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Capital Region Economic Development Council Submits One-Year Progress Report

CREDC Endorses 33 Priority Projects for 2012 round of Regional Council Competition
(September 17, 2012)

Capital Region Economic Development Council Submits One-Year Progress Report

The Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC) submitted its one-year progress report to the State on September 14, 2012, which provides detail on the Council's achievements in implementing its five year strategic plan. The report includes a description of how the Council established a framework to advance the plan, revisions to some of its strategies, an implementation agenda and a tracking of the advancement of priority job-creating projects awarded in 2011. Additionally, the CREDC provided the State with its list of the 33 priority projects the Council has endorsed for the second round of the Regional Council competition.

The progress report can be found at www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/capital-region and www.capitalregionopenforbusiness.com.

"I have enjoyed working with our Council as we continue to shape the way New York, and the Capital Region specifically, embraces economic development to regain its position as a capital of commerce," said Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU and CREDC Co-Chair. "The development of our economic ecosystem within the Capital Region will be a catalyst to making the Capital Region a destination of choice and one that works for business and benefits all residents."

"Playing to our strengths while addressing our challenges - engaging academic, government, business, and other civic leaders - we are laying the foundation and building the framework for long-term, sustainable growth," said Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President and CREDC co-chair Shirley Ann Jackson. "We remain focused on putting the programs and tools in place, preparing the workforce, and creating the environment for innovative change, healthy communities, and economic security."

Over the last year, the CREDC has remained focused on its vision to create a robust Economic Ecosystem for sustainable growth in the Capital Region and has seen an unprecedented collaboration across all sectors in an effort to develop and implement its strategic roadmap for the eight- county region. The Council has restructured its workgroups to better implement and improve its 5 year strategic plan, new coalitions have emerged from this planning process, and progress is evident on many of the 2011 funded projects across the region.

Ninety percent of the 88 projects awarded funding in 2011 are on target for a timely completion; 75% of the projects have executed contracts with State funding agencies; and 80% have commenced as a result of funding. Examples of Round I projects being implemented include:

  • The University at Albany - RNA Institute, with the assistance of Round I funding, will continue its work of technology development in the RNA niche that exists nowhere else in the US by developing commercially viable research that will stimulate major additional corporate investment, commercialization, and early drug development.
  • Ecovative Design - This local manufacturer of bio-based materials has expanded its facility and workforce in Albany County to accommodate increased production of EcoCradle┬«, its unique, sustainable packaging product.
  • Center for Economic Growth - The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program application, when complete, will establish a Regional Center to attract foreign investment and create jobs in the Capital Region. The Center for Economic Growth anticipates submitting the application to U.S. Homeland Security's EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program by the end of September.
  • The Olana Partnership- the non-profit support arm of the Olana State Historic Site-a significant tourist destination in the region, is moving forward with two critical historic preservation projects.

The following 33 projects were endorsed by the Council and submitted to the State as regional priorities for the second round of the Regional Council initiative's competitive grant funding process:

  • The Urban Grow Center - The Urban Grow Center will include an expanded produce storage and distribution hub in Troy.
  • Schenectady Firehouse - The Career Development Division of Northeast Parent and Child Society will purchase and renovate the former Schenectady Fire Department Firehouse for its Home Energy Connection program in Schenectady.
  • High Nitrate Demonstration Project - This project will construct a direct pipeline from Ames Goldsmith Corp. plant in Glens Falls to the City of Glens Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • Town of Prattsville Disaster Recovery Implementation Phase One - The project involves acquiring the Becker property, the largest potential redevelopment in the Prattsville hamlet that is above flood stage, to create new housing and commercial opportunities.
  • The RNA Institute - This project will assist with the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment as a research resource to be located in the Institute's brand new Advanced Instrumentation Facility at the University at Albany.
  • Mohawk Lifts - This project involves the construction of a 67,000 square foot manufacturing facility to manufacture heavy-duty vehicle lifts in Glenville.
  • Park South Mixed Use Redevelopment - This revitalization project includes improvements in streets, sidewalks, curbs, pedestrian crossings, street trees, and water and sewer mains to prepare a two-block area for mixed-use development funded by private investors in Albany.
  • Hudson Valley Food Hub - This project will expand the infrastructure of two successful food processing and distribution firms that serve New York State farms- Farm to Table Co-Packers and Hudson Valley Harvest.
  • The Esplanade- Empire Warehousing Corp. will construct a mixed-use project, including rental housing, retail and office space, entertainment venues, dining, indoor and outdoor recreational uses in Mechanicville.
  • Hudson Avenue Parking Structure - This project includes the acquisition and construction of a 400-500 vehicle parking structure on Hudson Avenue in downtown Glens Falls.
  • Olana Showcase our Beauty 2012 - This project will allow for the implementation of a significant project identified in Olana's Landscape Restoration Plan- the restoration of the area that surrounds the main house.
  • Prosit- Davidson Brothers, Inc. will build and operate a unique craft brewery system to replace current product production from the Shipyard Brewery in Portland, Maine.
  • Catamount Resort - This project will assist with the construction of phase one, which includes required infrastructure, site improvement work, as well as 54 shared ownership suites, new lodge space, reception space, guest locker rooms/lounges, guest amenities, a spa, retail, banquet and restaurant space.
  • AMRI Expansion for Diagnostic Imaging Agent - This project will assist with the manufacture a key chemical intermediate that will be used to make a commercially available diagnostic imaging agent at the company's active pharmaceutical ingredient plant in Rensselaer.
  • NY CAP Research Alliance - This project will provide seed funding for collaborative research among member organizations which will be leveraged to attract future federal and industry funding.
  • Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center SCiTI at Kiernan Plaza - This project will preserve the historic nature and long-term value of Kiernan Plaza, attracting economically stable and synergistic high-tech companies to downtown Albany.
  • DeLaets Landing Phase I & Rensselaer Riverfront Development- These projects involve shovel- ready, large, mixed use development along the waterfront in the City of Rensselaer and include a new public Esplanade along the waters edge for over 1,000 linear feet, public boat slips as well as small boat/kayak launch.
  • Regional Agribusiness and Food Systems Finance Program - This project will develop a regional agribusiness and food systems financing program to provide loans to local food and agricultural businesses that bring employment and investment to the region while supporting the development and/or enhancement of the regional food system.
  • Arsenal Biomass Cogen - This project includes building 300,000 square feet of new data center, manufacturing and R&D space, creating at least 500 permanent and 1,700 construction jobs, while preserving the existing Army R&D and manufacturing operations at the Watervliet Arsenal.
  • ZEN Building- College of Nanoscale, Sciene & Engineering - This project will construct an approximately 100,000 square foot zero energy nano tech building at the current College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering site in Albany.
  • Proctors Downtown Green Energy Expansion- This three-part project is designed to greatly improve energy efficiency and reduce the costs associated with energy consumption in multiple buildings in downtown Schenectady connected to the PTR District power plant.
  • BioMass Industrial Park and Clean Energy Distribution Center- This project will assist Green Renewable, Inc. to utilize bio-mass harvested from New York's forests to manufacture and distribute a variety of agribusiness and renewable energy products, including fuel chips, mulch and livestock bedding.
  • Hacker Boat Company Expansion- This project will assist the company to relocate to and renovate a 116,400 square foot facility in Queensbury.
  • Albany Waterfront Performance Place and Livingston Landing - This project will assist in the redevelopment of the Albany Waterfront into a premier destination for waterfront events and performances, as well as a local and regional destination for recreation, waterfront access and services, and Hudson River-based tourism.
  • CCNIPetascale - This project, part of a plan involving investments across 5 regions of NYS, seeks to enhance and deploy computational resources to continue and expand the High Performance Computing Consortium (HPC2) program, which provides computational consulting and other services to industry.
  • Rotterdam MultiModal Center - This project will support the expansion of Railex in its efforts to equip the Capital Region with increased interstate-accessible "green," energy efficient rail transport capabilities.
  • WWARC Community Kitchen Project- This project will support the construction a community kitchen and cafeteria in Queensbury.
  • Stainless Steel Foundry - This project will install stainless steel casting capability at the GL&V USA Hudson Falls facility.
  • Senior Services Meals on Wheels Kitchen - This project will create a new 3,300 square foot state of the art, commercial teaching kitchen facility in Albany.
  • Transfinder NYBizlab- This project includes the purchase the First Niagara Building in downtown Schenectady to continue expanding its successful operations and create the NYBizLab, a business accelerator targeted to technology start-ups, specifically software companies.
  • Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) - This project will reconstruct and update science and research laboratories in Albany.
  • Research Facility- This project will support the development of a shared-use facility in the Rensselaer Technology Park campus. An existing facility located within the Tech Park at 465 Jordan Road in North Greenbush will be acquired and critical upgrades to the facility made.

**Projects not listed as a priority project in this competitive portion, including the other 13 Council priority projects announced on Monday, September 10, will be eligible for additional funding available through various State agencies as a part of the CFA process.**

Governor Cuomo created Regional Councils and the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to fundamentally change New York's operating model for economic development and job creation. The Regional Councils have transformed the way the State invests in economic development, shifting from a top-down approach to a community-based, performance-driven model which empowers individual regions to develop, invest in, and advance regional solutions and job-creating projects to spur economic growth.

Last year, $785 million was awarded for job-creating economic and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans. To build on the success of the first round, a second round of up to $762 million in State resources was launched in 2012. Funding for the second round includes $220 million in competitive grant funding ($150 million in capital and $70 million in tax credits) to implement regional strategic plans and continue to advance priority job-creating projects, and up to $542 million from State agency programs through the CFA to support regionally-significant economic development projects.

Five awards of $25 million will be made, and the competition will have two parts:

  • First, the four regions with the 2011 Best Plans will compete for two awards of up to $25 million each in capital funds. Awards will be made based on the progress the Regional Councils have made implementing their strategies and evolution of their strategic plans
  • Second, the remaining six regions will compete for three awards of up to $25 million each in capital funds. Awards will be made based on the regions' revised and updated strategic plans and progress made implementing their strategies

The balance of the $25 million in capital will be available for priority projects in the remaining five regions. In addition, each region will also be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in the region.

Following the submission of each region's one-year progress reports, beginning in mid-September, the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team will visit each of the 10 regions, to hear oral presentations and participate in a tour of the Councils' implementation activity and priority projects. These tours will make New York's economic development process more transparent, open and publicly-accessible. Funding awards for the second round of the CFA process are expected to be announced this fall.

As part of "The New New York Works for Business" campaign, the State has launched a new website - www.thenewNY.com - which provides quick access to information for all areas of business assistance available from New York State. From starting a business, to accessing tax credits and funding incentives, to international trade, to regional assistance, this is a one-stop shop for all businesses to successfully thrive in New York.

To learn more about each Regional Council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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