Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Endorses 25 Projects as Regional Priorities for 2014 Competition
The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) today announced that it has endorsed 25 projects as regional priorities for Round IV of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Regional Council initiative. If awarded funding this fall, the projects have the potential to generate over $600 million in economic activity and the potential to create and retain more than 3,500 full-time jobs as well as create 3,700 construction jobs in the Mid-Hudson Region (Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties).
“The 25 Priority Projects endorsed by the Council today have the potential to transform cities and communities across the Mid-Hudson region by creating new jobs, generating significant investment, and expanding economic opportunities for New Yorkers,” said MHREDC Co-chairs Dennis Murray, PhD, President of Marist College and Leonard Schleifer, MD, PhD, President & CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “Over the last three years, the Mid-Hudson REDC has worked hard to successfully implement our Strategic Plan and it has paid off – to the tune of nearly $220 million of state investment in the region to support more than 230 projects that are creating jobs and spurring economic activity in the seven counties we represent. The slate of projects we are recommending today support our strategic economic development goals and will further implement our plan for economy prosperity the Mid-Hudson.”
As part of their ongoing efforts to engage the public, earlier this summer the Council issued a call for projects seeking consideration for endorsement and submission as regional priorities for Round III of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The MHREDC received 111 Priority Project proposals from across the region and, after conducting its due diligence and a thorough review, selected several applicants who were invited to provide a full presentation to members of the Regional Council. After 15 hours of presentations and several hours of deliberation, the Council identified 25 projects that had risen to the level of Priority Project designation.
Each of the Mid Hudson’s seven counties are represented, ensuring the diversity and needs of many communities are accounted for. Moreover, the projects advance each of the Council’s goals, as contained in the Strategic Plan, thus ensuring each project advances the implementation of the Plan itself.
The following projects have been endorsed by the Council as Priority Projects:
- USAI Expansion – A $6.5 million expansion of the USAI facility that will be environmentally efficient and LEED certified. The improvements to the physical plant include new technology, testing, welcome centers, among others; and the renovation of existing office space into a working product demonstration, as well as site work to include voluntary brownfield remediation, exterior modernization, and grounds beautification. The factory upgrade will be an ergonomically designed assembly line platform with increased investment in racking to accommodate the anticipated increase in need for efficient storage of both fabricated parts and assembled product. (Orange County)
- LEGOLAND New York – This overall $250 million project consists of the development and construction of the LEGOLAND NY theme park, which once constructed would be followed potentially by a LEGOLAND Water Park, LEGOLAND hotel, and the expansion of the theme park. The CFA application requests assistance with phase one infrastructure work. The project would provide an unprecedented boost to regional tourism as LEGOLAND NY projects up to two million visitors annually (approximately), two thirds of which would be tourists to the Mid-Hudson region. (Rockland County)
- Saw Mill River Daylighting Phase III – Yonkers will continue to revitalize its urban core with an expansion of its nationally acclaimed Saw Mill River Daylighting Project, which has been buried in a concrete flume for over a century. This phase focuses on the development and construction of a river-themed park along New Main Street from Ann Street to the Nepperhan Avenue arterial to set up a future riverwalk park down to what is currently a municipal parking lot locally known as Chicken Island. (Westchester County)
- CGAM 2014 – The project is capital acquisition of equipment for the ten SMARTT Labs located throughout the Mid-Hudson region. A SMARTT (SUNY Manufacturing Alliance for Research and Technology Transfer) Lab is a collaborative effort between industry and educational institutions, and equips laboratories with advanced manufacturing equipment to provide access to equipment and training unavailable to most small or medium sized businesses, thereby spurring innovation and support. Two of the SMARTT Labs are located in economically distressed areas: Newburgh and Sullivan County. (Dutchess and Orange Counties)
- Mensch Grasmere, LLC – The project consists of a boutique hotel, spa, restaurant and farm, including approximately 110 guest rooms and cabins, event space and culinary center with a working farm operation. The project will serve as a tourism destination celebrating the best of the Hudson Valley, and is anticipated to create approximately 170 jobs and help preserve the historic property and associated open space. (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties)
- SoYo Mixed-Use TOD Project – This project is a 550,000 square foot, $168 million mixed-use transit-oriented development in downtown Yonkers on nearly a full square block adjacent to the newly created Van Der Donck Park, a recently completed 1.8 acre river-themed park featuring the "daylighted" Saw Mill River. The proposal includes construction of more than 400 rental units (approximately), nearly 110,000 square feet of parking and 34,000 square feet of ground floor retail and restaurants. (Westchester County)
- Pathway to Health – This project consists of the development of a new 28,431 square foot state of the art clinical health facility to be located in the historic former Ontario & Western Railroad Train Station located in downtown Middletown. The redeveloped Health Center will be large enough to permit the integration of health center services as well as allowing for the co-location of diagnostic services. The overarching goal of the project is to provide essential health services under one roof in order to provide quality affordable healthcare to the uninsured and underinsured residents of the region. (Orange County)
- Hudson Valley Opportunity Fund – This project consists of the creation of a revolving loan fund targeted towards minority, women and veteran owned small business and social enterprises in the Mid-Hudson Region, which will allow Community Capital NY, Inc. to have the flexibility to provide loans better tailored to start up and emerging businesses that are unable to secure traditional bank loans. (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties)
- Niagara Bottling Northeast – Niagara Bottling, LLC is currently evaluating communities in the Northeast United States to purchase land and construct a 358,000 square-foot manufacturing facility with one high-speed bottling line (initially). The Northeast expansion project will initially create 41 jobs and carry a total investment in real and personal property that will exceed $53 million. Future phases of this project would add three additional bottling lines and create up to 120 jobs at full build-out. (Ulster County)
- Green Chimneys School Expansion – Chimneys Special Education School will expand at its Brewster campus in Putnam County by renovating two existing vacant buildings to add seven new classrooms to serve an additional 60 special needs and preschool children with high quality early education and specialized and intensive therapeutic education. (Putnam County, Inter-Regional)
- Anellotech DS3 – This project consists of the construction of a structure to house a pilot plant to conduct processing applications previously researched and developed on a bench scale in the biomass sector to produce basic chemicals such as benzene, toluene and mixed eylenes. (Rockland County)
- Brooklyn Brewery Production Facility – This proposed expansion of the Brooklyn Brewery includes construction of a state-of-the-art 400,000 expandable to 1 million barrel brewery in a 200,000 square foot building on approximately 25 acres in the lower Hudson Valley or a location in New York City. (Rockland County)
- Hudson Valley Craft Beer Cider and Spirits Project – This project consists of the creation of the Hudson Valley artisanal craft beer, cider and distilling incubator. The project sponsor will bottle and label their own hard cider as well as lend the facility to manufacture and contract brew for smaller craft brewers that are presently manufacturing their goods outside of New York State, or do not have the capacity to grow their own brands or have the know-how to bring products to market. The project would create approximately twenty direct jobs by its completion and also help the farming industry in the area by revitalizing the farming of hops in New York State, in addition to the use of New York-grown apples, grapes and other crops. (Rockland County)
- Hudson Valley Brewery – The Hudson Valley Brewery, to be located in a restored factory building in the City of Beacon's Historic District, will be mid-size production brewery and taproom that will feature a Bavarian-style beer hall with a simple food menu consisting of fresh ingredients from local farms. The brewery will also manufacture and package hand crafted ales to be sold throughout the State of New York and in targeted international markets. (Dutchess County)
- Stone Ridge Orchard Hard Cider Plant Expansion and Food Hub – This project consists of the expansion of a farm cidery with innovative "green" canning equipment and the construction of a food hub, which will include an open-air market, tasting room and community kitchen. The food hub will help farmers throughout the Rondout Valley and beyond, by offering not only an additional place to sell their produce, but also a place to share distribution and marketing costs, learn important business skills such as quality and inventory control. (Ulster County)
- Equilibrium Brewery – Equilibrium Brewery plans to renovate and lease space in a former meat packing building in downtown Middletown. The brewery will make necessary updates to the building in order to accommodate their brewing and canning needs. The craft brewing facility will be outfitted with the equipment that allows for each phase of the brewing process, a canning system and conveyor system to transport grains to the brewing kettles. (Orange County)
- Jawonio Integrated Health Wellness and Work Project – A $24 million enhancement, consolidation and expansion of Jawonio's New City campus, which will include substantial renovation/construction of a 97,000 square foot building, and IT infrastructure enhancements which will position Jawonio for the planned expansion of its employment services division, social enterprises, health center and provide a centralized headquarters for its multi-faceted agency. (Rockland and Westchester counties)
- Williams Lake Resort Community – Hudson River Valley Resorts, LLC will begin a phase of demolition and infrastructure construction as part of a $160 million investment to build a modern destination resort that includes a 130-room hotel, 17,000 square foot spa, wellness center, public rail trail, fitness center and other amenities. (Ulster County)
- Harbor Square Waterfront Revitalization – This project consists of the construction and build out of a 6,500 square foot waterfront restaurant as part of a larger $65 million mixed-use development along the Ossining waterfront, where boaters will be able to dock and then enjoy land-based attractions. (Westchester County)
- Hepworth Farms Hudson Valley Grown Farm Hub – Hepworth Farms, LLC, will purchase and rehabilitate a historic fruit packing and storage facility located adjacent to their farm, replacing the roof, adding cooling equipment as well as sorting, cleaning and packing equipment. This facility, along with a future facility to be built across the road, will act as a food hub to sort, clean, pack, store and ship fresh grown Hudson Valley sustainably produced vegetables and fruit from farms in the Ulster/Orange County area. (Ulster County)
- Warwick Valley Office and Technology Corporate Park – This is the second phase of last year's Priority Project for a study for the Warwick Valley Office and Technology Park. The WVLDC obtained planning approval for ten shovel ready pad sites for construction of up to 850,000 square feet of commercial space on the site of the former State-owned Mid Orange correctional facility in Warwick. This project is for infrastructure construction of a roadway extension to the 10 approved pads, storm water facilities and utility extensions to the 10 approved pads. (Orange County)
- Middle Main Revitalization Program – Hudson River Housing, Inc. will restore and re-develop the historic former Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory located at 8 North Cherry Street and the former Missionary Center located at 400 Maple Street to create 35 units of workforce housing and a hub for Mid-Hudson artisans, chefs and food producers/distributors. (Dutchess County)
- Ashburton Avenue Rehabilitation Project – This project consists of a series of road, bridge and pedestrian improvements that will improve travel flow into and out of downtown Yonkers, thereby fostering economic growth in a distressed area. This project also supports the revitalization of a neighborhood that is currently being impacted by the School House Terrace project at former School #6, which is currently under construction. (Westchester County)
- Wappingers Falls Waterfront Strategic Investment Initiative – Wappingers Falls will invest in new sewer service and a redundant storm resiliency water main loop to service a remediated SuperFund Site known as the "Bleachery" to address the current lack of infrastructure and dilapidated appearance of the village urban parks to encourage commercial and residential developments (including workforce housing) totaling over $70 million. (Dutchess County)
- Sing Sing Historic Prison Museum – This planning project will help develop a completely unique tourism venue in the region – the Sing Sing Historic Prison Museum – that will tell the story of Sing Sing prison and the American Penal System in a historical perspective. (Westchester County)
The Council also designated one project as a priority for the Innovation Hot Spots initiative:
- BioInc@NYMC (New York Medical College Biotechnology Incubator) – This project is the operational implementation phase of the project that was previously designated as a Regional Council Priority Project in both 2011 and 2012. This phase combines the biomedical expertise of New York Medical College with the operational capabilities of iCANny. This project represents implementation of the incubator's strategic recruitment of micro-stage biotechnology start-up and emerging firms. Biolnc@NYMC will provide the business support services that are needed to help biotechnology start-up and emerging firms succeed and exit the incubator and enter the regional economy. (Westchester County)
All Priority Projects are subject to the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) requests and information submitted by the project sponsor to their respective agencies. Applicants who submitted a Priority Project request, but were not named above, will still have an opportunity to compete for CFA funding. The Regional Council awards will be announced later this year.
The Governor has directed up to $750 million in State resources to be made available in 2014 to support the economic development priorities of all 10 regions and spur job creation across the state, including $220 million in competitive funds from Empire State Development. In the first three rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Mid-Hudson region was awarded $219.4 million in state support for 232 projects across the region.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After three rounds of the REDC process, more than $2 billion has been awarded to job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, supporting the creation or retention of more than 100,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.