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Mid-Hudson 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 27, 2013)

Mid-Hudson 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 yesterday continued visits to see first-hand the progress of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) in the Mid-Hudson. This visit continues the SIAT team's review of the all ten Councils' strategic economic development plans, progress reports and job-creating projects.

The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) 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 Kawasaki Rail in Yonkers. The Council's progress report and full list of endorsed priority projects for 2013 can be found at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/mid-hudson.

“The success of more than fourteen hundred projects across the State clearly demonstrates that the Governor’s Regional Council initiative is delivering great results,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council allows those who know the region best to weigh in on what matters most locally to support projects that have a real impact.”

“Yesterday we had a great opportunity to show the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team the progress we have made over the last two years on the economic development projects that are leading to new jobs and transformational change in our region,” said MHREDC Co-chairs Dennis Murray, President of Marist College and Leonard S. Schleifer, MD, Ph.D, President and Chief Executive Officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. “Last year we were named one of the best plans in the state and through two rounds of the process have received nearly $160 million to support more than 140 projects throughout the Hudson Valley. It is clear that the investments we have guided and collaborative efforts of the Council have spurred economic growth in our region. Looking forward, we are confident that the Round III projects in the pipeline will create thousands of new jobs, spur more development and continue growing our economy.”

The State team toured and heard presentations on the following MHREDC projects:

New York Medical College iBio Incubator New York Medical College will renovate and expand the iBio incubator facility, which will house 12 incubator tenants and 12 additional non-resident incubator companies, as well as conduct workforce training. The $16 million project will create 80 full time jobs and will be completed in three phases. This was a Priority Project for the MHREDC in both 2011 and 2012, and was awarded $4 million and $750,000, respectively. It was announced today that construction has commenced on this phase two of this project.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, twice named the number one biotech company in the world by Science Magazine, will design, construct and fit out 160,000 square feet of laboratory space and 140,000 square feet of office space at its headquarters in Tarrytown. The more than $100 million project was the basis of an $8 million Excelsior Award in 2012. Additionally, Regeneron has manufacturing facilities in Rensselaer County. In all, Regeneron employs more than 1000 individuals in New York State. The groundbreaking for the new Valhalla facilities was held in October.

Sprain Brook Parkway/Route 119 Bridge Construction The reconstruction of the Route 119 Bridge on the Sprain Brook Parkway in the Village of Elmsford is a NY Works project, which was awarded in July 2012. The total cost of the reconstruction is $21.5 million and it is expected to be completed by the end of the year. This project utilized the innovative contracting method approved by the State in 2012 with the Design Build Legislation called Best Value Contracting Method.

Glenwood Power Plant Redevelopment The first phase of this project, to preserve and redevelop the iconic 1904 Glenwood Power Plant on the Hudson River in Yonkers, is a structural stabilization and repair project to restore the historic structures and features. The plan ultimately calls for the site to be developed for habitable, commercial and community use with diverse activities in business, arts, culture, retail and hospitality. The total project cost of this project is more than $175 million, though this phase will cost $14 million and is expected to create more than 1000 construction jobs by the time it is completed.

JFK Marina This project is part of the over Yonkers Waterfront Revitalization Plan and provides for the installation of a picnic/entertainment pavilion, small concession stand to be attached to comfort station, dock, new canoe/kayak storage facility and shoreline stabilization at JFK Marina, a city owned park. Additionally, shoreline stabilization, gazebo, comfort station, lighting, landscaping and canoe/kayak storage construction continues on site.

Public School 6 Adaptive Redevelopment Demolition of a dilapidated City-owned school building located on a brownfield site in Yonkers. This project includes brownfield remediation and the new construction of 121 rental units in tow diverse, sustainable LEED-certified residential buildings for seniors and families. The project neighborhood has been specifically targeted for investment by the City of Yonkers. The project will include underground parking garages to accommodate the needs of the residents. This is a total $54 million project. Low cost financing through HCR was provided for $29.6 million. This project is expected to be completed by Fall 2014.

Ashburton Avenue Reconstruction Ashburton Avenue will be fully reconstructed between Warburton Ave and Yonkers Avenue to rebuild the pavement, curbs, sidewalks, parking lanes, and traffic signals. Turning lanes will be added where needed to address the operational and safety issues in the corridor. This will be a comprehensive facelift for the roadway corridor improving the vehicle operation, pedestrian accommodations and visual context of the corridor. The project is in the middle of the Design Phase with an anticipated construction start in 2015. The estimated cost of this project is $16 million.

Warburton Avenue Redevelopment The project will rehabilitate and restore a majority of the Philipse Manor Historic District. Greyston Foundation plans to restore six historic mixed-use properties and construct a 12-story building, containing 88 units of workforce housing and parking. In addition, the project involves the restoration of two predominantly vacant structures at 40 and 42 Warburton Avenue. ESD has provided $3.5 million toward this redevelopment.

Philipse Manor Hall The old Philipse Manor Hall is a Revolutionary War Era Estate belonging to a former mill owner. The Manor is now owned by the State and utilized to store historic artifacts and documents. It is open to the public and an anchor for the revitalization of downtown revitalization on Warburton Avenue where a number of state sponsored projects are being developed. This project consists of the repair of the retaining walls and stairs on the property. It is expected to cost $75,000.

Saw Mill River Daylighting Project Part of the revitalization of downtown Yonkers, this project has enormous ecological, economic and cultural significance. On November 15, 2011, after many years of organizing, waters began to flow aboveground in downtown Yonkers for the first time in 90 years – a major achievement for both the Coalition and the City. With the aboveground riverbed we have recreated 13,775 square feet of aquatic habitat, including a tidal pool and two freshwater pools. The new natural river flows parallel to the preexisting underground flume, which now serves as an overflow channel to protect the integrity of the new park and the downtown area from floods.

Yonkers Waterfront Redevelopment The City of Yonkers is revitalizing its 3-mile Hudson River waterfront as a means of strengthening its downtown, and providing its residents with unparalleled access to the river. The goal is to create a mix of public and private uses, including residential, commercial, and recreational development. The waterfront master plans are blueprints for new residential and commercial neighborhoods, and offer a range of amenities, including a marina, an esplanade running the length of the waterfront, and a recreational harbor, making the waterfront more accessible to the public and generating new activity on the City’s formerly underutilized industrial waterfront. The transit-oriented design focuses development around two existing commuter rail stations.

Kawasaki Rail Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. will make a $16.2 million investment to add a rolling stock boggy manufacturing to its operations in Yonkers. Other areas of investment include machinery, equipment, feasibility study and personnel training. The project will ultimately create 80 jobs. The total award was $1.5 million.

In the first two rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Mid-Hudson Region was awarded $159.8 million in state support for 145 projects across the region. Of those projects, more than 87 percent are now underway as a result of funding they have been awarded.

Once completed, the projects awarded funding in the Mid-Hudson Region through the 2011 and 2012 CFA process will provide a significant boost to the local economy and result in the creation and retention more than 7,300 jobs. The CFA awards will leverage more than $985 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 MHREDC report included a description of its Opportunity Agenda Area, its approach to the Innovation Hot Spot program, and a continued commitment to supporting key industries to grow the regional economy. The progress report also included a list of the 22 priority projects endorsed for Round III of the competition.

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 www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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