Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly $17 Million to Fund Projects Generating Economic Opportunity Across New York

Governor Cuomo announced nearly $17 million will be disbursed to grow and sustain 22 projects that are spurring economic growth and opportunity statewide.

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Photo by: Governor's Press Office

Albany, NY - July 21, 2015 - Governor Cuomo announced nearly $17 million will be disbursed to grow and sustain 22 projects that are spurring economic growth and opportunity statewide. The funding, recently approved by Empire State Development’s Board of Directors, supports projects that are directly creating 1,293 new jobs and retaining 1,568 existing New York State jobs – many of which have already been created or retained. This funding will also leverage nearly $200 million in private investments and other public funding to support local businesses and major projects that are building a strong foundation for future economic growth and job creation.

“Through these investments, we are strengthening key industries and supporting a range of companies, projects and initiatives that are generating economic activity in nearly every region of the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will encourage continued business development and job creation by promoting regionally significant strategies that will pave the way for future growth statewide.”

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “This most recent round of funding approvals further demonstrates Empire State Development’s commitment to supporting businesses that are boosting our local economies statewide. By encouraging business expansion and job creation, promoting regional tourism, and supporting local infrastructure investment and downtown revitalization, these projects are generating economic activity and paving the way for future growth from New York City to the North County.”

Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, Mid–Hudson, Western New York, North Country, Capital and Long Island Regions

Market NY Grant Program – (Multiple Regions) – $1,255,044
Market NY is a marketing program for tourism that supports regionally themed New York–focused projects and bolsters industry growth by promoting tourism destinations, attractions and special events. The program also awards funding for renovations of existing tourism facilities and the construction of new tourism destinations.

Market NY will provide up to $1,255,044 in Empire State Development grants to nine tourism marketing and/or tourism capital projects throughout various regions of New York State. Each grantee has identified and prioritized Regional Marketing Tourism projects that support the local Regional Council’s strategic plans for tourism and will coordinate with the State’s “I LOVE NEW YORK” tourism division to maximize the overall program impact statewide.

Grants for the following projects have been approved:

  • New York Wine & Culinary Center (Ontario County) – $62,154
  • Munson–Williams–Proctor Arts Institute (Herkimer County) – $20,000
  • Long Island Arts Alliance, Inc. (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) – $150,000
  • Windham Area Recreation Foundation (Greene County) – $247,875
  • Walkway Over the Hudson (Dutchess County) – $189,000
  • The Wild Center (Franklin County) – $372,000
  • Burchfield Penney Art center (Erie County) – $36,000
  • Mountain Lake PBS (Clinton County) – $138,015
  • Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (Genesee County) – $40,000

Capital Region

Disney’s Newsies (Capital Region – Schenectady County) – $1,000,000
Buena Vista Theatrical Group, Ltd., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, will use a grant of up to $1 million for a portion of the cost of producing a traveling theatrical tour of the Broadway show Newsies, which appeared at Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady, New York.

The production, which ran from September to October in 2014, created approximately 155 temporary jobs, including the cast, crew, musicians, administration and other personnel in the City of Schenectady. The grant was a major factor in the company’s decision to bring the show to Upstate New York.

Central New York Region

706 North Clinton Street Redevelopment (Central New York Region – Onondaga County) – $500,000
706 North Clinton, LLC, a real estate company, will use a grant of up to $500,000 to assist with the redevelopment of 706 North Clinton Street, located at the entry to the Syracuse Inner Harbor – another major redevelopment project – and Franklin Square neighborhoods.

In 2014, the company purchased 706 North Clinton Street, an industrial mixed–use facility, with a plan to turn it into commercial office space to support financial and medical firms. The facility is located at the entry to the historic Inner Harbor/Franklin Square area and has the potential to serve as a gateway entrance to the area, but the redevelopment of the property required significant costs as it needed extensive environmental remediation, along with renovations and construction. To close a financing gap and commence development of a first class facility with opportunities to attract and retain jobs in the financial services and medical industries, the company applied through Round III of the Regional Council process and was awarded a $500,000 grant.

The project was completed in May 2015, and will lead to the creation of 50 new jobs in the financial services industry over the next five years, while retaining 100 jobs in downtown Syracuse and expanding the number of jobs in the medical services industry. This project is consistent with the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council’s plan, specifically to strengthen industry focus and revitalize urban cores, main streets and neighborhoods.

Matt Industries (Central Region – Onondaga County) – $350,000
Matt Industries, Inc., a print technology company, will use a grant of up to $350,000 to assist with building rehabilitation, company relocation and the purchase of machinery and equipment.

In 2014, Matt Industries sought to expand its manufacturing operation in New York State by acquiring the assets and technology of PCI Paper Conversions in Syracuse., To encourage the company to proceed with its expansion and the acquisition, Matt Industries was offered a $350,000 grant to assist with the financing of the project. As a result, the company will retain 104 existing jobs and create 47 new jobs, 24 of which have already been created.

Long Island Region

Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine (Long Island Region – Nassau County) – $152,417
Hofstra University, a private higher education institution, will use a grant of up to $152,417 to assist with the purchase of furniture, fixtures, computers, tablets and associated equipment to support Hofstra University's Medical Scholar's Pipeline Program. The program is an educational and mentoring initiative designed to educate and support underrepresented and/or underserved students from disadvantaged communities in the field of science and healthcare.

In March 2011, the School of Medicine recognized a need to address the regional shortage of technical talent in both the science and healthcare fields. To address this, the School of Medicine designed the Medical Scholar’s Pipeline Program, an innovative curriculum to educate academically talented, underrepresented and/or underserved students who are interested in the healthcare field. In July 2012, Hofstra University applied for assistance on behalf of the School of Medicine through Round II of the Regional Council process in order to complete renovations, construct new classrooms, and purchase computers and other technical tools for the program. The project was awarded $152,417and is consistent with the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council’s plan to support potentially high–skilled workers, including high–school students, for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Advance Manufacturing Composites (Long Island Region – Nassau County) – $136,000

The Long Island Forum for Technology is a not–for–profit economic development organization focused on the advancement of science and technology–based industries on the Long Island. The organization will use a grant of up to $136,000 for a portion of the cost of curriculum development, project management, training costs, and the purchase of equipment and software to provide Long Island manufacturers’ employees with training in composites and advanced manufacturing.

The Long Island Forum for Technology provides services to for–profit and not–for–profit businesses to train incumbent workers. In 2012, the organization established the Composite Prototyping Center, a manufacturing innovation center focused on advanced composite manufacturing technologies. The Long Island Forum for Technology was awarded $136,000 through Round I of the Regional Council process to assist with working capital expenses required to provide workforce training in occupational skills needed by a business or industry. After completion of the training Advanced Manufacturing Composites program in 2016, the Composite Prototyping Center will have trained a minimum of 25 individuals from Long Island manufacturers.

This project is consistent with the Long Island REDC’s plan to retain and create jobs by establishing mechanisms to train and prepare workers to respond to the challenges of a hi–tech, globally competitive economy.

Mohawk Valley Region

Primo Property Management (Mohawk Valley Region – Oneida County) – $1,200,000
Primo Property Management LLC, a privately–owned property management and rehabilitation company, will use grants totaling up to $1.2 million to assist with building renovations and construction costs associated with the rehabilitation of the former HSBC building on Genesee Street in downtown Utica, which will include a fourth floor addition to an 80,000–square–foot, three–story building.

In an effort to address business closings, slow job growth and many unsold properties in the Utica area as a result of thousands of college educated individuals moving to other cities, Primo Property Management sought to increase the number of downtown residents by rehabilitating the former HSBC Building, a landmark located in downtown Utica.

Phase I of this $10 million rehabilitation project was awarded a grant of up to $400,000 through Round III of the REDC initiative. This phase was completed in June 2014 and included demolition, remediation, construction and renovation. The building features energy efficient systems and a green space roof, and houses a foodservice outlet, multiple commercial tenant spaces and 25 loft style urban apartments. Phase II of the HSBC building rehabilitation was awarded an $800,000 grant through Round IV of the REDC process and is slated for completion in 2015. The second phase will include a fourth floor addition to the three–story building, a restaurant and roof patio, and related systems upgrades.

This priority project is consistent with the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council’s strategic plan, which includes a focus on making building rehabilitation investments and utilizing existing infrastructure in the region.

Utica Coffee Roasting, Inc. (Mohawk Valley Region – Oneida County) – $150,000
Utica Coffee Roasting, Inc., a local coffee distributor, will use a grant of up to $150,000 to assist with the purchase of machinery and equipment for the renovation of its new roasted coffee manufacturing, warehousing, packaging and distribution facility in Utica, Oneida County.

Utica Coffee applied for support through Round III of the Regional Council process to assist with the renovation of a 3,720–square–foot for use as its new manufacturing facility. The project was awarded $150,000 and completed in October 2014. The facility will support new customer demand for coffee and increased sales growth.

The project is consistent with the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council’s Plan to leverage business, industry and employment concentrations with high growth potential. As a result of this project, the company will retain four existing jobs and create 10 new jobs, five of which have already been created.

New York City Region

MediaMath (New York City Region – New York County) – $5,800,000
MediaMath, a digital advertising management firm company, will use a grant of up to $5.8 million to assist with the costs required to create 1,000 new jobs and transfer 200 employees from the company’s current headquarters, and two other New York City offices, to 4 World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.

The World Trade Center Job Creation & Retention Program is an Empire State Development administered grant program, funded by the Federal government to focus on revitalizing lower Manhattan in the wake of 9/11 by gaining the commitment of existing firms to remain and grow downtown. In recent years, with its remaining allotment of funding, the program has focused on attracting firms located outside lower Manhattan to move and expand to the area. The Job Creation & Retention Program requires projects to involve at least 200 existing or attracted lower Manhattan jobs or the creation of at least 75 net new New York City jobs in the designated area.

Due to expiring leases at its three New York City locations and plans to grow its workforce significantly, MediaMath considered relocating outside of New York State. Due to the Job Creation & Retention Program grant, the company is in the midst of a renovation project at 4 World Trade Center. The project, which will serve as its new headquarters, is expected to be completed in September 2015. The company has already created 175 new jobs.

Brooklyn Navy Yard/Steiner Studios (New York City Region – Kings County) – $5,000,000
Steiner Studios, the largest film studios on the east coast, will use grants of up to $5 million to assist with construction and related planning and design expenses to implement Phase III of its Media Campus project. In partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Steiner Studios has developed a master plan for the transformation of approximately 43 acres in the Brooklyn Navy Yard into a state–of–the–art, full–service Media Campus.

Steiner Studios’ $137 million Phase III project will convert the underutilized naval hospital annex at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which has been vacant for nearly three decades, into a hub for media, technology and film related businesses; and construct six soundstages, along with stabilizing several existing structures. Phase III alone has the potential to create at least 1,000 full-time permanent jobs and 850 construction jobs. Over the next 12 years, it is anticipated that an additional $374 million in private investment, the creation of over 2,500 permanent jobs and 2,600 construction jobs will occur at Steiner Studios. Additionally, Steiner Studios' expansion will strengthen New York State’s status as one of the nation’s top destinations for production and post-production work by constructing more than 170,000 square feet of new soundstages.

This project was designated a priority by the NYC Regional Economic Development Council and was awarded grant funding as part of the second round of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The project is located in one of 15 areas of New York City designated by the Council as an Opportunity Zone. The project is a cornerstone of the transformation of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Established in 1801, the Navy Yard was once the site of one of the nation’s most storied U.S. Navy shipbuilding facilities. Over the past two decades, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has emerged as a modern industrial park and hub for the establishment and growth of small industrial businesses.

North Country Region

International Paper Natural Gas Conversion (North Country Region – Essex County) – $1,000,000
International Paper Company, a paper and packaging manufacturing company, will use a grant of up to $1 million for a portion of the costs of construction and equipment to institute a natural gas conversion of the boilers at the company’s Ticonderoga Mill in Essex County.

International Paper Company, formed in 1898 in Corinth, Essex County, is the largest paper company in the industry, with 65,000 employees worldwide and operations in 24 countries. The Ticonderoga facility is the largest private employer in Essex County. In order to convert the boilers at the Ticonderoga Mill facility from oil to natural gas fuel, which will reduce operating costs and make the facility more energy efficient, International Paper applied for assistance through Round II of the Regional Council process. The project was awarded $1 million and is expected to reduce fuel oil usage by 14.6 million gallons annually.

This project is consistent with the North Country Regional Economic Development Council’s strategies to support manufacturing and existing employers, and encourage sustainable business activities. As a result of this project, International Paper will retain 640 existing jobs.

Southern Tier Region

The Hilliard Corporation (Southern Tier Region – Chemung County) – $145,000
The Hilliard Corporation, a motion control products manufacturer serving the automotive industry, will use grant of up to $145,000 for a portion of the cost to purchase and install machinery and equipment that will improve manufacturing capability at the company’s sole facility in Elmira.

Founded in 1905, the Hilliard Corporation has evolved from a one-product business into a special-applications engineering company that serves customers worldwide, offering a broad line of motion control products, oil filtration and reclaiming equipment, starters for industrial gas and diesel engines, gas turbines, and plate and frame filter presses used in the food and beverage industry. In June 2013, the company sought to improve operations at its Elmira facility, and applied for a grant during Round III of the Regional Council process to ensure the improvement project could move forward.

This project is consistent with the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council’s strategies to strengthen the region’s advanced manufacturing industry, which is one of its principal growth sectors. The project was completed in April 2015 and the company has exceeded its job creation commitment of seven, creating 10 new jobs while also retaining 620 jobs.

Western New York Region

Lockport Ice Arena (Western New York Region – Niagara County) – $1,000,000
Lockport Ice Arena and Sports Center, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, will use grant of up to $1 million to assist with construction of a new regulation–size ice and sports arena in Niagara County.

The project, which was completed in December 2014, involved the construction of the Cornerstone Arena, a 93,000 square-foot, two-level ice and sports arena. The arena is expected to attract approximately 21,000 skaters and 100,000 visitors annually, which has the potential to increase retail and hospitality revenues by as much as $3 million annually in Niagara County alone. The project will spur private spinoff development in downtown Lockport; provide a year-round ice and sports arena in an area that was previously underserved; and offer hockey and figure skating access for local youth combating juvenile delinquency, while also promoting social welfare, physical fitness, and good sportsmanship. In 2013, Lockport Ice Arena and Sports Center, Inc. applied for assistance through Round III of the Regional Council process and was awarded $1 million to start the construction for the Cornerstone Arena. Without Empire State Development’s assistance, the project would not have moved forward.

The Cornerstone Arena was designated a priority project by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and is consistent with several of its strategies, including attracting young adults; revitalizing downtown areas by razing blight and constructing new development; and increasing tourism.