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Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Submits One-Year Progress Report

MHREDC Endorses 22 Priority Projects for 2012 Round of the Regional Council Competition
(September 17, 2012)

Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Submits One-Year Progress Report

The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) 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 MHREDC provided the State with its list of the 22 priority projects the Council has endorsed for the second round of the Regional Council competition.

The progress report can be found at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/mid-hudson.

"The strategic plan the Council developed in the first year of the Regional Council Initiative provided a solid foundation to rebuild our economy by utilizing the region's assets to attract and grow businesses and create thousands of jobs in our communities - but we can always work harder to improve there is always more work to do," said Regional Council Co-chairs Dennis Murray, President of Marist College and Leonard S. Schleifer, MD, PhD, President & CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "While 2011 was good, we are taking steps to ensure that the second round of competition is just as (WORD) for the Mid-Hudson. In the last year the Council has worked closely with local businesses, agencies and non-profits, all working towards bettering our local and statewide economy. We have learned much from the people whom we serve and have taken steps that will make the Mid-Hudson that much more competitive in round two as part of our commitment to the future of the region."

Looking back on 2011 and pressing forward in 2012, the MHREDC has reorganized and revised its Strategic Plan to reflect the input of the State Review Panel and the public at large and focus on the future of our region. Today, four core strategies and four supporting strategies are the focus of the Council's work.

Our Core Strategies Create Jobs in Targeted Industry Sectors

  1. INVEST in Technology: Strengthen the region's capacity for future growth with targeted job creation investments in the region's key industry "clusters," biotech, biomedical and healthcare; advanced manufacturing; and information technology. These clusters are pivotal to advance New York's 21st century economy.
  2. ATTRACT & RETAIN Mature Industries: Undertake initiatives to retain and stimulate more mature industries such as distribution, financial and professional services, and corporate food and beverage, as these sectors represent large, vital anchor employers in the Mid-Hudson economy.
  3. GROW Natural Resource-Related Sectors: Leverage the region's outstanding natural resources, including its unique location between the Hudson River, Delaware River, and Long Island Sound, to sustain and promote waterfront development and industries including agriculture, tourism, artisanal food and beverage, and recreation that preserve the region's excellent quality of life.
  4. REVITALIZE the Region's Infrastructure: Support building projects that improve key regional infrastructure to make the region more business-ready; foster housing investment to create construction jobs and more housing supply; and support the revitalization of our urban centers as engines of regional prosperity.

Our Supporting Strategies Promote Growth in All Industry Sectors

  1. ENHANCE the region's workforce development initiatives through its colleges and universities, One-Stop Career Centers, BOCES, school systems, public libraries and library systems, and child care system. Support investments that build long-term strategies for growth and youth retention, as well as short-term responses to emerging needs.
  2. PROMOTE entrepreneurship, start-ups, small businesses, and MWBEs through a variety of measures that will make it easier to access public- and private-sector resources for capital; workforce training; and business and technical consulting.
  3. MAKE the region and New York State more business friendly through a legislative agenda that considers tax and administrative policy initiatives to ensure businesses locate and stay in the region.
  4. ENSURE public-private support and collaboration, including inter-regional partnerships that leverage cross-region resources, to ensure implementation of the regional Plan, the forthcoming Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan, and consideration of new opportunities.

The result of the revisions and reorganization is an integrated approach to economic development in the Hudson Valley.

The MHREDC also focused on creating a project pipeline in 2012. Addressing a weakness noted by the Strategic Plan Review Committee that the Council presented a "limited number of Priority Projects that [did] not readily align with the plan's goals and strategies" in its 2011 Plan. In response, the Council set forth to develop a pipeline of potential Priority Projects to ensure it could recommend a portfolio of projects in 2012, all of which link directly to an area of focus.

Public participation is key to identifying the best projects in the region. In 2012, the Council partnered with Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress to host nearly 20 CFA outreach events and community forums, and several CFA workshops across the region. Also, in July the Council issued a call for Priority Project Proposals to the community at large. This solicitation described the Council's 2012 focus, priority project scoring criteria and Priority Project application. The response was an impressive 68 projects seeking consideration, which was significantly greater than the 12 responses the Council received last round.

The following 22 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:

  • iBio Incubator - The biotechnology incubator will offer laboratory and office space and services for entrepreneurs and start-up biotechnology companies and provide specialized workforce training for established biotechnology companies in the region.
  • Center for Discovery - The project will create 300 jobs for the region as well as provide a service for children with autism that is not currently offered in New York State. Through more cost-effective care coordination and a reduced dependence on out of state placements for children, taxpayers will save about $30 million annually.
  • New York State Cloud Computing - With their cloud computing endeavor, Marist College can facilitate operations for technology based firms by providing workforce training and reducing overhead.
  • Center for Global Advanced Manufacturing - CGAM will provide specific workforce training to fill the void of skilled workers in high-tech manufacturing sector. CGAM will also provide a venue where companies can test and evaluate their creations.
  • Touro College - The College plans to use the now vacant Horton Hospital in Middletown to house a school of osteopathic medicine. The establishment of the college would bolster the population of current and future medical professionals in the Mid-Hudson region.
  • Bread Alone - Expansion of current Bread Alone operations will create quality, full-time jobs, provide temporary construction jobs, create demand for local agricultural products and promote area tourism.
  • Crystal Run Healthcare - This project will invest in the technology based healthcare industries and involves creating 452 new jobs - 385 of which are non-physicians.
  • Hudson Valley Food Hub - The Food Hub will provide processing and marketing opportunities to farmers and other food producers, leveraging the region's outstanding agricultural resources. By strengthening the area's food distribution infrastructure, it will help retain and stimulate an economic sector that also supports tourism and the region's natural resources.
  • Bon Secours Cancer Center - The Center will fill a gap in healthcare services provided in the western Mid-Hudson region by offering specialty cancer care for patients who now often travel to Manhattan or New Jersey for treatment.
  • Echo Bay Waterfront. Leverage Natural Resources - An urban waterfront redevelopment project that will reclaim current commercial/industrial land and provide access to the water's edge for city residents and regional communities alike. The project also includes new market rate and affordable rental housing with neighborhood retail opportunities, as well as 5+ acres of public open space.
  • EPT Concord Resort - By leveraging natural resources, this infrastructure project is related to a larger project that will create a destination resort community.
  • Crown Maple - Crown maple seeks to increase its manufacturing capacity and output. In addition, Crown Maple will create a visitor center that is anticipated to attract up to 28,000 people a year.
  • Northern Westchester Hospital - This Surgical Services Modernization Project entails the construction of six new state of the art operating rooms. It will strengthen the healthcare industry by maintaining and promoting the delivery of the highest quality health care in the Mid-Hudson Region by meeting the increased demand for greater and more complex surgical procedures utilizing state-of-the-art medical technology.
  • Sound Shore Medical Center - This project invests in the region's technology based healthcare industries through an infrastructure project in the form of a garage that will provide needed parking for a Medical Office Building.
  • VBT Laboraties - VBT Laboratories will establish a contract research organization (CRO) in the Mid-Hudson region with a focus on specialized testing in support of clinical trials of vaccines and biologics.
  • Matrix Distribution Park - The Matrix project will construct a 550,000 square foot manufacturing/distribution facility at the strategic intersection of two major highways (I84 & I-87) with the goal of attracting a fortune 500 caliber company to this location.
  • CIA Marriott Pavilion - Construction of a Marriott Pavilion on the campus of the Culinary Institute of America will create a state of the art conference center to serve as the hub of the recently formed Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Alliance.
  • Dover Knolls - This project consists of a mixed-use transit oriented development (TOD) on the site of the closed Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center. Components include upgrading of a Metro-North train station, a commercial/retail area, 9-hole golf course, community center, and 200 units of housing.
  • Yonkers Rising - Mixed-used redevelopment of downtown Yonkers consisting of live/work space, retail and dining. The project will also take advantage of the nearby Saw Mill River daylighting initiative.
  • Hyde Park Hotel Ventures - Development of a hotel and conference center located on the Culinary Institute of America Campus. Local area is home to historical attractions, and major colleges, however is lacking in hotel accommodations. The project would enhance tourism by giving region visitors the option of overnight stays as opposed to day trips.
  • Glenwood Powerplant - The preservation and redevelopment of the iconic 1904 Glenwood Power Plant on the Hudson River in Yonkers for a mixed-use program would create a social, business and cultural destination.
  • Hudson Landing - The construction of a mile-long Promenade along the Hudson River straddling the City of Kingston/Town of Ulster municipal boundary on an old industrial site would increase tourism and could help jump-start the Hudson Landing Development project that has just completed its environmental-review process last year and is ready to move forward. Upon build-out, the longer-term project will create a new neighborhood with new housing choices on the Kingston/Ulster waterfront and catalyze the revitalization of the City of Kingston and Town of Ulster waterfront areas.

While much of the MHREDC Progress Report focused on the future of the Hudson Valley, the document also provided a full update on the 2011 CFA awarded projects. In all 61 projects were awarded $67 million in the 2011 round. One, the iBio incubator at Westchester Medical Center was funded as a Priority Project for the region. The project, through an innovative contractual agreement with the State, is moving forward and recently had their Grant Disbursement Agreement approved by the ESD Board of Directors. This allows the project to be reimbursed during the design and construction of the project and enables it to move forward expeditiously.

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 - 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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