In just one month, a single state invested $172 million in 139 redevelopment projects to revitalize the downtowns of 16 communities

One U.S. state ended the year 2022 with a regenerative bang. In the month of December, the state of New York invested $172 million in 139 redevelopment projects intended to revitalize historic downtowns in 16 communities. It’s just the latest manifestation of the nation’s best example of a true restoration economy program.

With one exception, all of the investments are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy and create more opportunities via New York’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI): the most extensive and longest-running downtown revitalization program in the United States. In all cases, these projects will leverage additional public and private sector investments as the revitalization process proceeds and build momentum.

As documented in the 2020 book, RECONOMICS: The Path To Resilient Prosperity, the DRI’s major flaw is the lack of a related training program for local leaders. Such a program would ideally focus on boosting the communities’ renewal capacity: their ability to milk the maximum amount of resilient revitalization.

That’s not to say the state provides no training at all. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is led by the New York Department of State, providing technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area. But, also as documented in RECONOMICS, the production of a plan is not the same as achieving revitalization.

In fact, the creation of a plan has been shown to be the most common factor retarding rapid, resilient renewal. The writing of it creates a delay, during which not much is accomplished. Once it’s published, it immediately starts becoming obsolete: few of them are “living documents” that respond to changing circumstances. This is made worse by the fact that about 90% of plans simply go onto a shelf, and so do little to influence decisions.

All that being said, New York’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative is the best in the country.

Here’s what the DRI funded in December of 2022:


14 transformational projects in the City of North Tonawanda will leverage the community’s rich historic, cultural, and natural resources.

The city of North Tonawanda sits at the confluence of the Niagara River and the Erie Canal, which offers residents and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy waterways, the beauty of the natural landscapes and the multitude of landside cultural and recreational amenities offered at this “Gateway to the Erie Canal.”

The City’s revitalization is focused on implementing a series of projects that strengthen Webster Street, the city’s primary commercial corridor, while expanding development to Tonawanda Island and Oliver Street.

Mayor Austin Tylec said, “We are grateful to be a part of Governor Hochul’s initiative to revitalize communities throughout NYS by improving public spaces, promoting walkability, expanding waterfront access, and increasing commercial and residential opportunities. These 14 projects will expand efforts to enhance, revitalize, and usher growth throughout our Downtown, Oliver Street Corridor, and Waterfront for businesses, residents and visitors to our city. Thank you to Governor Hochul, the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, Department of State, our DRI Steering Committee, and North Tonawandas Community Development Director Laura Wilson for helping our City continue its momentum.

The Awards will create a unique sense of place, improve the walkability and attractiveness of the DRI area, enhance cultural amenities and attract more visitors, preserve and revitalize historic buildings, support the construction of new buildings that result in more housing and business opportunities, and provide additional waterfront access for residents and visitors.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as— Enhancing Waterfront Access and Public Spaces; Improving Streetscape Walkability and Connectivity; Expanding Arts and Cultural Opportunities; and Expanding Business and Housing Opportunities.

  • Enhance Waterfront Access and Public Spaces
    • Creating a Public River Walk at 624 River Road – DRI Award $156,000
      • Construct a 300-foot walkway along the Niagara River for public access to the waterfront and connection to the existing bike trail along River Road.
    • Revitalizing 78 Bridge Street – DRI Award $750,000
      • Develop public access to the waterfront on Tonawanda Island.
    • Implementing Placemaking Improvements – DRI Award: $1,000,000
      • Improve the landscaping, infrastructure and amenities at Charles R. Fleischmann Park; enhance and update Webster and Main Street streetscape; install electric car charging stations and enhance Manhattan Street parking lot.
  • Improve Streetscape Walkability and Connectivity
    • Improving the Walkability and Streetscape of Oliver Street – DRI Award: $1,500,000
      • Implement sidewalk and crosswalk enhancements, bump outs, installation of green space, increased pedestrian-scale lighting and other amenities to improve the walkability and appearance of Oliver Street.
  • Expand Arts and Cultural Opportunities
    • Updating and Expanding the Riviera Theatre – DRI Award: $1,200,000
      • Modernize and expand the National Register-listed Riviera Theatre, a downtown anchor since 1926. This 6,000+ square foot expansion will include new ADA restrooms, concession area, box office, and artists’ merchandise area.
    • Improving the Railroad Museum of the Niagara Frontier – DRI Award $470,000
      • Enhance and improve the pedestrian and visitor experience at the museum.
    • Restoring the Allan Herschell Company Complex Music Room – DRI Award $210,000
      • Restore a portion of the Allan Herschell Company Complex, which collapsed in 1995. Restoration will include a new music room connected to the rest of the complex.
  • Increase Housing and Business Opportunities
    • Developing a Mixed-Use Building at 122 Webster Street – DRI Award: $1,360,000
      • Develop a two-story mixed-use residential/commercial complex with apartments and first floor commercial storefronts.
    • Renovating 27 Main Street – DRI Award $1,000,000
      • Convert a vacant former furniture store into a commercial prep kitchen, a seasonal ice cream shop/restaurant, and multiple retail spaces.
    • Establishing the Commercial Property Improvement Grant Program – DRI Award $630,000
      • Create a grant program to address small-scale projects and underutilized buildings within the DRI area.
    • Rebuilding 211 Main Street as a Professional Services Incubator – DRI Award $549,000
      • Remediate a brownfield site and construct an office building that will be an incubator for landscape, engineering, and construction-related businesses seeking a collaborative work environment.
    • Constructing a New Apartment Complex at 10 Goundry Street- DRI Award $525,000
      • Demolish an existing structure and replace it with a residential apartment complex.
    • Rehabilitating 230 Oliver Street – DRI Award $250,000
      • Convert an historic building into a mixed-use property with commercial and residential units.
    • Upgrading 235/239 Oliver Street – DRI Award $100,000
      • Upgrade low-income apartment units.


Five transformational projects in the City of Rochester will leverage the community’s significant redevelopment investments with new infill projects and redevelopment of historic properties.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Downtown is the heartbeat of Rochester – and Rochester is the heart of Monroe County. This critical funding complements ongoing projects to revitalize downtown, and fuels further economic growth that will help our community thrive.

The City of Rochester’s revitalization is focused on creating an enhanced sense of place with renewed activity and liveliness. The Awards will transform the Downtown Revitalization Initiative by adding housing, lodging accommodations, commercial spaces and public infrastructure improvements.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said, “The projects selected for Rochester’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative will return much needed vibrancy to the core of our Center City and accelerate the incredible momentum we are making to create a Downtown where everybody can live, work and play. These funds will advance our efforts to create a hope-filled city with a prosperous future.

  • Transforming the Main and Clinton Corner – DRI Award: $4,000,000
    • Redevelop four, historic mixed-use buildings that have been a blight on the urban landscape for nearly four decades. This is an extensive historic renovation that will also strive for carbon neutrality and will create middle-income housing units and modern storefronts on a prominent corner of Downtown.
  • Redeveloping the Historic Edwards Building – DRI Award: $1,750,000
    • Combine a certified historic rehabilitation of the long vacant Edwards Building with the creation of a district geothermal cooperative under the adjacent parking lot. A total of approximately 114 new housing units and ground floor commercial space will be added.
  • Developing Alta Vista – DRI Award: $1,385,000
    • Construct an approximately 6-story, 76-unit mixed-income building on four vacant lots in Downtown Rochester. The project includes supportive housing units for survivors of domestic violence and space for the Landmark Society of Western New York. This project will also make improvements to the adjacent St. Joseph’s Park. New lighting, pathways, and structural improvements will enhance this public and outdoor event space.
  • Constructing Main Street Commons – DRI Award: $1,300,000
    • Create a new outdoor public space in the heart of Downtown and improve pedestrian connections between St. Paul Street and Clinton Avenue. This project will divide the existing 600-foot-long superblock into two more walkable urban block lengths.
  • Creating the Kresge Building Hotel – DRI Award $1,265,000
    • Redevelop the three-story Kresge building into an approximately 28-room boutique hotel with anchor food and beverage establishments on the ground floor facing Main Street, Division Street, and the proposed Main Street Commons.


Eight transformational projects in the Village of Massena will repurpose blighted buildings, improve public spaces and streetscape connectivity, expand waterfront access and enjoyment and expand commercial and residential opportunities in Massena’s historically intact, dense downtown.

Massena’s revitalization is focused on creating a more walkable, green, vibrant, and connected community. Massena has a long and storied history as one of the first settlements in St. Lawrence County. Like many other Upstate communities, Massena suffered the decline, disinvestment and out-migration from de-industrialization. But with its charm, abundant forestland, waterfront access and inexpensive electric power, the Town has built momentum to redefine and revitalize its downtown, as its vision statement clearly conveys — “Moving Massena Forward: Proud Past, Promising Future.”

Mayor Gregory Paquin said, “The Village of Massena is excited with the announcement of the DRI recipients. We look forward to working with the DRI grant recipients in the hopes of truly revitalizing the downtown area into a thriving, family friendly place that all can enjoy. The anticipated public and private investments from the DRI will transform the downtown neighborhood into a vibrant center that offers a high quality of life and acts as a magnet for redevelopment, business, job creation, and economic and housing diversity. This is a process that will not happen overnight, and I ask for the patience of the Greater Massena Community as we work through this process.

Through the Downtown Initiative Award (DRI), the Village will transform its downtown by enhancing its streetscapes and public spaces, restoring and reusing key anchor buildings, and supporting small businesses.

  • Enhance Streetscapes and Public Spaces
    • Advancing Downtown Streetscape Enhancements – DRI Award: $2,984,000
      • Implement streetscape enhancements including street lighting, sidewalks, street trees, under bridge lighting, pedestrian connections, benches and wayfinding to create a unified streetscape aesthetic.
    • Creating a Riverwalk Gateway & Courtyard – DRI Award: $1,900,000
      • Transform the former Massena School of Business site into hardscape courtyard/transitional space with mezzanine, that connects the downtown corridor with the riverwalk areas while preserving the historic School of Business façade.
    • Establishing the Downtown Riverwalk – DRI Award: $1,715,000
      • Create a scenic river walk along portions of the Grasse River and formalization of the kayak launch behind the Fire Department in coordination with current landowners.
  • Restoring Existing Anchor Buildings
    • Transforming the JJ Newberry Building – DRI Award: $1,633,000
      • Modernize and repair an historic building: incorporate apartments, flexible retail space, and office space, as well as a rooftop deck, and replace the existing façade.
    • Renovating 37 Water Street – DRI Award: $605,000
      • Renovate an abandoned building for light manufacturing and regional commercial sales of ice cream, yogurt, and cheeses, as well as a retail creamery store front and second floor apartments.
    • Renovating 94-96 Main – DRI Award: $163,000
      • Renovate an old grocery store building and adjoining vacant lot for parking. This building will be remodeled for Professional or Retail space.
    • Restoring Historic 48 Main – DRI Award: $100,000
      • Restore front, side, and rear façade of anchor Main Street building as well as one of the unique storefronts.
  • Supporting Small Business
    • Launching the CORE of the Community Fund – DRI Award: $600,000
      • Enhance the downtown core by providing grants for revitalization efforts and technical assistance to help businesses build capacity.


11 transformational projects in the City of Troy will enhance the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene, improve walkability, provide better housing opportunities, and expand community services.

At the heart of Troy’s downtown, the compact and walkable Riverwalk DRI District contains a large portion of the city’s arts, cultural, and entertainment assets, including over one and a half miles of riverfront.

This DRI award will allow the City of Troy to build on prior investment, the authentic charm and do-it-yourself spirit of the Riverfront District, and the growing number of residents, visitors, and entrepreneurs to transform the Riverwalk District into a regional center of innovation and talent, with great public places, thriving small businesses, and arts and entertainment venues.

City of Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said, This is terrific news for the City of Troy, and it is a great accomplishment for all of those involved in the process. These DRI funds are an investment not only in our businesses, but they are also a commitment in affordable housing, strengthening connections between our neighborhoods, waterfront connectivity, and in workforce development. We are grateful to Governor Hochul for this investment in our future, and to all who submitted applications and served on the DRI steering committee who vetted and strengthened these proposals. We look forward to the launch of these projects in 2023.”

Historic buildings and flexible new spaces will offer options to live, learn, and create, and the expanded Riverwalk will connect neighborhoods and provide a clear pathway for investment in South Troy, North Central Troy, and beyond.

The projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as enhancing the culture and arts scene; improving streetscape walkability, connectivity and vibrancy; expanding housing opportunities; and increasing community services.

  • Enhance the Culture and Arts Scene
    • Restoring the American Theatre into a Multi-Purpose Arts Venue – DRI Award $500,000
      • Transform the vacant 1920s-era theater at 285-289 River Street into a cinema, arts, and live music venue hosting 200 events annually. The refurbished theater will bring an estimated 30,000 people to downtown while expanding the cultural and entertainment options in the area.
    • Improving the Visitor Experience at the Historic Hart Cluett Museum – DRI Award $380,000
      • Replace the HVAC system to protect the museum’s collection and enhance use of the outdoor deck to allow for expansion of museum offerings. This project will ensure the cultural heritage of Troy and Rensselaer County are preserved for future generations.
    • Expanding the Troy Public Library’s Year-Round Capacity – DRI Award $625,000
      • Add a rooftop mounted mechanical HVAC unit, replace distribution piping, and update interior systems to provide better air quality and cold air in the summer months at 100 Second Street, enabling broader summer programming.
    • Connecting Downtown through Murals and Public Art – DRI Award $270,000
      • Revitalize public spaces with public art to build pride and investment and welcome visitors. This project will create multiple public art installations at six locations across the downtown, creating new experiences for the public to engage with Troy.
  • Improve Streetscape Walkability, Connectivity and Vibrancy
    • Extending the Marina North Riverwalk – DRI Award: $3,000,000
      • Extend the Riverwalk Trail by a quarter mile (to Jay St.) and alongside the Hoosick Street Bridge. The Riverwalk Marina North project will provide improved bicycle and pedestrian connections to the North Central and Lansingburgh neighborhoods, extending a trail that will ultimately extend seven miles.
    • Transforming the Congress Street Gateway into Downtown Troy – DRI Award: $1,000,000
      • Remove bridge off-ramps and reconstruct the intersection of the bridge and River St to create a throughway that better connects the Core Downtown with South Central and South Troy. With the reorientation of the bridge, additional developable space will be available for future housing development.
    • Implementing Downtown and Riverwalk Wayfinding and Branding – DRI Award $363,000
      • Implement the City’s plan for branding and activation media. Investing in branding and wayfinding ensures the strategic investments made downtown are visible to a broad audience and maximize their economic impact.
    • Restoring the Historic Cannon Building – DRI Award $200,000
      • Restore the exterior of the oldest building on Monument Square at 5 Broadway. Primary revitalization benefits include improved pedestrian mobility on revamped sidewalks and the visual impact of façade improvements on the broader downtown.
  • Expand Housing Opportunities
    • Completing the First Phase of Taylor Apartments Redevelopment – DRI Award: $1,600,000
      • Develop approximately 141 units of permanently affordable apartments and mixed use and community space at 125 River St. at part of the Revitalize Riverside project.
  • Increase Community Services
    • Creating a New Public Outdoor Space at the CEO Community Resource Center – DRI Award $262,000
      • Build a safe outdoor area for community events and services including a covered public pavilion and restroom at 2350 Fifth Avenue. This project will further enhance the newly expanded CEO Community Resource Center, which provides childcare and other family support services to the community.
    • Building a Net-Zero Greenhouse Job Training Center at Capital Roots – DRI Award: $1,500,000
      • Construct a net-zero greenhouse facility at 2525 Fifth Avenue to support a job readiness program for long-term unemployed people. The installation of the greenhouse will add job training to the long list of services offered by the Capital Roots Urban Grow Center in North Central Troy.


11 transformational projects in the Village of Tannersville will leverage the community’s rich historic, culture, and natural resources.

Tannersville is a small community of approximately 550 people situated in the Catskills Forest Preserve with convenient access to miles of pristine wilderness within the Catskill Park, which makes the Village a gateway to the great outdoors in Greene County.

The Tannersville revitalization is focused on creating new affordable housing, expanding community services, increasing arts and cultural amenities and improving streetscape walkability and connectivity, among others.

Tannersville Mayor, Dr. Lee McGunnigle said, “On behalf of the Village of Tannersville, I am very grateful for all of the hard work and dedication from Governor Hochul and her team. I would like to thank the LPC members and the community for all of their input in this transformative plan. These public and private investments will address the senior and workforce housing crisis while creating a stronger economy with a healthy walkable community and cleaner environment with renewable energy. These projects will have a positive impact for generations.

Through the DRI, the Village is rededicating itself to becoming a vibrant four-season recreation and vacation community that is still affordable for local, long-term residents and newcomers.

  • Increase Housing Opportunities
    • Developing the Spruce Street Affordable Housing Project – DRI Award: $2,500,000
      • Develop approximately 62 residential units for workforce housing on the site of the former Cold Spring Hotel.
    • Revitalizing a Mixed-Use Site at 5975 Main Street – DRI Award: $1,360,000
      • Construct an approximately 12,000-square-foot building to replace the former Spinning Room building, which has been vacant due to structural issues. The new development will include workforce housing and a retail and restaurant space on the ground floor.
    • Upgrading the Country K Grocery and Renovating Upper Floor Apartments – DRI Award $249,000
      • Renovate the Country K grocery/pizzeria and allow for the addition of a deli section to occupy the entire ground floor. Renovate upper floor workforce housing apartments, creating additional units.
  • Enhance the Village’s Culture and Arts Scene
    • Expanding and Upgrading the Orpheum Performing Arts Center – DRI Award: $1,750,000
      • Upgrade and construct new dance studios and streetscape/accessibility improvements to expand annual performing arts season and educational programs.
    • Creating the Painted Village Festival Event Grounds – DRI Award $500,000
      • Upgrade the Colonial Golf Park to prepare the site for a festival, concert, and events ground to fulfill a multi-phase vision that would reintroduce festivals to the Mountaintop region.
    • Implementing Upgrades at the Mountain Top Library – DRI Award $265,000
      • Improve library to expand programming capacity: install an outdoor pavilion, create a pop-up art gallery, replace exterior doors and install a new power generator.
    • Creating a Kaaterskill Trolley Hub and Café – DRI Award $240,000
      • Create a trolley hub at 15 Railroad Avenue. The trolley hub building will include an indoor seating/waiting area, ticket counter, and restrooms, as well as a small cafe.
    • Improving the Fromer Market through Increased Parking and Expanded Farm Stand – DRI Award $366,000
      • Expand the Fromer Market Gardens farm stand/store, including creation of an outdoor gathering space, upgrading equipment, and expansion of the parking area.
  • Improve Streetscape Walkability and Connectivity
    • Improving Village Connectivity and Trailhead/Parking Areas – DRI Award: $1,373,000
      • Implement a multi-component connectivity project to improve walkability and pedestrian safety through the creation of sidewalks and crossings, as well as creation of parking areas that will serve as trailhead sites/public spaces.
  • Miscellaneous Projects
    • Creating a Downtown Improvement Fund – DRI Award $600,000
      • Create a fund to support small businesses and property owners. Funds can be used for interior/exterior renovations, machinery/equipment, and associated soft costs and signage, with specific criteria developed by the Village.
    • Implementing a Municipal Solar System – DRI Award $497,000
      • Install solar panels in four locations: Village Hall, lake area pavilion, Gooseberry Creek Park, and new trailhead parking area. This solar system will cover the full municipal power usage.


Five transformational projects in the Village of Newark will encourage a sense of place where residents and visitors can participate in a range of recreational opportunities, interact with the Erie Canal waterfront, attend local events, and enjoy everyday living.

With this DRI award, the Village of Newark can leverage the Erie Canal as a vital asset in establishing an active, year-round cultural hub in the Finger Lakes region. Investments in Newark’s downtown repurpose public spaces into vibrant gathering places, provide much needed accommodations and amenities to bolster tourism, offer a diverse mix of housing options to attract new residents, and create a regional recreation and wellness center for all.

Village of Newark Mayor Jonathan Taylor said, “The State’s DRI funding, combined with the investment of private developers, will generate the largest economic investment in Newark’s history. These projects will be transformative, catalyzing economic growth not only in the Village, but throughout Wayne County and the entire region. We would like to thank the Governor for her confidence in the Village and for this award which will enable Newark to keep moving forward.

  • Restoring Existing Anchor Buildings
    • Creating the Newark Regional Health and Wellness Center – DRI Award: $3,340,000
      • Repurpose a large, underutilized site on the Erie Canal into a vibrant center of activity, providing up to 25 new jobs, and a much needed community space for residents. Elements of the project include medical offices, an indoor track and other sports facilities, and a community flex space.
    • Repurposing Coventry Commons – DRI Award: $2,000,000
      • Convert a 90,000-square foot former manufacturing space into approximately 95 apartments and 5,000-square feet of community space.
    • Constructing the Newark Canalside Hotel – DRI Award: $1,985,000
      • Construct an approximately 60,000-square foot, 98 room full-service hotel with a banquet and conference center.
    • Revitalizing the Canal Port – DRI Award: $1,580,000
      • Improve the port with a promenade including an amphitheater, farmers market, kayak/canoe launch, new utilities, and streetscape upgrades.
    • Redeveloping the Historic Former Newark Hospital Building – DRI Award $795,000
      • Restore the former Newark hospital into mixed-income apartments.


Eleven transformational projects in Chinatown (Manhattan) are funded by a $20 million award, in recognition of the specific and acute effects of the pandemic on Chinatown’s businesses and the wider Asian diaspora in New York City.

With these revitalization projects, this historic community can thrive again and open its unique corridors, restaurants, businesses, parks and cultural institutions, becoming, once again, a place to visit and celebrate the ethnic diversity of the Chinatown community in the Lower East Side.

Chinatown is an ethnically diverse neighborhood in Manhattan that contains the largest Chinese population in an urban area outside of China, as well as residents of Latin America, Italian and Eastern European Jewish descent and other backgrounds.

Councilmember Christopher Marte said, “After decades of neglect, we are excited to see major investments from Governor Kathy Hochul in re-opening Park Row. The entryway to Chinatown has been closed for 20 years, and has had a serious negative impact on foot traffic and the local economy. This project alongside the revitalization of Kimlau Square represents a bright new future for Chinatown’s center.

The community prides itself on its diversity and broad array of cultural attractions, experiences and services The Chinatown Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Strategic Investment Plan is focused on improving the quality of life and economic vibrancy for residents and visitors and building on its history as a cultural destination. Through the DRI, Chinatown is creating welcoming landmarks, streetscapes and public spaces to draw visitors and encourage more foot traffic, and economic and cultural activity. Additionally, the awards will establish a community health and wellness center, provide childcare and a family support center, a culinary arts center and a cultural welcome center.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as—improved streetscape connectivity and public gathering spaces; increased health, wellness and business opportunities; and enhanced cultural destinations and amenities.

  • Improve Streetscape Connectivity and Public Gathering Spaces
    • Renovating Kimlau Square – DRI Award: $5,000,000
      • Expand public space at Kimlau Square to support a broader mix of community events, draw visitors into the neighborhood, and provide open space in the heart of the community.
    • Beautifying the Park Row Connection to Chinatown – DRI Award: $4,000,000
      • Implement capital improvements to beautify and improve accessibility at Park Row from the Brooklyn Bridge to Kimlau Square.
    • Upgrading a Section of Sara D. Roosevelt Park – DRI Award: $3,285,000
      • Renovate park areas to expand access to attractive, welcoming public space with seating, shade, and landscaped areas for the multi-generational local community.
    • Installing Murals & Light Projection Art Throughout Chinatown – DRI Award $924,000
      • Install three large-scale painted wall murals, a light projection art installation, and 30 small-scale murals at prominent locations in Chinatown.
    • Expanding Light Up Chinatown Street Lanterns – DRI Award $689,000
      • Expand street lanterns into more parts of Chinatown over four phases to brighten the streets and encourage more foot traffic.
  • Increase Health, Wellness and Business Opportunities
    • Opening a Community Health and Wellness Center- DRI Award $1,000,000
      • Establish a new community health and wellness center at 60 Madison Street, which would offer high-quality and culturally accessible health and mental health services.
    • Reopening the Childcare and Family Support Center at Smith Houses – DRI Award $550,000
      • Repair the 4,700-square-foot childcare and family support center at NYCHA’s Alfred E. Smith Houses to provide daycare and other supportive services.
    • Creating a Building Upgrades Fund – DRI Award $1,000,000
      • Establish a grant program to help existing small businesses and building owners make improvements to the local building stock.
  • Enhance Cultural Destinations and Amenities
    • Creating a Chinatown Welcome Arch/Gateway – DRI Award: $2,500,000
      • Build a landmark gateway arch to commemorate the cultural heritage of the area and draw visitors to the neighborhood.
    • Establishing Asian Culinary Arts of New York – DRI Award $352,000
      • Revamp an existing 3,000-square-foot kitchen to support the training of professionals specializing in commercial Chinese and other Asian cuisine.

Establishing the Chinatown Cultural Welcome Center – DRI Award $300,000

  • Create a community gathering space for intergenerational knowledge transfer related to food, art, and culture.


10 transformational projects in the Village of Haverstraw will enhance Haverstraw’s rich historic, cultural and natural resources while improving its walkability. Renderings of the projects are available here.

The Village of Haverstraw seeks to re-energize its downtown by further integrating ethnicities and cultures, developing workforce and market-rate housing, inducing growth of existing and new businesses, connecting downtown to the waterfront and fostering collaborative efforts between the private sector, government and local non-profit organizations.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said, “Haverstraw is already a beautiful and historic place to visit, and I am excited to see these state dollars enhance the village’s charm in this revitalization project. This major overhaul will lead to greater things for Haverstraw and all of Rockland County.

Haverstraw’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative award will enable the village to continue revitalizing its downtown in a balanced way that supports the existing residents, enhancing their quality of life while making the village more attractive for visitors and new residents.

The specific projects to be funded through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as enhancing walkability and connectivity to the waterfront and public places; increasing arts and cultural amenities; and expanding business and housing opportunities.

Village of Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut said, “The Village is excited to learn what projects have received awards from the State under the DRI grant. This has been a long and involved process, and I’m glad that we are soon to start the next phase, meaning implementation. We believe these projects that have received funding will be transformational for the Village and will catapult us into the group of highly successful river villages that dot the shores of the Hudson Valley now. Working together with NYS, over the next few years, everyone will appreciate Haverstraw’s successful re-birth.

  • Enhancing Walkability and Connectivity to the Waterfront and Public Places
    • Extending a Public Trail and Stabilizing the Shoreline to Support Reuse of the Chair Factory Site – DRI Award: $4,000,000
      • Construct a 3,000 linear foot walkway and stabilize shoreline with riprap and native plantings around the former Chair Factory site to support future mixed-use and mixed-income development.
    • Improving Connectivity with Construction of a Multimodal Ferry Station – DRI Award: $200,000
      • Construct a shelter at the base of the NY Waterway Ferry Dock with multimodal transit options.
    • Enhancing the Village’s Outdoor Recreation Area – DRI Award: $400,000
      • Construct two new public full-court basketball courts next to the Haverstraw Center to integrate into the surrounding park and outdoor recreation area.
  • Increasing Arts and Cultural Amenities
    • Restoring and Expanding the Haverstraw Brick Museum – DRI Award: $1,500,000
      • Renovate and expand the Haverstraw Brick Museum, including restoring an 1880s basement, and adding two new floors focusing on education, innovation and research, with a new rooftop garden.
    • Creating Educational Opportunities Through Installation of Harriet Tubman Statue – DRI Award: $201,000
      • Install a permanent Harriet Tubman statue, improve accessibility and enhance landscaping at the Haverstraw African American Memorial Park.
    • Enhancing Main Street Through Installation of Murals – DRI Award: $180,000
      • Create four murals in downtown Haverstraw at 2, 21 and 45 Main Street and 10 Rockland Street.
  • Expanding Business and Housing Opportunities
    • Revitalizing 49 West Broad Street with New Mixed-Use Development – DRI Award: $1,677,000
      • Redevelop blighted site with a 5-story mixed-use building with approximately 55 residential units, café, and community space.
    • Establishing a Brewpub in Historic Stone Building – DRI Award: $665,000
      • Repurpose ground floor of Stone Building as a brewery and restaurant for the Stoneyard Brewing Company.
    • Establishing a Downtown Façade Restoration Fund – DRI Award: $577,000
      • Establish a downtown façade restoration fund to preserve and restore commercial and mixed-use buildings in the downtown.
    • Establishing and Implementing a Branding, Marketing, and Wayfinding Initiative – DRI Award: $300,000
      • Establish and implement a branding and marketing initiative with wayfinding signage to help support locally owned businesses, boost tourism, enhance placemaking, and encourage walkability.


Six transformational projects in the Village of Ossining will leverage the community’s walkability and rich historic, cultural, and natural resources.

The Village of Ossining possesses several significant assets to build upon—the Hudson River waterfront, a historic Main Street, ethnic and cultural diversity through a large Latino and African-American population and a Metro-North train station.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “This is a big day for the village of Ossining. A Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award means a transformation for this historic community is on the horizon. We want to see communities thrive and grow, be vibrant and inviting, and that is exactly what New York State is doing for Ossining. I thank Gov. Kathy Hochul for her leadership, and look forward to visiting Ossining and seeing this DRI project take shape.

Ossining’s revitalization is focused on a series of synergistic projects to enhance public spaces, improve cultural and community assets and build the infrastructure to support existing businesses and leverage new growth and development far beyond the downtown area.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as — enhancing walkability, transit use and waterfront access; Improve public spaces for performing arts and cultural activities; and expanding community services.

Village of Ossining Mayor Rika Levin said, “Ossining is on the move and this funding allows us to move far more swiftly, making longstanding desires a reality and fulfilling our goals for a thriving, inclusive and sustainable community. We are grateful to the Governor and to New York State for this vote of confidence and acknowledgement of Ossining’s vibrant history and unlimited future.

  • Enhance Walkability, Transit Use and Waterfront Access
    • Building a Multi-Modal Transportation Center to Facilitate Mixed-use Development – DRI Award: $2,243,000
      • Build a multi-modal transportation center to provide approximately 240 vehicle parking spaces, as well as bicycle infrastructure to accommodate parking and charging, to support infill development in downtown and promote decreased reliance on vehicle use. The center will generate renewable energy via a rooftop solar array, and the design will be consistent with the historic character of the Main Street Corridor.
    • Enhancing Streetscaping in the Station Plaza Neighborhood to Improve Connectivity – DRI Award: $857,000
      • Beautify the Station Plaza neighborhood through improved streets, widened sidewalks, bikeability, placemaking, and connectivity between the waterfront and upper Main Street.
  • Improve Public Spaces for Performing Arts and Cultural Activities
    • Enhancing and Expanding the Market Square Public Plaza – DRI Award: $2,000,000
      • Design and construct a new public plaza to include seating, new landscaping, a raised stage and kiosks. The public plaza would continue to remain in public ownership.
    • Preserving and Revitalizing the Historic Olive Opera House Building – DRI Award: $1,500,000
      • Conduct exterior renovations, restorations and retrofitting of the interior of the building to allow for flexible workspaces, studios and a performance space with modular stage.
    • Upgrading the Louis Engel Waterfront Park Performance Space – DRI Award: $600,000
      • Replace the existing stage with a new, covered state-of-the-art performance space to accommodate performances in inclement weather while drawing locals and visitors to the waterfront.
  • Expand Community Services
    • Transforming the Joseph G. Caputo Community Center – DRI Award: $2,500,000
      • Transform the Community Center into a state-of-the-art facility for intergenerational recreation and learning that will create opportunities for innovative programming while providing expanded and improved space for STEM and sports for children, adults, and seniors.


11 transformational projects for the Village of Amityville will enhance connectivity, walkability, transit access and beautification and expand small businesses and housing opportunities to promote growth of the downtown as a transit-oriented center.

The Village of Amityville sits at the nexus of several major Long Island transportation corridors. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Area’s proximity to New York City, coupled with its convenient access to major transportation corridors and regional airports, provides a key asset when attracting new businesses and residents to the downtown.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “Connectivity and walkability is crucial to the success and revitalization of our vibrant downtowns. Thanks to Governor Kathy Hochul, Amityville is able to push forward with truly transformative projects that will promote growth for years to come.

The Village is poised to make its compact, walkable downtown, centered on the Long Island Railroad train station, one of the premier destinations on Long Island, defined by its unique waterfront culture and historic charm. Amityville has built momentum for its revitalization through several projects, including pedestrian and bike lanes and mixed-use and residential transit-oriented developments.

Mayor Dennis M. Siry said, “We congratulate the winners and look forward to seeing these exciting opportunities take shape. We are grateful to New York State and all those who contributed to this grant process, from our Downtown Revitalization Committee who got the ball rolling in the very beginning to the local committee and DRI teams who guided us throughout the process. All of Amityville will benefit from this transformative funding for our downtown.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as—Enhancing Connectivity, Walkability, Transit Access and Beautification; and Expanding Small Business and Housing Opportunities to promote the growth of the downtown as a transit-oriented center of vibrancy and activity.

  • Enhance Connectivity, Walkability, Transit Access and Beautification
    • Implementing Complete Streets on Broadway – DRI Award: $5,029,000
      • A series of roadway and pedestrian realm improvements on Broadway from Sterling Place to Ireland Place will enhance the connectivity, walkability and safety of downtown. The traffic calming measures will include pedestrian improvements from Avon Place to West Smith Street.
    • Revitalizing LIRR Station and Connections to Downtown – DRI Award: $1,314,000
      • The LIRR station entrances and connections will be upgraded to create a more welcoming arrival for passengers, as well as clear, safe pedestrian connections between the station, downtown shops and new residential development.
    • Coordinating Village Wayfinding – DRI Award: $81,000
      • The Village will develop and install distinctive Village wayfinding signage to enhance the appearance of the downtown and improve the pedestrian experience.
  • Expand Small Business and Housing Opportunities to Promote the Growth of Downtown as a Transit-Oriented Center of Vibrancy and Activity
    • Developing a Mixed-Use Building at 21 Greene Avenue – DRI Award: $1,307,000
      • The former Village Hall will be redeveloped and re-purposed as a mixed-use building, increasing the total building size and adding approximately eight residential units to the existing office and commercial space. The building will also be beautified with a new mural honoring Amityville’s history.
    • Implementing a Commercial Storefront Revitalization Fund – DRI Award: $600,000
      • A storefront revitalization fund will provide grants to renovate building exteriors within the DRI area. Upgrades will be in line with Village character and may include facades, entrances, awnings, lighting and signage.
    • Rehabilitating a Professional Office Building at 137-157 Broadway – DRI Award: $425,000
      • The 22,000 square foot commercial medical building with extensive downtown frontage will be renovated to better attract tenants and contribute to overall Village character. Renovations will honor historic design character and positively contribute to the overall aesthetics of the Village.
    • Restoring Losi’s Corner with Hook & Ladder No.1 Building – DRI Award: $277,000
      • Three of Amityville’s oldest structures will be renovated to create an interconnected, mixed-use retail and dining complex at the corner of Park Avenue and Ireland Place. Renovations will include interior and exterior of the main building, firehouse and the cottage as well as adjacent open space to accommodate retail, dining and/or museum space.
    • Renovating 140a Broadway into a Mixed-Use Dining & Office Building- DRI Award: $235,000
      • The building at 140a Broadway will be renovated and expanded using sustainable building practices to allow for a ground floor specialty dining experience with a patio for outdoor seating and a law office on the second floor.
    • Creating a New Eatery at 217 Broadway – DRI Award: $150,000
      • A vacant former pizzeria at 217 Broadway will be extensively renovated to establish a new restaurant that will add diversity to the food and beverage options downtown and generate new employment opportunities in the service and entertainment industries within the community.
    • Establishing an Artists’ Studio at 187 Broadway – DRI Award: $142,000
      • Vacant commercial space on Broadway will be renovated and re-purposed into a shared studio for local performing, theater and visual artists. The new space, which will include a combined dance studio/theater and a visual arts workshop, will be made available to community members to rent on an hourly basis.
    • Installing an Outdoor Beer Garden at 136 Broadway – DRI Award: $140,000
      • An outdoor seating area will be developed to create a beer garden on the west side lot of an existing Irish Pub & Restaurant. The renovation will add additional seating featuring dining/drinking space and live music performed by local artists.


Eight transformational projects in the Town of Riverhead will enhance streetscapes and public spaces, expand arts and cultural activity, and increasing housing and business opportunities.

The Town of Riverhead sits at the junction of the North and South Forks on the East End of Long Island; its location at the mouth of the Peconic River provides access to beaches and other natural resources.

Unlike communities further west, the Town is largely rural and agricultural and has become one of the state’s burgeoning wine-growing regions. Riverhead’s DRI awards will knit existing and new investments together to create a safe, pedestrian-friendly community with better connectivity within the downtown area and between the downtown and the riverfront.

Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said, “For millions around the world, this is the season for ‘believing’. Thank you Governor Hochul, for ‘believing’ in the future of Downtown Riverhead.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as enhancing streetscapes and public gathering spaces, expanding arts and cultural activity, and increasing housing and business opportunities.

  • Enhanced Streetscapes and Public Gathering Places
    • Creating a New Town Square – DRI Award: $3,240,000
      • Build a new public plaza and gathering space that can facilitate year-round activation and provide accessible pedestrian connections and vistas from Main Street to the riverfront.
    • Enhancing Peconic Park with an Adaptive Playground – DRI Award: $245,000
      • Construct a playground and park space with a water feature and educational activities that relates to the waterfront location and utilizes green infrastructure and design to aid in downtown resiliency efforts.
    • Enhancing the Pedestrian Realm Along Main Street – DRI Award: $750,000
      • Install traffic calming design elements to improve pedestrian safety along Main Street at two prominent intersections, including curb bump-outs, raised crosswalks. and pedestrian signalization. Install new street trees and landscaping.
    • Building a New Town Rowing Facility – DRI Award: $250,000
      • Construct a floating ADA accessible community boat launch facility in the Peconic River with space to maneuver and launch crew boats and, if feasible, racks to store the crew boats.
  • Expanded Arts and Cultural Activity
    • Implementing Public Art Program – DRI Award: $250,000
      • Engage local artists to build permanent public artworks in Downtown Riverhead, building on success of existing community artworks.
    • Expanding the Suffolk Theater – DRI Award: $2,000,000
      • Expand an existing, historic theater stage and add green room and back of house functions, all as a component of a larger development with residential units that include workforce housing.
    • Building a New Entrance and Welcome Center for the Library – DRI Award: $215,000
      • Provide a new accessible entrance and pedestrian path with signage, lighting and landscaping and include interior space for a self-serving visitor center providing promotional materials for Downtown businesses and events.
  • Increased Housing and Business Opportunities
    • Creating a Mixed-Use Development at Griffing Avenue – DRI Award: $2,750,000
      • Construct a new mixed-use development consisting of workforce housing and retail/commercial space lining a public parking structure.


Twelve transformational projects in Syracuse‘s Southwest Gateway will improve the community’s walkability, restore historic buildings, and create housing and business opportunities.

The City of Syracuse’s Southwest Gateway is a diverse community that contains historically under-invested residential neighborhoods, commercial corridors centered around historic former mansions, and the famous Salt City Market, which offers food from a wide variety of cultures from around the world.

The area includes many vacant parcels and unoccupied buildings, which have seen a recent increase in investment and provide opportunities for further redevelopment through the DRI. Syracuse’s revitalization focuses on improving the pedestrian experience, bringing vacant and dilapidated buildings back to life for housing, and commercial uses and improving community services.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative will catalyze the redevelopment of underutilized and vacant properties, improve public infrastructure, and increase affordable housing in the Southwest Gateway neighborhood. Following a year of public meetings and community engagement, careful planning and collaboration between City staff, our consulting team, and members of the Common Council, I am excited these transformative projects are now ready to move forward. I thank Governor Hochul and our many partners for this historic investment and their unwavering commitment to the ongoing renaissance of Syracuse’s urban core.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as – enhancing walkability and connectivity between the Southwest Gateway and Downtown Syracuse; expanding business and housing opportunities through redevelopment and infill development; and improving community services.

  • Enhance Walkability and Connectivity Between the Southwest Gateway and Downtown
    • Beautifying the South Avenue Streetscape – DRI Award: $1,378,000
      • Create a more dynamic and functional streetscape on South Avenue by repairing damaged sidewalk panels, adding street furniture and ornamental lighting and creating bike lanes.
    • Redesigning and Reconstructing the Salina & Onondaga Intersection – DRI Award: $1,001,000
      • Improve two intersections on West Onondaga Street, incorporating safer crossings for pedestrians, bicycle lanes and curb bump-outs.
    • Activating West Onondaga Street’s Railroad Bridge – DRI Award: $599,000
      • Create a new public gathering space under an active railroad bridge. The space will include lighting, seating, plantings and murals.
  • Expand Business and Housing Opportunities through Redevelopment and Infill Development
    • Revitalizing & Repurposing Three Historic Abandoned Buildings – DRI Award: $1,217,000
      • Restore three vacant historic buildings at the corner of West Onondaga Street and South Avenue, the two anchor avenues of the Southwest Gateway. Trinity Church, Gillette House and the Parish House will be rehabilitated and converted for use as a brewery, office space and housing.
    • Constructing the Trinity South Avenue Mixed Use Development – DRI Award: $1,000,000
      • Construct a mixed-income residential project containing approximately 62 rental housing units and retail or community facility space.
    • Creating a Façade Improvement Fund – DRI Award: $600,000
      • Create a grant fund for local business owners to restore their building façades, beautify ground-level interior commercial spaces, and retrofit building entrances.
    • Restoring Whedon House – DRI Award: $530,000
      • Renovate a vacant historic mansion. The final restoration will include residential apartments, commercial space, and public space.
    • Constructing the Jubilee Workforce Center – DRI Award: $500,000
      • Create a mixed-use building that will include a workforce training center on the first floor and workforce apartments on the second and third floors.
    • Installing Business Corridor Broadband – DRI Award: $460,000
      • Install fiber backhaul infrastructure and wireless equipment to enhance internet connectivity along the West Onondaga Street and South Avenue business corridors.
    • Redeveloping the Former B&B Lounge – DRI Award: $300,000
      • Restore a former bar and restaurant into a lounge space for a restaurant with housing units above the restaurant.
  • Improve Community Services
    • Redesigning the Southwest Community Center – DRI Award: $1,115,000
      • Provide interior and exterior enhancements to the Southwest Community Center, including a new façade, public restroom upgrades and gym improvements.
    • Constructing the Rescue Mission’s Campus – DRI Award: $1,000,000
      • Construct a new facility for the Rescue Mission on a vacant parcel on West Onondaga Street. The new building will include a warehouse on the first floor with commercial/retail space and office space on the second floor.


Eight transformational projects in the City of Oneida will leverage the community’s rich historic resources to create more housing and business opportunities.

The City of Oneida developed and grew around the expansion of the New York State Canal System in the 1830s and continues to highlight its Canal legacy as a catalyst for growth, tourism and quality of life. The City’s dense, walkable downtown contains significant architectural and historical assets on which to build its resurgence. Oneida’s revitalization is focused on improving its parks, public amenities and streetscape infrastructure and creating new mixed-use spaces.

City of Oneida Mayor Helen Acker said, “We are very excited with the announcement of the funded projects for the Oneida DRI. I would like to thank Governor Kathy Hochul for her investment in downtown Oneida’s future. With the combination of both government and private partnership this is the single largest investment in Oneida’s history. It is a game changer for our city. I would also like to thank our Local Planning Committee, Oneida’s Planning Department, the Department of State and the Central New York REDC.

The investments are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities within the Central New York Region. The DRI is led by the Department of State, which provides technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as – increasing the City’s walkability and bikeability; expanding business and housing opportunities by redeveloping and repurposing existing buildings; and improving public spaces and amenities.

  • Increase the City’s Walkability and Bikeability
    • Improving Downtown Infrastructure and Streetscaping – DRI Award: $1,521,000
      • Improve streetscape and pavement to portions of Main St., Broad St., Madison St., Farrier Ave. and Vanderbilt Ave., with bicycle infrastructure added to Sconondoa St.
  • Expand Business and Housing Opportunities by Redeveloping and Repurposing Existing Buildings
    • Reimagining the Vacant Hotel Oneida – DRI Award: $2,900,000
      • Rehabilitate the iconic hotel to provide new downtown mixed-use space including several apartments, a restaurant/pub and a banquet space.
    • Restoring and Upgrading the Devereaux Building – DRI Award: $1,569,000
      • Restore and upgrade the Devereaux building into a mixed-use residential, retail and commercial redevelopment.
    • Redeveloping the Lerman Building for Commercial and Residential Uses – DRI Award: $1,141,000
      • Redevelop an underused building to leverage all 20,000 square feet, including the creation of townhouse-style apartments and commercial spaces, and expand the existing Oneida CoWorks space to include new offices and a conference room.
    • Developing a Downtown Business Assistance Fund – DRI Award: $600,000
      • Create a matching grant fund for façade improvements and interior improvements, including heavy equipment and permanent installations. The fund will be administered by Madison County.
    • Establishing a Form-Based Zoning Overlay District – DRI Award: $100,000
      • Create a form-based code and overlay district for the DRI area to ensure that future development meets the aesthetic intent of the city.
  • Improve Public Spaces and Amenities
    • Upgrading Facilities at Veteran’s Memorial Park – DRI Award: $1,059,000
      • Install an ADA Splashpad and a Pickleball court on the Veteran’s Field campus and implement repairs/upgrades for the bathhouse facilities. Develop a new memorial area at Veteran’s Memorial Playfield to honor veterans from various armed forces.
    • Developing Area Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Soccer Fields – DRI Award: $760,000
      • Build soccer fields and parking areas on former flood sites to encourage downtown area sports. FEMA has already approved of these uses being built on this site.


Nine transformational projects in the City of Norwich will leverage the community’s rich historic, cultural and natural resources, attracting residents and visitors to downtown.

The City of Norwich is the major population center in Chenango County and a hub for commerce, education, services and tourism. Norwich’s revitalization is focused on adaptive reuse of historic buildings, enhancing the public realm, park spaces and the arts, promoting connectivity and attracting commuters to live and tourists to visit downtown.

The investments are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy and create more opportunities within the Southern Tier Region. The DRI is led by the Department of State, which provides technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area.

Assemblymember Joseph Angelino said, “I am pleased to see such robust and comprehensive investment being injected into the Norwich community which will enhance our residents’ quality of life and strengthen our cultural appeal. Facilitating foot traffic in our downtown area and providing local access to housing is a win-win for our small businesses, our residents, and the entire tourism economy as we work to build up the Southern Tier Region of our state. As a life-long Norwich resident, I thank those stakeholders who advocated strongly for these awards and I am excited to see these projects come to fruition.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as – enhancing business and housing opportunities by redeveloping and repurposing existing buildings; improving streetscape walkability and public spaces; and expanding arts and cultural amenities.

  • Enhance Business and Housing Opportunities by Redeveloping and Repurposing Existing Buildings
    • Creating the Downtown Norwich Boutique Hotel – DRI Award: $3,360,000
      • Create a new, boutique hotel that will bring approximately 45 high-quality hotel rooms to the heart of downtown Norwich. The hotel will also feature an event room and a café.
    • Rehabilitating the Unguentine Building – DRI Award: $3,006,000
      • Redevelop more than 10,000 square feet of new commercial space and approximately two dozen new apartments to activate a long-vacant, historic building.
    • Rehabilitating the Heritage Building – DRI Award: $292,000
      • Activate the historic Heritage Building with a healthy food market and local brewery.
    • Rehabilitating 15-19 Lackawanna Avenue – DRI Award: $140,000
      • Install facade improvements and interior renovations to create apartments and retail space in some of Norwich’s oldest buildings.
    • Establishing the Downtown Norwich Small Project Grant Fund – DRI Award: $600,000
      • Create a matching grant fund to help property owners improve their buildings or beautify the public realm.
  • Improve Streetscape Walkability and Public Spaces
    • Enhancing the American Avenue Streetscape – DRI Award: $470,000
      • Create a safer and more welcoming American Avenue with better lighting, more amenities and a brand-new look and feel.
    • Improving East, West and Library Parks – DRI Award: $1,097,000
      • Upgrade Norwich’s three central parks to expand programming and support more events.
  • Expand Arts and Cultural Opportunities
    • Upgrading the Chenango Arts Council’s Martin Kappel Theater – DRI Award: $570,000
      • Upgrade the seating, lighting and audio-visual equipment in the Martin Kappel Theater for a better all-around experience.
    • Upgrading the Colonia Theatre – DRI Award: $165,000
      • Upgrade the Colonia Theatre with new and improved seating, a digital addition to the historic marquee and more family-friendly entertainment options.


Eight transformational projects in the Village of Endicott will attract businesses, create jobs and grow the workforce to expand the local innovation economy.

The Village of Endicott is experiencing an influx of advanced manufacturing businesses, which has brought with it more people and jobs that can contribute to the downtown’s vibrancy. The DRI area brings together four distinct areas of downtown—the Downtown Core; the Huron Campus; Little Italy; and the Western gateway. Endicott’s DRI investments will strengthen connectivity between the downtown Core and surrounding neighborhoods and establish a strong sense of place to ensure that these areas function as an integrated downtown community.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said, “It’s an exciting time in Endicott as innovation and advanced manufacturing are returning to this part of Broome County. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative award will help build on this progress by breathing new life into properties along Washington Avenue and the surrounding area. New housing, workforce development space, retail, and recreation will all play an important role in the ongoing redevelopment of Endicott. Thank you to Governor Hochul as well as all our local leaders for continuing to believe in Broome County!

The DRI investments are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities within the Southern Tier. The DRI is led by the Department of State, which provides technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area.

Mayor Linda Jackson, “We have been working a long time to rejuvenate the Village through redevelopment, renovation and revitalization. The projects included in this award will support our goals to create jobs, support housing development, and make our village more inviting with new storefronts, lighting and streetscapes. This DRI grant will be a great ‘shot in the arm’ for our upcoming future! Thank you very much from all of us here in the Village of Endicott!

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as – improving streetscape walkability and connectivity; enhancing business and housing opportunities by redeveloping existing properties and vacant spaces; and expanding community services and cultural amenities. The $9.7 million State investment in these projects through the DRI will leverage additional public and private investments as the revitalization process proceeds and builds momentum.

  • Improve Streetscape Walkability and Connectivity
    • Improving Downtown Connectivity – DRI Award: $3,156,000
      • Implement a multi-pronged initiative to better link areas of the Downtown through measures such as sidewalk and streetscape improvements, signage, landscaping and lighting.
  • Enhance Housing and Employment Opportunities by Redeveloping Existing Properties and Vacant Space
    • Redeveloping a Vacant 18-Acre Site – DRI Award: $3,120,000
      • Revitalize a long-vacant site as a warehouse distribution center, bringing jobs to Endicott and transforming the western gateway into the Village’s Downtown core.
    • Renovating 32-36 Washington Avenue for Mixed Uses – DRI Award: $910,000
      • Implement interior renovations and facade upgrades to a large mixed-use building to create two upper-floor apartments, strengthen existing tenants and bring in new uses including a restaurant.
    • Implementing a Downtown Revitalization Fund – DRI Award: $600,000
      • Create a fund to help small businesses and property owners in the DRI Area make capital improvements. Eligible activities include facade improvements, interior upgrades, small business creation and expansion and green building elements.
    • Constructing a Workforce Housing Development – DRI Award: $402,000
      • Build a new, mixed-use development with workforce housing and ground floor retail on a parking lot at a key location along Washington Avenue.
    • Upgrading the Facade of 54 Washington Avenue – DRI Award: $100,000
      • Upgrade and improve the facade to support an ongoing interior renovation project, retaining the ground-floor business and upgrading spaces for upper-story office and residential uses.
  • Expand Community Services and Cultural Amenities
    • Revitalizing the Southern Tier Community Center – DRI Award: $1,141,000
      • Implement a series of building and site upgrades to help the Center better serve the Endicott community through improved interior spaces, lower energy costs and a smaller carbon footprint and capital improvements that will keep the building safe and vibrant for years to come.
    • Creating a New York Wine Tasting Facility – DRI Award: $271,000
      • Establish a new wine tasting business in a newly constructed building in Little Italy, bringing vitality to the neighborhood.


Photo of Niagara Falls, NY via Pixabay.

This is the exception mentioned at the beginning of this article. These two transformative projects in Niagara Falls are not funded via the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, but are very similar in their revitalization goals.

The projects are designed to attract new residents, visitors and development to the downtown and help reconnect the people of Niagara Falls to the waterways that define the City’s identity. The Niagara Falls Heritage Gateways project, which comprises five public gateway features intended to stimulate reinvestment in Niagara Falls, will move forward.

City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said, Niagara Falls continues to captivate visitors and locals with its power and beauty. The creation of the Heritage Gateways will provide more opportunity for enjoyment of our natural wonder and bring additional venues for entertainment to downtown to join the exciting expansion of our Aquarium of Niagara.

In addition, New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has approved an agreement authorizing the Aquarium of Niagara to manage operations at the currently closed Niagara Gorge Discovery Center. Construction will now start on transforming the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center into Great Lakes 360 — an exciting new space for Great Lakes-focused exhibits.

We are forging a new path forward for Niagara Falls — making targeted investments that will help draw tourists and transform the community,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The Niagara Heritage Gateway Project and Great Lakes 360 will bring exciting new developments to the city’s downtown, attracting new visitors, stimulating the local economy and making the community an even better place to live.

Niagara Falls Heritage Gateway Project

The $12 million Niagara Falls Heritage Gateway Project focuses on the northern and southern ends of a proposed “Downtown Niagara Falls Heritage Path,” which aims to expand activities downtown while strengthening the connections between downtown Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls State Park.

New York-based firm Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), who spearheaded the development of a conceptual development strategy for the downtown area in 2021, has been selected to lead the design. Conceptual renderings can be found here.

The scope of the Gateways Project will include:

  • Reinterpreting a stretch of the historic Niagara Falls Power Company’s hydraulic canal as an engaging public plaza that illustrates the history of large-scale electricity production and its effects on the American society in its design.
  • Constructing an observation deck along the border of Niagara Falls State Park, accessible from Buffalo Avenue and linked via stairway to the park itself, with panoramic views of the American Rapids and Goat Island. The design will preserve existing tree coverage and provide opportunities for outdoor seating.
  • Transforming DiFranco Park into a multi-use pavilion for outdoor performances, recreation and public gathering spaces, in partnership with the City of Niagara Falls.
  • Creating a pocket park at the corner of Buffalo Avenue and 1st Street that will provide respite and activate the streetscape.
  • Establishing an interpretive park at the Cataract House Hotel historic site to tell the story of the Underground Railroad and how African American hotel staff played a prominent role in helping freedom seekers escape to Canada.

Throughout 2020 and 2021 the USA Niagara Development Corporation — an Empire State Development subsidiary — and Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) devised a strategy for the redevelopment of several vacant or underutilized properties in Niagara Falls, which had been acquired in 2018 as part of a strategic land-acquisition program funded through New York State.

The “Downtown Niagara Falls Development Strategy” illustrates a range of interim interventions and attainable development guidelines to re-imagine a vibrant downtown in the near-term while building momentum and continuing to promote sustainable dynamic growth and development over time. The Niagara Falls Heritage Gateways project stems from this strategy and includes several of the interim interventions recommended to activate parcels ahead of private-sector development.

The Niagara Falls Heritage Gateways project is funded by the state with $10 million through Buffalo Billion II and $2 million through the Regional Revitalization Partnership. Build out of the project is expected in 2024.

Niagara Gorge Discovery Center Project

The $5 million Great Lakes 360 project will be a living museum that highlights the notable wildlife of the Niagara River and the larger Great Lakes ecosystem while celebrating the area’s unique geological history. The project’s focus on accessible exhibit design will transform the building into a one-stop destination where visitors of all ages and abilities can experience the ecological story of the region all year round. The completed project will increase the number of living exhibits at the Aquarium by 40 percent. See renderings here.

The Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, also known as the Schoellkopf Geological Museum, is positioned at the precipice of the Niagara Gorge and situated just 500 feet southwest of the Aquarium’s main building. Under the agreement with NY Parks, the Aquarium will renovate the vacant building, creating new space for Great Lakes-focused exhibits aptly situated along the new greenspace created through the recently completed removal of the former Robert Moses Parkway.

Great Lakes 360 is fully funded following a recently announced $1 million capital grant through Market NY and a previously announced $675,000 ESD grant.

Other supporters include the East Hill Foundation, Grigg Lewis Foundation, John R. Oishei Foundation, KeyBank and First Niagara Foundation, M&T Charitable Foundation, Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, National Grid, Niagara County IDA, Niagara River Greenway in partnership with the City of Niagara Falls, and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds. The project builds upon more than $10 million in capital improvements the Aquarium has made since 2018 and demonstrates the Aquarium’s commitment to enhancing the visitor experience through dynamic and engaging attractions.

This partnership between New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Aquarium of Niagara expands the Aquarium’s geographic footprint and opens the opportunity for the Aquarium to develop a campus-like presence in downtown Niagara Falls. The opening of a new indoor, year-round attraction in this location also creates critical mass in a developing area of the Niagara Falls State Park.

The Niagara Gorge Discovery Center opened in 1971 under management of New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Located at the site of one of the first hydroelectric power plants in the United States, the seasonal attraction showcased the natural history of the Falls and the Niagara Gorge. It has been closed to the public since October 2020.

The new partnership between New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and the Aquarium of Niagara will breathe new life into the space in a way that celebrates the natural history of its location and motivates more than 200,000 annual visitors to protect the region’s rich resources for generations to come.

Photo of the Huntley Generating Station in North Tonawanda, New York courtesy of Google Earth.

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