New York City 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 New York City. This visit continues the SIAT team's review of the all ten Councils' strategic economic development plans, progress reports and job-creating projects.
The New York Regional Economic Development Council (NYCREDC) 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 Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Council's progress report and full list of endorsed priority projects for 2013 can be found at www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/new-york-city.
“By empowering local communities to chart their own economic destiny, the Regional Economic Development Council process has fundamentally changed the way that New York State invests in job creation and development,” Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said. “Across the five boroughs, new projects are creating new jobs for New Yorkers and today’s assessment tour provided state officials with a firsthand view of the progress that has been made over the past two and a half years. While many businesses in New York City are still rebuilding and recovering from the devastation of superstorm Sandy, the Regional Council awards are helping companies get up and running and back to doing business. The new jobs and economic growth that have resulted from projects awarded funding over the last two years clearly demonstrate that Governor Cuomo’s initiative is working effectively.”
“Today was an important opportunity for the New York City Regional Economic Development Council (NYCREDC) to highlight for the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team key projects and initiatives that are leading to new jobs for New Yorkers and transformational change in our region,” said CUNY Chancellor Emeritus Matthew Goldstein, NYCREDC Chairperson. “After two rounds of the REDC competition, we received over $115 million to support more than 100 projects throughout the five boroughs. The Council is confident the Round 3 projects in the pipeline will spur more job creation and continue growing our economy.”
The State team toured and heard presentations at the following NYCREDC project sites:
Steiner Studios Media Campus
This 2012 REDC priority project consists of development of the adjacent Kent Avenue site and predevelopment design, site work and construction for the expansion of the Media Campus onto the Naval Hospital Campus Annex, a site that has been vacant for nearly 30 years and lacks any modern infrastructure.
The State recently increased its support of the project by $6.3 million, bringing total State assistance for Phase III to $11.3 million, which is being matched dollar-for-dollar by New York City, and enabling Steiner Studios to finance the $137 million infrastructure project that will convert the underutilized naval hospital annex at the Brooklyn Navy Yard into a hub for media, technology and film related businesses. This phase of the project has the potential to create 600 full-time permanent jobs and 750 construction jobs. Future development of the site will involve over $270 million of additional investment and generate nearly 2,000 full-time jobs and more than 1,800 construction jobs.
Green Manufacturing Center
This 2011 REDC priority project consists of the adaptive reuse of three former WWII-era Navy machine shops into a state-of-the-art industrial complex, creating nearly 300 new permanent jobs and approximately 400 construction jobs. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) is investing $60.3 million into Brooklyn Navy Yard buildings 28, 123 and 128 to create the Green Manufacturing Center – a 215,000 square foot multi-tenanted, LEED-certified facility. BNYDC has received $18 million in New York State support for the project, including $6 million in grant funds and $12 million in a New Market Tax Credit allocation. Two anchor tenants have been identified for the building: Crye Precision and Macro Sea
Crye Precision (Crye) designs and manufactures innovative body armor and apparel for the military. Crye currently occupies various spaces at the Brooklyn Navy Yard where they employ approximately 109 workers. Restricted by space and the inefficiency of operating out of a non-continuous layout, much of its apparel manufacturing is outsourced to companies in Alabama, Tennessee and Vermont. Crye desires to have more oversight and control over the manufacturing process, and is therefore planning to lease, renovate and equip 85,000 sf at the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Green Manufacturing Center. Crye, which currently employs 109 workers at the Yard in another space, has accepted an Excelsior offer of $1 million 2011 CFA award, and has agreed to create 75 new jobs over the next five years, including 25 jobs to be relocated from New Jersey.
Macro Sea New Lab
To be located at the Green Manufacturing Center at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New Lab, a 2012 REDC priority project, will transform a total of 84,000 SF of space, including an additional mezzanine space that will be built in addition to the current 50,000 SF wing, into a high tech design and prototyping center that will enhance the Yard’s initiative to become a national model for sustainable industrial parks. In response to early interest in New Lab, the development team opened “New Lab Beta” in March 2013 in Brooklyn Navy Yard Building 280. ESD is providing a total of $3.25 million in grant funds to the project.
In the first two rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the New York City region was awarded $115.3 million in state support for 100 projects across the region. Of those projects, more than 80 percent are moving forward toward a timely completion as a result of funding they were awarded.
Once completed, the projects awarded funding in the New York City Region through the 2011 and 2012 CFA will significantly boost the local economy and result in nearly 11,500 retained and created jobs. The CFA awards will leverage over $1.36 billion 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 NYCREDC report included a description of its Five-Borough Strategy to strengthen New York City as a center of global economic activity and innovation and make the local economy more inclusive, while alleviating conditions of poverty and better preparing the city’s residents for good jobs in a technology-driven economy. The plan’s focus is to encourage partnerships among government, business, labor, academia, and civic organizations, as well as inter-regional cooperation aimed at maximizing benefits of economic growth and job creation. It also included a list of its 26 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 www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.