Long Island Regional Economic Development Council Submits One-Year Progress Report
The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC) 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 LIREDC provided the State with its list of 16 Long Island Priority Projects comprised of 31 CFA project components that the Council has endorsed for the second round of the Regional Council’s CFA competition.
The progress report can be found at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/long-island
“As successful as last year’s priority capital projects were at creating jobs and generating energy and confidence in the LIREDC and the broad coalition with which it works, the Long Island Regional Council believes Round Two is even more important,” said Regional Council Co-chairs Kevin Law, President of Long Island Association and Stuart Rabinowitz, President of Hofstra University. “Several of the first year projects are proposed for additional funding, signaling a continued commitment to the progress, principles and promise they embody. The remaining projects are expected to lift the trajectory of transformation that the LIREDC is seeking and align the region closer to the vision for our economy and communities that Gov. Cuomo asked us to set forth in our Strategic Plan.”
The critical focus for the Long Island Regional Council in 2012 has been its progress in implementing its 2011 priority projects. Contracts have been executed with all Round One recipients and projects are moving forward with quantifiable progress. These 62 projects involving State investment of $57.8M have resulted in the retention and creation of over 6,000 jobs and the commitment of $81.5M in other funds as of June 30, 2012 as reported by the recipients pursuant to a Data Collection system implemented for the monitoring of progress over the long term. The Council’s emphasis in the Progress Report on accountability and performance is an important component.
Highlighted projects included key training programs that have been implemented, advances in the STEM projects involving NS-LIJ, Farmingdale State College, Brookhaven National Lab and Long Island Forum for Technology and a large-scale business expansion project at Amneal Pharmaceuticals in Yaphank. A September 6 visit to Plainview aerospace contractor, Cox and Company, a Round One recipient of Excelsior Tax Credits to support the acquisition of machinery and equipment, was also described for the Council members.
Also, the incorporation of the Path Through History Initiative, along with modified strategies to support arts as well as historic properties and heritage tourism were summarized and an earlier recommendation regarding SEQRA was withdrawn.
On September 12, 2012 the LIREDC endorsed projects requesting over $30M in State capital investment for 16 Round Two Priority Projects involving 31 recipients that have the potential to create 7,763 construction jobs, 547 permanent jobs, retain 2,602 existing jobs, leverage $1B in private and other investment and move the region decisively closer to meeting dozens of specific strategies. In addition, the Council recommended 11 projects for $13.3M in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits that have the potential to create 693 jobs and retain 1,562 jobs.
The following 16 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:
- SGRID3 – Funding is recommended to accomplish the final design of two research facilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University that will further development of a Smart Grid. The future impact of this innovative project will result in greater statewide utility efficiency, savings, and collaborative research.
- Broad Hollow Bioscience Facility – Funding to support the proposed 30,000 s.f. expansion of the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park on 38.5 acres at Farmingdale State College to meet a critical need for incubator space to accommodate spin-offs from Long Island research facilities and retain and create life sciences jobs in the region.
- Winthrop University Hospital – Funding is proposed to support the construction of an $80 million, 94,000 s.f. Research Institute - a medical research and education building in the Village of Mineola that will focus on diabetes and obesity. It will create 45 new jobs and is a key element of the Mineola revitalization effort.
- Stony Brook Center for Biomedicine – Research facility with biotechnology incubator space at Stony Brook University’s Research and Development Park will expand on the Park’s unique synergy of biomedical, engineering and biotechnology resources.
- Business Investments – A diverse cross section of private sector businesses strongly reflecting a regional vision to support innovation, entrepreneurship and natural assets is proposed to receive funding for projects with a combined total project cost of $34,919,330 that will create jobs, develop new technologies, implement advanced manufacturing, support "Grown on Long Island" initiatives, and bring tourists to our region.
- Ronkonkoma HUB – Round Two project will support the construction of a sewage collection system for the Ronkonkoma Hub transit-oriented development. System is needed to connect the proposed mixed use redevelopment project a to new sewage treatment plant being constructed by Suffolk County with Round One Regional Council support. A second component in the Town of Islip involves the construction of a four lane access road of approximately 9,000 linear feet to a 60-acre undeveloped parcel at MacArthur Airport. This project is critical to the retention of the FAA Tracon Facility on Long Island and retention of 800 jobs.
- Wyandanch Rising – The Round Two project will construct a new Long Island Railroad station and pedestrian overpass, providing access to new commuter parking areas in Wyandanch, the most economically distressed community in Suffolk County. Long-term strong support from the Town of Babylon and Suffolk County will ensure successful transformation of this area into a vibrant, stable, and sustainable downtown.
- Wincoram Commons – A mixed-use project to address a “Blight to Light” site targeted by the Town of Brookhaven for redevelopment includes multifamily rental housing and retail. Regional Council investment in infrastructure improvements including sewer connection and expansion, as well as wetland mitigation will transform a 17 acre blighted property into a hamlet center for Coram. This transit-oriented development integrates smart growth principles, pedestrian oriented design, and vibrant community life.
- Nassau HUB – Nassau County proposes the redevelopment of the 77-acre Nassau Hub area to include a new state-of-the-art indoor sports arena, minor league baseball park, retail, office and residential development. This property is the largest redevelopment site in Nassau County and, given its proximity to New York City, has great potential for job creation and economic development.
- Hempstead Village – Round Two project will continue repairs and new construction to the aging, deteriorated sewage system essential for redevelopment of the distressed central Hempstead Village Business District.
- Meadows at Yaphank – Mixed-use development comprised of residential, retail, office, hospitality, parks, and open space. Project will address an area lacking rental housing units needed by young professionals, area employees, and mid- Suffolk research facilities.
- Brookhaven Rail Terminal – Expansion of the rail terminal in Yaphank to include construction of a 500,000 s.f. refrigerated warehouse and a multi-modal rail freight facility to transport of product on and off Long Island. Current deliveries of crushed stone, flour, and biodiesel products will be augmented by produce and turf grass shipments.
- Sheltair – Construction of 225,000 s.f. of hangar space and up to 72,000 s.f. of office space by a Fixed Base Operator at Republic Airport. Expansion of facilities at this mid-island airport will support job growth by tenants and is a critical component of the Route 110 corridor economic redevelopment effort.
- Commercial Fishing Infrastructure Improvements – Infrastructure improvements to two commercial fish processing , packing and distribution facilities in Montauk, the largest fishing port in New York State. The project will increase their competitiveness and profitability. The commercial fishing industry infrastructure on Long Island has deteriorated and this factor is limiting the volume and value of fish landed. A vital industry in New York State, in 2009 it generated a landed value of $49 million.
- STEM – Continuation of the Regional Council’s Round One initiative to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education ("STEM") throughout Long Island with a laser-focused emphasis on providing educational opportunities for youth from disadvantaged communities. The commitment continues and is expanded with a consortium of five visionary STEM projects supporting educational institutions, increasing engineering graduates, enhancing medical education and training our youth for high paying technology careers on Long Island.
- EngINE – Continuation of the EngINE initiative implemented in 2012 as a result of Round One funding to address the critical need for engineers on Long Island. Project undertaken by Farmingdale State College and NYIT will raise the engineering graduation rates at these institutions by 15%.
Governor Cuomo created the Regional Councils and 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 – http://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.