Seward Announces State Grant For Clock Tower

James L. Seward

October 25, 2006

State Senator James L. Seward today announced that the City of Cortland has been awarded $2,000,000 for the rehabilitation of the clock tower at 112 Main Street damaged by a fire. Prior to the fire, the building contained seven retail stores and twenty-one apartments. The building will be rehabbed to create retail and commercial space.

The grant money is part of the Restore New York’s Communities Initiative (Restore-NY), a program enacted by the state legislature to aid municipalities in rehabilitating or removing obsolete or rundown commercial and residential properties, making the sites attractive to residents and businesses searching for new investment opportunities.

Total project cost is estimated at $8 million.

"It is a critical tool for creating additional economic development opportunities and improving the quality of life in communities throughout New York State," said Seward of the program.

"The restoration of a property like the Clock Tower is a great first step toward improving not only the visual landscape, but it also generates optimism among residents, and helps to foster an environment that encourages job creation and the development of a strong future economy in Cortland," Seward said.

The $300 million Restore-NY Communities Initiative was established by the state legislature in the 2006-07 state budget and is administered by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC).

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to municipalities over the next three years to demolish or rehabilitate qualified commercial or residential structures, making these cleared or restored sites attractive to residents and businesses. The grants will be made available through ESDC in three rounds: $50 million in 2006-07; $100 million in 2007-08; and $150 million in 2008-09.

"The revitalization of our communities across New York State is an essential component of generating economic growth and new investment dollars," said Senator Seward. "This initiative gives businesses an incentive to locate here, allowing them to fully take advantage of the tremendous economic and geographic resources that our state has to offer."

More information regarding the Restore-NY initiative is available online at