Promotes Revitalization of Communities by Redeveloping or Eliminating Blighted Structures
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Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that the Restore New York grant program will open on July 11. This $250 million program encourages community development and neighborhood growth through the elimination and redevelopment of blighted structures. Restore New York is open to municipalities to support projects that focus on demolishing, rehabilitating and restoring residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings. The program, administered by Empire State Development is designed to help local governments revitalize their communities and encourage commercial investment, improve the local housing stock, put properties back on the tax rolls and increase the local tax base. Grants will be awarded in two rounds this year, with $100 million available in the first round and $150 million available in round two.
"I have traveled to every corner of the state and have seen first-hand the potential that lies in so many of New York's blighted, older buildings," Governor Hochul said. "These spaces once had purpose and are now in need of funding and vision to breathe new life into neighborhoods. Restore New York funding gives localities the resources to transform abandoned and neglected properties, helping rebuild and strengthen communities across the state."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Restore New York gives municipalities the support they need to create real change in their communities, especially their downtown centers. By removing or rehabilitating eyesores that bring down a neighborhood, municipalities have opportunity to revitalize their community and generate new economic opportunities."
The goal of Restore New York is to help attract residents and businesses by redeveloping residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties. Each project should align with the regional strategic plan of the Regional Economic Development Council and projects should be either architecturally consistent with nearby and adjacent properties or consistent with the municipality's local revitalization or urban development plan.
Funding can be used for vacant, abandoned, condemned or surplus buildings and these properties can be demolished, deconstructed, rehabilitated or reconstructed. Emphasis will be placed on projects in economically distressed communities, projects that leverage other state or federal redevelopment funds and the project's feasibility and readiness. Eligible applicants include counties, cities, towns, and villages within New York State based on the following criteria:
- Cities over 100,000 in population may apply for up to $5 million for one project. However, cities of over 1 million in population and counties therein must apply for projects in a distressed area of the city
- Cities and villages with populations between 40,000 and 99,999 may apply for one project up to $3 million
- All other municipalities may apply for one project up to $2 million
Empire State Development may grant a limited number of special awards. Municipalities with populations of 100,000 or less and Counties with populations of 400,000 or less may apply for an additional $10 million to put toward a second separate project OR toward part of a larger project in addition to the funding limits listed above. Special projects are where the property causes severe economic injury to the community, leaving a highly visible and blighted property or properties in the central business district of a highly or moderately distressed community which has a depressing effect on the overall economic development potential of the community.
An intent to apply form must be received by ESD by August 11th, 2022. For more detailed information on the program and requirements visit https://esd.ny.gov/restore-new-york. The RFP and full guidelines will be available on July 11.
State Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, "Blighted structures are a scar on our community and a drain on local resources, so every time we can revitalize a property and get it back on the tax rolls, it's a win for all of us. The Restore New York program will combat blight and help our communities recover from the pandemic era, and I urge every municipality to learn more and apply for funds to help move New York forward."
Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, "This is a great program that will reshape our neighborhoods and bring vitality back to once dilapidated properties. It's opportunities like these that are bringing New York back and allowing for more jobs for our families. Thank you, Governor Hochul and Empire State Development, for continuing to help us move towards an inclusive and equitable economic recovery."
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York's chief economic development agency. 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. Using 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 the New York State 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.