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TMCNet:  Governor Cuomo Announces $5.9 Million to Fund Projects That Will Spur Economic Opportunity in Four Regions

[February 21, 2014]

Governor Cuomo Announces $5.9 Million to Fund Projects That Will Spur Economic Opportunity in Four Regions

(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ALBANY, N.Y., Feb. 20 -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., issued the following news release: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the approval of $5.9 million to support seven economic development projects in the Western New York, Southern Tier, Central New York and the Mid-Hudson regions. These projects will create more than 260 new jobs and retain nearly 1,000 existing jobs. The funding, which was approved by Empire State Development's (ESD) Board of Directors earlier today, will also leverage more than $87 million in additional investments to support business expansions and lay the groundwork for future economic growth and job creation.


"By supporting these seven development projects, we are creating and retaining more than 1,000 jobs in Upstate New York," Governor Cuomo said. "Working with the business community, the State is leveraging significant private investments - $87 million with this round of funding alone - to help grow regional economies. These seven projects show how partnerships between the public and private sector are creating new economic opportunities in industries ranging from tourism and hospitality to medicine and agriculture, and together they will make New York's economy stronger and more competitive." "The funding approved today by the Board is helping move important economic development projects forward to create new employment opportunities for New Yorkers and bolster regional economies," said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, companies have taken notice that New York is the place to invest and grow their business and it is resulting in a stronger economy, the most private sector jobs in state history, and declining unemployment rates in every region of the state." The Board approved the following Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards: Central NY Raceway Park, Inc. - Priority Project (Central New York - Oswego County) - $1,000,000 Central NY Raceway Park, Inc., which was formed in 2012 to develop a 145-acre site in Central Square, Oswego County, into the CNY Raceway Park, will use a grant of up to $1 million for a portion of pre-development soft costs, including planning, design, engineering, investigation, legal, accounting and other soft costs associated with their proposed $38 million development.

Oswego County is a motorsports destination that includes several race tracks, including the Oswego, Fulton and Brewerton Speedways. The availability of different types of racing is considered beneficial to the industry, building opportunity and interest in the sport. The CNY Raceway Park will schedule events to complement the schedules of the existing facilities and will distinguish itself by offering opportunities for a wide array of racing and a year-round venue not available elsewhere.

Additionally, the Park will be strategically positioned at major crossroads in New York State, making it convenient and accessible for race participants and the public. It will be located minutes from the City of Syracuse and the NYS Thruway, adjacent to I-81 and Route 11, and 80 miles from Canada. The completed project will transform the site into a premier multi-use destination facility for motor sports, trade shows, concerts and other events, and attendance is expected to be 5,000 to 7,000 spectators per event.

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Tunnel (Western New York - Erie County) - $1,000,000 Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC), a consortium of the Region's premier health care, life sciences research, and medical education institutions with a mission to promote the clinical, research and academic excellence of its member institutions and the community at-large, will use a grant of up to $1 million for a portion of construction costs of an underground tunnel between the Buffalo General Medical Center and the new John R. Oishei Children's Hospital.

The $5 million project, which was completed in October 2013, involved the construction of the 80-foot-long, 9-foot-wide, 15-foot-high tunnel underneath Ellicott Street between High and Goodrich Streets on the Campus. The Tunnel will serve as a key link between current and future BNMC institutions along High Street. It will connect the east end of the Campus with Roswell Park and the Buffalo General Medical Center to the developing west side of Ellicott Street with the new Oishei Children's Hospital, medical office buildings and the University at Buffalo School of Medicine.

As a result, the Tunnel will leverage shared utilities and services. The facilitation and cost effective integration and sharing of a number of the Buffalo General Medical Center services with those of the new hospital will lower costs in facility construction, ongoing operation and management supporting stable or reduced health care costs for the region.

MARK Project - Priority Project (Southern Tier - Delaware County) - $250,000 The MARK Project, Inc., an organization that specializes in economic development efforts to promote outdoor recreation and tourism, arts and culture, agriculture and forest products, currently manages a privately funded small business assistance program and will receive a grant of up to $250,000 to replenish an existing revolving loan and grant fund. The Small Business Development Fund fosters economic growth and vitality and in the past, the program has assisted over 40 businesses and distributed nearly $170,000 in privately invested funds.

Many areas in Upstate New York were adversely affected by Hurricane Irene. The MARK Project created the Small Business Development Fund as a catalyst for economic recovery in the Town of Middletown. This program concentrates on main streets to revitalize the economy. As a result of the success of the program, the organization sought to expand but lacked the necessary funding. The organization applied for ESD assistance through the Southern Tier REDC and was awarded $250,000 to continue the Small Business Development Fund and expand it to the Towns of Roxbury and Andes. The ESD grant will enable the organization to continue to award grants and loans to small businesses to rebuild a sustainable economy on rural main streets.

The Board approved the following Urban and Community Project Development Assistance Loan: Inns at Armory Square (Central New York, Onondaga County) - $2,000,000 The Inns at Armory Square, LLC, a Syracuse based developer specializing in local urban restoration, property management and real estate brokerage, will use a loan of up to $2 million for a portion of the cost of real estate acquisition, construction and the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment related to the construction of the Inns at Armory Square, a $29 million, 100-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel and a 75-room Marriott Residence Inn located in the Armory Square section of Syracuse.

The Inns at Armory Square is the first new hotel in downtown Syracuse and Syracuse's historic Armory Square District in more than 25 years. The $2 million loan was requested to help close a funding gap and move this important tourism destination project forward, which is related to the City of Syracuse's plan to develop a Convention District linking the downtown OnCenter with the Armory Square entertainment district. The Convention Center at OnCenter, which is located approximately five blocks from the proposed hotel location at Armory Square, has 99,000 square feet of exhibition space to accommodate major national conferences, but is not supported by sufficient downtown lodging and related conference amenities to accommodate the scope of events it is seeking to attract.

The $29 million project has resulted in the creation of a 140,000-square-foot, seven-story, commercial complex, located on a prime site in historic Armory Square at the corner of West Fayette and Franklin Streets. The complex will accommodate more than 90,000 guests per year, with the 102-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, which started operations in July 2013, accommodating business travelers and other overnight guests while a Marriott Residence Inn will have 78 rooms and target families, tourists and business travelers staying for longer visits. The project will create 125 new jobs in downtown Syracuse and Central New York.

The Board approved the following Downtown Revitalization Fund convertible loan: Continental Organics, LLC (Mid-Hudson - Orange County) - $750,000 Continental Organics, a sustainable agriculture company that produces natural and organic food production and fertilizer manufacturing in New Windsor, Orange County, will receive a convertible loan of up to $750,000 to be used for a portion of the cost of the acquisition of real estate and construction associated with the development of a 900,000-square-foot aquaponics and fertilizer production facility over a five-year, five phase period.

New York State imports nearly all the seafood consumed within the state. This demand for seafood creates a major economic development opportunity in New York for aquaculture production. To capitalize on this opportunity, Continental Organics vision was to develop a new indoor aquaponics farm.

In an effort to determine an appropriate location for the new aquaponics production facility, the company identified several locations in Burlington and Ocean Counties in New Jersey and Orange County in New York. Last year, the company broke ground on and completed a new 100,000-square-foot expansion. As a result of the project, the new facility will produce three principal organic products: fish, hydroponic vegetables, and fertilizer. The project will employ the company's newly designed technology to recycle carbon monoxide gas, in its greenhouse to promote faster growing plants. Once the project is complete, Continental Organics will become the first commercial-scale indoor farm with a wholesale market orientation in the United States. This project will create 121 jobs within five years after the closing of ESD's loan.

The company is also preparing to build an additional 275,000-square-foot facility to be completed in 2015. In order to fund this new expansion, the company applied for ESD funding for the project during the third round of Regional Council Awards, and was awarded a grant of up to $750,000.

The Board approved the following Economic Development Fund grants: Delaware County Industrial Development Agency, Amphenol Corp. (Southern Tier - Delaware County) - $750,000 The Delaware County Industrial Development Agency, a public benefit corporation empowered to provide financial assistance to private entities through tax incentives, will use a grant of up to $750,000 for a portion of the cost to construct a natural gas distribution line from the Constitution Pipeline to Amphenol Corporation's existing facility at 40-60 Delaware Avenue, as well as the new manufacturing facility to be constructed at 171 Delaware Avenue.

Amphenol Aerospace, a division of Amphenol Corporation, is one of the largest manufacturers of interconnect products in the world for the military, commercial aerospace, and industrial markets. Amphenol designs, manufactures, and markets cylindrical and rectangular, electronic, fiber optic, EMI/EMP filter, and a variety of special applications connectors and interconnect systems. As a result of the devastating floods of 2011, Amphenol needed to decide whether to stay and rebuild in the region or close operations completely. ESD offered the IDA a $750,000 grant to assist the company in establishing a natural gas line to improve operation and retain 950 jobs. Additionally in 2011, ESD offered up to $32,195,000 in refundable tax credits directly to the company through the Empire State Jobs Retention Program. Amphenol's manufacturing operations were established in the Town of Sidney in 1925 and have been a major employer in the region ever since, making the company's decision to rebuild in a new location in Delaware County critical to the success of the local economy and workforce.

Ertel Alsop (Mid-Hudson - Ulster County) - $200,000 Stavo Industries, Inc. d/b/a Ertel Alsop, a manufacturer of equipment for processing and filtering liquids, will use a grant of up to $200,000 for a portion of the cost to purchase machinery and equipment needed to acquire, renovate, and equip an 86,000-square-foot facility to expand the production of filter presses used in wastewater treatment.

In 2010, Stavo recognized a need to grow within the industry; however, it lacked room to expand in its existing facility. The company sought to relocate to a larger facility and install a new, more efficient manufacturing line in order to stay competitive. In addition, the company faced the loss of 47 jobs if it could not increase profit margins and reduce manufacturing costs. By consolidating the company's operations under one roof, it would allow the Ertel Alsop to improve operating efficiency, eliminate redundant tasks, and improve company-wide collaboration. In July 2010, Stavo identified a vacant facility in Kingston to purchase and renovate that would fulfill its relocation and consolidation plan. The company wished to remain in New York although it had considered other states, including North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. As a result of this project, Stavo will retain 47 jobs and create 15 jobs. The company is on its way to achieving this goal, having already created 9 new jobs.

The next meeting of the ESD Board of Directors will be held in March.

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York's chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I Love NY," the State's iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

TNS 30FurigayJane-140221-4644014 30FurigayJane (c) 2014 Targeted News Service

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