New York City Regional Economic Development Council Submits 2014 Progress Report and Priority Projects For Round IV
The New York City Regional Economic Development Council (NYCREDC) submitted its three-year progress report to the State on Friday, August 15, providing a detailed analysis of its work, including the tracking of improvements, adjustments, and implementation of its strategic plans, as well as the advancement of priority job-creating projects. Additionally, the NYCREDC provided the State with its list of the 24 priority projects that the Council has endorsed for Round IV of the Regional Council competition.
The progress report is available at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/new-york-city.
“Over the last year, the New York City Regional Economic Development Council has partnered with local businesses, non-profits, community groups and government officials to help shape the economic future of the five boroughs. The Regional Council public-private partnership model established by Governor Cuomo has improved job creation and economic growth through strategy, planning and investment in key projects and industries across our region,” said Kathryn Wylde and Kenneth J. Knuckles of the NYCREDC’s Executive Committee. “After thorough review, debate and public participation, the Council has identified 24 projects that best exemplify our vision for New York City’s future. During this year of transition in city government, the NYCREDC has worked to ensure that the new Mayor’s economic development team is informed about the NYCREDC’s strategic plan and fully engaged in implementation of regional priority projects.”
In 2014, the Council has established three working groups, comprised of NYCREDC members and other community leaders. Specifically, the Workforce Development, Global NY, and Veterans Working Groups are focusing on: 1) implementing the Opportunity Agenda, which includes education, workforce development, and connecting lower income individuals to jobs; 2) identifying ways to maximize the economic benefits of globalization and technology through the expansion of exports, inter-regional cooperation, and industry-university collaboration; and 3) increasing employment and training opportunities for the region’s veterans.
The Council also has continued implementing priority projects identified in the 2011 strategic plan and the 2012 and 2013 progress reports, including the following:
- CREATE @ Harlem Green is currently in the demolition phase with construction expected to begin in the late fall of 2014.
- Brooklyn Navy Yard Steiner Studios Media Campus Phase III expects to begin construction of new sound stages in June 2015 with completion anticipated by June 2017.
- The New York City Office of Environmental Remediation has begun funding for 21 brownfield cleanup projects covering all five boroughs.
- The New York City Economic Development Corporation is working with Empire State Development (ESD) and the State Department of Environmental Conservation to explore the feasibility of mitigation banking in New York City with construction expected to begin in the spring of 2015 and completion anticipated by the spring of 2016.
- In addition to the $1.5 million grant for the New York Genome Center from Round II, in January 2014, Governor Cuomo announced a $105 million award for a new genomic medicine and supercomputing initiative, including $55.75 million for the Genome Center.
For the coming year, the Council hopes to build on these successes and recommends supporting a series of priority projects, including:
- A next wave of projects at the Brooklyn Navy Yard housed in Building 77, an 18-story industrial building that is being transformed into a manufacturing/tech hub.
- As part of the Governor’s Global NY initiative, a new Airport Exports Improvement Project, including the construction of an air cargo facility to increase capacity and expedite export activity at JFK Airport, as well as create over 100 jobs.
- Expanding the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) by transforming an additional 500,000 square feet at the site into industrial and office space that will accommodate dozens of industrial companies employing over 1,000 people, as well as serve as an important focus of Global NY as a center of production and export activity.
- Working with Brooklyn Brewery to identify a location for the construction of a new 200,000 square foot production facility to accommodate worldwide demand for its product.
- A new tech and manufacturing cluster emerging in Long Island City, Queens, spurred by the development of the new Cornell-Technion project on Roosevelt Island. The NYCREDC endorses State funding for the preparation of a Long Island City Comprehensive Plan that will fully engage the community in the area’s transformation and ensure that workforce development, appropriate infrastructure, and other local priorities are incorporated into the economic development plan.
- Along the 125th Street corridor in Harlem, two important projects that will reinforce the area’s historic role as a cultural center for the African-American community. The Loews Victoria Theater will be redeveloped into a 386,000 square foot mixed-use building that will include over 200 residential units and a 210-room hotel, as well as create 373 new jobs, and the National Urban League will build a new headquarters, along with new housing, retail and office space, a conference center and the State’s first civil rights museum.
- A public-private partnership between Bronx-based non-profit Per Scholas and Doran Jones, an IT consulting firm, that will prepare and employ disadvantaged trainees for tech jobs that are on-shored from other countries.
Full descriptions for all priority projects are available in the 2014 Progress Report on the NYCREDC website.
To continue building on the success of the last three rounds, up to $750 million in State resources is available in 2014. Funding for the fourth round includes $220 million in competitive funds from ESD ($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 $530 million from State agency programs through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to support regionally-significant economic development projects.
The competition will be split into two parts: the five regions identified as Top Performers in 2013 will compete for two awards of $25 million each, and the five regions not identified as Top Performers in 2013 will compete for three awards of $25 million each. The balance of the $25 million in capital funds will be divided among the remaining five regions. Each region also will be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract business and create jobs in the region.
The competition this year will focus on the:
- Implementation of regional strategic economic development plans;
- Performance in encouraging economic growth through job creation and investment; and
- Identification of global marketing and export strategies.
Funding awards for the fourth round of the CFA process are expected to be announced this fall.
The NYCREDC, which is composed of Bronx, New York, Richmond, Queens and Kings counties, is one of 10 regional councils across New York state that serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the regions. After three rounds of the REDC initiative, more than 160 projects across the New York City region have been awarded a total of approximately $175 million in state support through the Regional Council and CFA process in the statewide competition.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's transformative approach to State investment and economic development. 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, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.