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Chamber News Release

Governor Hochul announces more than $34 million awarded through Round XIII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative

April 29, 2024
Third Batch of Approved Empire State Development Grant Fund Awards Include Over $34 Million to 23 Shovel-Ready Projects
Full List of Round XIII Awardees Can Be Found Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that more than $34 million has been awarded to support 23 projects across New York State through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Round XIII included core capital grants and tax credits from Empire State Development, which was made available on a continuous and competitive basis to support the immediate needs of communities. Funding will support impactful projects that align with each region's strategic goals.

“We are breaking ground on a new era of economic development in New York State – one that is centered on the unique innovate strengths of our communities,” Governor Hochul said. “By taking a bottom-up approach to state investment, we’re creating jobs and spurring growth that is revitalizing regions while building on the talents of New Yorkers.”

“We are continuing our efforts across New York State to build economies in ways that amplify each community’s assets,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils. “These projects are strategic stepping stones that will help to each region build on previous success and map a future for a brighter tomorrow.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “ESD is proud to support these investments in critical life science research, workforce development, historic conservation, cultural centers and affordable housing across New York State. With our Regional Economic Development Councils, which strategically identify opportunities for their communities, we are planting the seeds of economic growth both now and for the future.”

This third round of Empire State Development Grant projects was recommended by each Regional Council because of the project's readiness and alignment with each region's strategic plan. Highlights include:

  • Ichor Life Sciences - Ichor Expansion (Central New York) – $200,000 ESD Grant, $250,000 Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit: Ichor Life Sciences is a Full-Service Contract Research Organization (CRO) that operates in various life sciences capacities including services in protein research and testing, pharmacology, clinical trials as well as in house development of aging-related therapeutics.  As a Full-Service CRO, they are a key component to the region’s innovation ecosystem. Ichor will consolidate and expand their Lafayette and Potsdam locations to a building located in a distressed community along a business corridor in Syracuse, Onondaga County. The project involves the acquisition and renovation of the building and the purchase and installation of equipment. The new site will bring all of Ichor's services under one roof and place them closer to current and potential partners, and in a better position to access the local and regional workforce.  The site will be host to the company's research and development activities and its biotech start-up accelerator. Total Project Cost: $2.8 Million 
  • Monroe Community College - Optics Training Lab (Finger Lakes) – $1.35 Million ESD Grant: Monroe Community College (MCC) will renovate three rooms at the Brighton campus to accommodate space for a new fully dedicated Optics Micro-Credential fast-track training lab. The lab will be located next to their current optics educational space and allow MCC to fast-track certification training for up to 24 students per year. With more than 150 optics companies in the Finger Lakes Region, this project which will assist with the growing demand for employment in the optics sector. Total Project Cost: $2.7 Million 
  • Mohonk Preserve, Inc. - The Brook Farmhouse Project (Mid-Hudson) – $250,000 ESD Grant: Mohonk Preserve will rehabilitate a historic farmhouse located within a popular scenic landscape and trail network and renovate it for adaptive reuse as a conservation science center and the site of its new headquarters in the Town of New Paltz, Ulster County. The rehabilitation, along with an offsite ground mount solar array installation constitute the first phase of a multi-year project to improve conservation, reduce carbon emissions and enhance tourism. Total Project Cost: $1.8 Million 
  • Soldier On, Inc. - Copper Village (Mohawk Valley) - $2.5 Million ESD Grant: Soldier On, Inc. is a private not-for-profit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness. They will be partnering with Pennrose NY LLC & Human Technologies Corporation on the Copper Village project, an 11-acre mixed-use development site along the Erie Canal Waterfront District in Rome. Copper Village will feature 250 affordable housing units for various demographics including low income, formerly homeless, disabled and veterans, a new commercial district with public waterfront plaza access and a new child care facility. Total Project Cost: $6.8 Million 
  • Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc. - New York Center for Creativity & Dance (New York City) – $3.5 Million ESD Grant: The Joyce Theater Foundation (“The Foundation”) is a leading presenter of dance in New York City and nationally. The Foundation owns a 7-story building which houses it's New York Center for Creativity & Dance in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan which they will renovate to create a more vibrant space ideal for practice dance studios and small performances, offering up to 13 affordable spaces to hundreds of non-profit dance companies, musicians, costumers, and allied artists. The location is a former Boys Club location which closed in 2022 and The Foundation is committed to ensuring the building remains a long-term focus of community engagement while expanding their programming and committing to green building practices. Total Project Cost: $22.5 Million 
  • North Country Children's Museum - Exhibit Fabrication & Installation (North Country) – $155,200 ESD Grant: The North Country Children’s Museum, located in Potsdam, New York’s historic downtown district, will fabricate six new, interactive STEAM educational exhibits for its second-floor display area. The new exhibits include: Swartzentruber Amish Home Exhibit, Physics Trail, Maple Forest Climber with STEAM interactives, Kids’ Stage Theater, Music & Sound Lab, and Family Resource Room/Infant Play space. Total Project Cost: $776,000 
  • Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc. - AVRE Manufacturing Expansion (Southern Tier) – $200,000 ESD Grant: Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc. (AVRE) will expand and upgrade their manufacturing equipment and facility located in downtown Binghamton. The expansion and upgrades will support increased capacity for paper production and enable the AVRE to continue offering vision rehabilitation services to blind and visually impaired individuals of all ages across the Southern Tier. Total Project Cost: $1.8 Million 
  • Graycliff Conservancy, Inc. - Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff Visitor Center Expansion (Western New York) – $1 Million ESD Grant: Graycliff is a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed property on Lake Erie in Derby, New York that serves as an architectural tourist attraction. Graycliff Conservancy will expand their visitor center to more than twice the current size to accommodate visitors and programs year-round. The new space would be used for rotating exhibits, workshops, lectures, presentations, special events and meetings. Total Project Cost: $5.3 Million

The REDC process continues to support and empower regional stakeholders in developing strategic plans and funding priorities that meet local economic needs. To date, through the REDC Initiative, more than $8 billion has been awarded to more than 9,900 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plan.


About the Consolidated Funding Application
The Consolidated Funding Application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier and more productive. Learn more about the CFA here.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of the State’s approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, 10 Regional Councils were established to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom-up approach and establishing a competitive process for state resources. Learn more at


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