On July 27, 2021, that state of New York announced that $200 million is now available for the fifth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
DRI Round 5 will provide these funds to communities across the 10 Regional Economic Development Council regions to bring new life to their downtowns through a comprehensive strategic planning process, followed by the implementation of key projects. The fifth round is being launched as New York State rebuilds its economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of DRI Round 5, each REDC region may receive up to two awards for a total of $20 million awarded per region.
The REDCs will decide whether to nominate two $10 million awardees or one $20 million awardee for transformative and catalytic downtown redevelopment projects upon review of the submitted applications.
As is the case with past DRI rounds, each selected community will develop a strategic plan that articulates a vision for the revitalization of its downtown and identifies a list of signature projects that have the potential to transform the downtown. DRI funds will then be awarded for selected projects that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and realize the community’s vision for the downtown.
About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
In 2016, former Governor Cuomo launched a major new initiative—the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Through this initiative, the Governor moved to aggressively accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhoods to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all 10 regions of the state. The initiative represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation.
In the first four years of the program, the state has committed $400 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity. Participating communities are nominated by the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown’s potential for transformation. Each community is awarded at least $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects to advance the community’s vision for revitalization.
The initiative is headed by New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development and New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
All applications should be submitted with a $10 million award in mind but may indicate that they would also like to be considered for a $20 million award. Applicants that indicate interest in being considered for a $20 million award must respond to supplemental application questions in which they describe and confirm specific transformative or catalytic DRI projects and demonstrate the readiness of those projects and local capacity to manage the full $20 million in DRI funds. More information about both of these programs is available on the DRI website.
Applications for DRI Round 5 should be submitted to the appropriate Regional Economic Development Council by September 15, 2021.
Rendering of Middletown, New York downtown (a previous DRI winner) courtesy of New York State Governor’s office.