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Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Submits One-Year Progress Report

CNY REDC Endorses 34 Priority Projects for 2012 Round of the Regional Council Competition
(September 17, 2012)

Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Submits One-Year Progress Report

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council (CNY REDC) 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 CNY REDC provided the State with its list of the 34 priority projects the Council has endorsed for the second round of the Regional Council competition.

The progress report can be found at

“Last year, the CNY REDC developed a five year strategy to grow the regional economy that was recognized as the best plan in the state and included transformational projects that are revitalizing our communities and creating quality jobs for our residents,” said Regional Council Co-chairs Nancy Cantor, Chancellor & President of Syracuse University, and Robert Simpson, President of CenterState CEO. “In 2012, we continue to focus and refine our strategies to sustainably grow the region’s economy by strengthening key industries, increasing our global competitiveness, and revitalizing our municipal cores. The priority projects endorsed by the Council this year support the growth and expansion of businesses and community initiatives, and further invest in our main streets in the cities, towns and villages across Central New York. We look forward to seeing last year’s projects progress and near completion, and we remain committed to advancing long-term transformational change though our Five-Year Strategic Plan in order to lead our region and the state to greater prosperity.”

In 2012, the CNY REDC is implementing strategies that most immediately transform communities and increase the region’s economic growth. The Council’s priorities include advancing Round 1 projects, working to select Round 2 projects that accomplish multiple goals and strategies, creating a more collaborative and inclusive environment for economic development, and leveraging outside investments that support the plan. One of the most notable changes implemented by the Council this year has been the development of Transformational Initiative teams to take the lead on long-term economic development efforts in targeted areas. These leadership teams will provide insight and expertise to coordinate investments and policies that advance the implementation of the Transformational Initiatives established in the Five-Year Strategic Plan.

In the first round of the Regional Council initiative, the Central New York Region was awarded $103.7 million in state resources through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process to support 74 capital projects. Currently, 68 of those projects have executed contracts with the State and 51 projects are underway. Three projects are finalizing the details and remain on schedule, while three companies chose to decline the assistance. In addition, 90 percent of the active projects are projected to be finished by the end of 2014. These projects are growing and sustaining jobs in core industries, generating new construction that is improving the physical character of the region’s communities, and advancing the Council’s strategic plan.

The following 34 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:

  • Empire Farmstead Brewery, Inc. Startup – Empire Farmstead Brewery will construct a new 20,000 sq. ft. facility and the project includes manufacturing, farming, value-added food processing, agri-tourism, and the potential to expand the product into international markets.
  • Plaza of the Arts Mixed-Use Development – Grant Avenue Development, Inc. will replace a derelict property with a 20,000 sq. ft., two-story mixed-use building (office, commercial, and retail/restaurant) to be named the "Plaza of the Arts." In addition to its upscale retail and restaurant amenities, and its new business tenants, the Plaza of the Arts will draw visitors to its pedestrian and park-like outdoor spaces. As a result, the Plaza is considered to be a key component in the revitalization of downtown Auburn through the development of a growing "Cultural Corridor" in Auburn, which includes the forthcoming construction of a new performance center for the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival.
  • Syracuse Stage Renovations – Syracuse Stage will renovate and convert the Arthur Storch Theatre from a fixed proscenium theater into a flexible performance space. The project will also convert an existing Syracuse warehouse into a new production center for the construction and painting of scenery and props.
  • Rapid Response Monitoring Services Expansion – Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc. will renovate its existing facility, construct a new 20,000 sq. ft. facility on its current parking lot, and construct a new parking lot adjacent to the two facilities.
  • Design Concepts and Enterprises Expansion – Design Concepts and Enterprises, LLC, the world's largest manufacturer of wound closure apparatuses, will construct a 12,000 sq. ft. expansion to its existing facility, which is at capacity.
  • Pall Corp.'s Finger Lakes Center of Excellence Expansion – Pall Corporation will create a state-of-the-art research and development facility within existing space at one of its three Cortland facilities. The Pall Finger Lakes Center of Excellence and will become the primary technology center serving Pall's $1.3 billion industrial business
  • The Gear Factory Renovations – The Gear Factory will complete renovations of a 65,000 sq. ft. former manufacturing building at 200 South Geddes Street in Syracuse to attract new artisan manufacturers. The project, which is an integral part of the Near Westside Initiative, will completely renovate the building envelope, including new windows, install a second exit, convert the elevator from cargo to passenger, and install new HVAC and electric systems.
  • Homer Soy Products Startup – Homer Soy Products will renovate and equip the former Homer Oil Company facility in order to convert soybeans into commercially saleable products, including soybean meal and oil.
  • Bo-Mer Plastics Expansion – Bo-Mer Plastics will expand its operations by either growing its existing Auburn facility, constructing a freestanding building on its current property, or purchasing an existing building in Auburn.
  • Dielectric Laboratories California Plant Relocation – Dielectric Laboratories will relocate one of its related companies in California to 40,000 sq. ft. of available space in the company’s existing 125,000 sq. ft. Cazenovia facility. The project will bring a new production line to Cazenovia, and includes renovation, relocating and purchasing new machinery and equipment, job training, and building its inventory to supply customers during the construction phase of the project.
  • Central New York Inland Depot – Central New York Inland Depot, 3GiTerminals LLC, proposes to construct the Central New York Inland Depot in Manlius, where import and export cargo containers will be transferred by rail to and from surrounding ports, including the Port Authority and the Port of Oswego. This first-phase of a five-year project will re land acquisition, engineering and design, permitting and town approvals, include wetland mitigation, and an independent market analysis.
  • International Boxing Hall of Fame – The International Boxing Hall of Fame will invest to construct a new 12,800 sq. ft. facility, which will include new gallery space, gift shop, library/archive space and office space.
  • Syracuse Community Health Center Phase I – The Syracuse Community Health Center proposes a three-phase project to develop a healthcare campus in the 800-900 Block of S. Salina St. The project involves construction of a 60,000 sq. ft. LEED-certified primary health care center at the former Superior Electric facility.
  • Polaris Library Systems Relocation – The project involves relocating the company’s corporate headquarters to downtown Syracuse.
  • Sibley's Building Redevelopment – Paramount Realty Group, LLC, proposes to redevelop the former Sibley's Department Store into a mixed-use space with approximately 62,000 sq. Ft. of ground-floor retail and 60 residential units on the upper three floors. The second floor may be converted from residential to office if an office tenant can be found.
  • U.S. Optical Expansion – U.S. Optical, LLC, will construct a 7,500 sq. ft. addition to the facility to expand its manufacturing capacity, and construct a new clean room for a new manufacturing process. The project also includes renovating portions of the existing facility to expand the customer service area.
  • City of Cortland Downtown Parking – The City of Cortland will construct a one-story parking deck over an existing parking lot. The project will add 74 parking spaces in Cortland's Central Business District to spur the development of upper floor housing, which will in turn bolster and strengthen downtown economic development efforts.
  • Le Moyne College Science-Business Exchange – Le Moyne College will invest to expand and modernize facilities that support its programs in the health professions and in business. The project involves renovating and equipping two existing academic buildings with new laboratories and classrooms, and other facilities designed to embed a high-technology firm in the College's health/science facilities as well as in its new Madden School of Business.
  • Prospect Place Mixed-Use Development – Home Headquarters, Inc. is investing to construct Prospect Place, a planned mixed-use development adjacent to St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center's main entrance and newly-constructed emergency department. The new building will include a fresh food café, 12 apartments intended for hospital employees, and retail and green spaces. The building will also have a "green roof" and other sustainable features.
  • SUNY ESF Biomass Cooperative Innovation Center – The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry will invest to create a biomass and biofuel processing facility on campus. The new Biomass Cooperative Innovation Center will offer students, researchers, and community members access to biomass processing and biofuel processing equipment and resources. The Center will produce wood pellets, biodiesel from waste oil, and potentially fish pellets produced from food waste.
  • Elm Street Industrial Site Infrastructure – The Madison County IDA will extend water and sewer lines to 200 acres of an existing 400-acre industrially-zoned site on Elm Street in the City of Oneida. The site will include CSX rail access, and is targeted primarily to manufacturing, agribusiness and food processing businesses, along with potential export options for industrial companies that locate to the site.
  • Chocolate Pizza Company M&E Acquisition – The Chocolate Pizza Company, a manufacturer of various chocolate gift and desert items, will invest in new M&E and related installation costs, including reconfiguration of the production floor, and electrical and systems integration upgrades.
  • Solvay Iron Works M&E Acquisition – Solvay Iron Works, Inc., will invest to purchase a new machine that will produce more efficient and accurate steel beams, which will enable the company to capture additional contract work.
  • Growing Upstate Food Hub – Growing Upstate Food Hub, LLC will establish a shared-use processing and warehousing facility for small-scale food processing and distribution of locally-farmed products (meat, dairy, cereals, and vegetables). The project involves purchasing and equipping an existing 45,000 sq. ft. building in Canastota.
  • CNY Biotechnology Accelerator M&E Acquisition – Central NY Biotechnology Accelerator (CNY BAC)/SUNY ESF, formerly known as the CNY Biotechnology Research Center, will purchase $1 million in lab equipment that will be available to potential biotech incubator tenants and university collaborators on a shared basis. The incubator space is expect to be completed in 2013 and will be available for start-up companies, predominantly in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, and bioenergy fields.
  • Syracuse Inner Harbor Infrastructure – COR Inner Harbor Company, LLC will complete infrastructure improvements related to the planned redevelopment of the Syracuse Inner Harbor. The project includes activities such as environmental remediation, public infrastructure improvements, renovation of the NYS Canals maintenance building into a crew boathouse, and/or relocation of the freight house as a potential Canal museum.
  • CNY Raceway Park – CNY Raceway Park, Inc. will develop a 150-acre site in Central Square into a premier multi-use destination facility for motor sports, trade shows, concerts and other events. The new facilities will include a state-of-the-art synthetic dirt racing track with new, high-tech LED lighting; banquet and restaurant facilities; and VIP suites. Funding will assist with infrastructure improvements required for access to and from I-81 and an associated rest area.
  • South Avenue PriceRite Supermarket – South Avenue PriceRite Supermarket will renovate and expand an existing warehouse, redeveloping it into a new 35,000 sq. ft. supermarket on South Avenue in the City of Syracuse. The new store will provide fresh and affordable groceries to the underserved South Side neighborhood.
  • Syracuse University Connective Corridor Façade Grant Program – The Syracuse University Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development will capitalize a $250,000 "mini-grant" program for façade improvements to businesses located within the downtown Syracuse Connective Corridor, a transformational urban development initiative centered around arts, education, culture, technology, community and economic development.
  • Camillus Mills Redevelopment - Sweet Spot Development will invest to rehabilitate the former Camillus Cutlery site in Camillus into a mixed-use facility, including five residential units and 35,000 sq. ft. office space which will be leased primarily to medical practices and related service companies.
  • Fulton Medical Endoscopy Center – Oswego Health, Inc. Endoscopy Center will invest to complete the build-out of the Fulton Medical Center in the former Lee Memorial Hospital by constructing and equipping a free-standing endoscopy center.
  • Crouse Hospital Neonatal ICU Renovations – Crouse Health Hospital will renovate and enhance its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a regional center for high-risk maternity, obstetrics, and newborn care, to include a sterile procedures room and isolation rooms.
  • Loguen Crossing – COR Development Company, LLC, will redevelop the former Kennedy Square housing complex in Syracuse. The project includes, but is not limited to, the extension of water and sewer lines, storm water retention, sidewalks, and street landscaping.
  • Community Memorial Hospital – Community Memorial Hospital, Inc. (CMH) will undertake hospital data center improvements, and make IT upgrades to allow for electronic connection between CMH and Crouse Memorial Hospital in Syracuse. The new technology will allow for sharing of patient information and data through a document imaging system, resulting in improved coordination of care.

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 – – 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