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Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Presents Progress Update to Strategic Implementation Assessment Team

Council Presents Progress, Achievements and Endorsed Priority Projects for the Third Round of the Regional Council Competition
(November 21, 2013)

Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Presents Progress Update to Strategic Implementation Assessment Team

The Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT), including Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales; Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox; Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito; President and CEO of the Environmental Facilities Corp. Matthew J. Driscoll; Commissioner and President of the Civil Service Commission Jerry Boone; Chair of the Tourism Advisory Council Cristyne Nicholas; and President and CEO of the New York Power Authority Gil Quinones today continued visits to see first-hand the progress of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) in Central New York. This visit continues the SIAT team's review of the all ten Councils' strategic economic development plans, progress reports and job-creating projects.

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council (CNY REDC) today provided a formal presentation to the State Implementation Assessment Team – outlining its progress, achievements, and endorsed priority projects for the third round of the Regional Council competition at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). The Council's progress report and full list of endorsed priority projects for 2013 can be found at

“Central New York was very successful in the first two rounds of the Regional Council competition and it's clearly translating into new jobs and economic growth and demonstrating that the Governor’s initiative is delivering on its intentions,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “The CNY REDC understands their region's unique assets and challenges, which is why we've empowered them to invest in the projects that will have a real impact and help grow the regional economy.”

“We are pleased to have this opportunity to highlight for the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team some of the key projects and initiatives that are leading transformational change in our region,” said CNY REDC co-chairs Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO, and Chancellor Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University. “We are proud of the growth we are seeing across Central New York, and we are confident that our Round III projects will continue to set a new standard for an inclusive metropolitan revival.”

The State team toured and heard presentations at the following CNY REDC project sites:

INFICON, Inc., a Round III applicant, is a manufacturer of vacuum instrumentation, critical sensor technologies, and process control software for the semiconductor, flat panel display, magnetic and optical storage media, environmental health and safety, and precision optic industries. INFICON will invest $61 million to construct and equip a new 220,000 square foot LEED certified facility to expand existing operations, creating 50 net new jobs and ensuring retention of 240 current jobs.

Case Building

A Round III applicant, the Case building is part of the Near Westside Initiative, Inc., which will invest approximately $1,880,000 to renovate 23,000 square feet of third floor space in a 48,000 square foot vacant industrial warehouse in Syracuse's Near Westside neighborhood. An estimated 15 indirect artisan jobs are expected to be created by the project's tenants. This is the final phase of the $27,485,000 Near West Initiative project, for which NYS has provided $8.8 million to date.

The Tech Garden/Innovation Hot Spot

The Tech Garden in Syracuse is seeking to establish a regional Innovation Hot Spot. The CNY Hot Spot is focused on delivering an ambitious suite of new programs and expanded services, adding expertise and talent to its service delivery and providing significant additional incubation space (growing The Tech Garden's by 60 percent to 51,000 square feet of physical space). Entrepreneurs will benefit by faster incubation cycles, more program choices, easier migration between programs, and graduation pathways that facilitate growth beyond incubation. The CNY Hot Spot Council would serve to provide collective governance for coordinating and linking regional assets like universities, accelerators and incubators.

Syracuse Community Health Center, Inc.

The Syracuse Community Health Center, Inc. was awarded $3,100,000 in Round II for phase one of a project to develop their health care campus on the 800-900 Block of S. Salina St. in Syracuse. The $18,310,500 project involves construction of a 60,000 square foot LEED-certified primary health care center at the former Superior Electric facility. The Syracuse Community Health Center is also a Round III applicant to complete phase two of the project, which includes infrastructure and streetscape improvements, roof replacement and façade refurbishment at the center’s main facility. The project is expected to create 48 jobs.

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and The Gateway Center

SUNY ESF recently received the Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature, the support organization of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. The Gateway Center, designed to achieve a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, played a large role in securing this prestigious designation. The Gateway Center received $413,000 in CFA funding from EFC in Round I for a green roof constructed on roughly half of the upper level of the Gateway Center. The green roof includes native plant species, observation decks, and gathering spaces, and will be used by ESF as a focal point in laboratory and studio experiences.

In the first two rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Central New York region was awarded $197.5 million in state support for 147 projects across the region. Of those projects, 92 percent are now moving forward on schedule as a result of the funding they were awarded.

Once completed, the projects awarded funding in Central New York through the 2011 and 2012 CFA process will provide a significant boost to the local economy and result in the creation or retention of nearly 12,000 jobs. The CFA awards are leveraging nearly $800 million in public and private sector investment.

Based upon published guidelines (available in the 2013 Guidebook), SIAT will review and assess each region’s progress as it relates to their accomplishments in the following categories:

  • Keep the project pipeline flowing;
  • Select “Innovation Hot Spots” to facilitate tech transfer;
  • Develop an Opportunity Agenda to revitalize distressed communities and address barriers to entry into the workforce for people living in areas of concentrated poverty;
  • Assure the workforce is being trained for today and tomorrow;
  • Engage local government officials in reshaping the regional business climate;
  • Create interregional collaborations around shared resources and opportunities;
  • Advance regional Cleaner, Greener Communities sustainability plans; and
  • Measure performance.

The Regional Council competition awards will be made based on the progress the Councils have made in implementing their strategies and the evolution of their strategic plans.

On September 24, 2013, each Council submitted to the State its two-year progress report, which provides detail on the Council’s achievements in implementing its five year strategic plan. The CNY REDC report includes a review of the council’s strategies, continued tracking of the region’s awarded projects from previous rounds, a look at the region’s progress and implementation thus far, and plans for how the Central New York community will work to accomplish Governor Cuomo’s vision with the Opportunity Agenda, Innovation Hot Spots, and Cleaner Greener Communities. It also included a list of its 91 priority projects for Round III.

Statewide, the first two rounds of the Regional Council initiative included $1.5 billion in investments to support more than 1,400 economic and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans that are creating or helping retain an estimated 75,000 jobs. To continue building on the success of rounds one and two, up to $760 million in state resources are available in 2013. Funding for the third round includes $220 million ($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 $540 million from state agency programs through the CFA to support regionally-significant economic development projects.

This year, all ten regions will compete against each other. The competition places emphasis on Regional Council performance and action to implement strategies.

Five regions will be identified as the “Top Performer” and will receive up to $25 million each. The remaining regions will compete for the balance of $25 million. Each region will also be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits.

Regions designated as a “top performer” will be required to demonstrate the following:

  • Continued Implementation of their individual Strategic Plans;
  • Performance in encouraging economic growth through job creation and investment; and
  • Identification of transformative projects that encourage collaboration (e.g., leveraging computing assets to establish research partnerships, utilizing equipment and co-locations to assist manufacturers, and developing shared space for food processing).

Governor Cuomo established 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.

To learn more about each Regional Council and their economic development plans, visit