. These awards represent projects that showcase each region’s strengths and will go a long way to transform the local economies across the state.

The Regional Economic Development Council process continues to support and empower regional stakeholders in developing strategic plans and funding priorities that meet local economic needs. To date, through the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative, more than $7.6 billion has been awarded to support more than 9300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plan.

The Consolidated Funding Application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The Consolidated Funding Application process marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs.

The Consolidated Funding Application serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the Consolidated Funding Application as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. Learn more about the Consolidated Funding Application here.

The application for Empire State Development 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.

Image courtesy of Luxigon / National Black Theatre.

Learn more out the Regional Economic Development Councils.

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