Governor Cuomo Announces Groundbreaking on $14 Million Centerpiece Project of Elmira Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Project to Transform Area with Construction of 65,000 Square-Foot Mixed-Use Development Project; Buildings First Two Tenants Also Announced
Investment in Downtown Revitalization is Important Component of "Southern Tier Soaring" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that the City of Elmira has broken ground on the centerpiece project of its Downtown Revitalization Initiative effort. Developer Park Grove Realty will construct a 65,000 square-foot, mixed-use development at 100 West Water Street downtown. The $14 million project will include commercial and retail space and will feature 50 units of market-rate housing units as well. The developer also announced that Labella Associates, an architecture, environmental consulting and planning firm has committed to be a tenant in the new building and will bring up to 40 employees to the new location. A planned brew pub will also occupy approximately 4,000 square-feet space once the building has been completed. The project is expected to be completed in January of 2019.
"Investments in our downtowns help transform them into economic engines for their regions, and with this exciting project in downtown Elmira, we are continuing this great progress," Governor Cuomo said. "These projects will help ensure that the Southern Tier continues to soar by transforming this community and laying the foundation for future growth and development across the entire region."
The project is being supported by $4 million through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative awarded to the city in 2016. Another $2.3 million will come from Empire State Development through the Restore NY Communities Initiative. Additionally, Chemung County and Southern Tier Economic Growth are providing incentives for the development. The project is also consistent with "Southern Tier Soaring", the regionally designed economic development plan which is growing the economy and creating new opportunities by investing in city centers.
Other DRI funded projects will include the rehabilitation of the Centertown Parking Garage, the creation of a walkable and inviting Clemens Square, and enhancements to Mark Twain Riverfront Park which will include an elevated boardwalk.
"The City of Elmira is excited for this critical investment in our downtown and priority project for our Downtown Revitalization Initiative to break ground," Mayor Daniel Mandell said. "We would like to thank Governor Cuomo for this investment in our community's future. This highly visible vacant lot on West Water Street that once represented the heart of our community, will have a new multimillion-dollar mixed-use development that will serve as a catalyst for Elmira's revitalization and generate new activity while building upon existing assets. "
Park Grove Realty Partner Andrew Bodewes said, "Park Grove is extremely pleased to be part of such an exciting transformational project for the City of Elmira. LaBella is an outstanding company and adding them as an anchor commercial tenant with 30 jobs in the center of downtown is a very positive step. This project is the result of a fantastic effort between state and local government and private enterprise. We thank the Governor's Office, County and City for their vision and support and look forward to working with them to assist in creating a revitalized Elmira."
LaBella Associates, President Robert Healy said, "LaBella is excited to be a part of this project and are happy to support Elmira's initiative to revitalize downtown."
In his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo recently proposed a third round of the game changing Downtown Revitalization Initiative which is working to transform downtown neighborhoods into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise families. Participating communities are nominated by the state's 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown's potential for transformation, and each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community's vision for revitalization. Downtown Watkins Glen was selected as the winner of the $10 million for the Southern Tier in round two of the initiative.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The Governors' commitment to reinvigorating downtown areas throughout the State is a central component of the State's economic development strategy. The Elmira Downtown Revitalization Initiative is working to create a vibrant downtown that will create and grow innovative businesses and strengthen the local economy."
"The West Water Street project will be a magnet to attract the next generation of New Yorkers to Elmira," said New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. "Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative builds upon the foundations of New York's communities across the state and Elmira is transforming through these efforts. We are proud to play a part in this important project for the Southern Tier."
Strategically located between major commercial corridors, Elmira's compact and walkable downtown is well positioned to become an active, desirable and diverse college community. The downtown development will cater to the needs of new residents attracted by the recent growth of the region's health care industry and impending college expansions.
Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Tom Tranter, President of Corning Enterprises and Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University said, "The DRI investment is already working to help downtown Elmira become more accessible and business-friendly while at the same time working to attract young professionals to the area. Once completed, this development will breathe new life into this beautiful city, ensuring that it is a critical player in the Southern Tier Soaring Upstate Revitalization Initiative vision."
Senator Thomas O'Mara said, "The city of Elmira has a number of exciting foundations on which to build and this ongoing, critical state investment in the city's future will lead to short- and long-term community revitalization and economic growth. We're grateful to the Cuomo administration, our local DRI planning committee, and the important public input that's helping Elmira move forward. This project represents an exciting and fantastic addition to a city that's a cornerstone of the entire Southern Tier region."
Chemung County Executive Thomas Santulli said, "Our community is very fortunate that Park Grove, which is owned by former Elmira natives, is returning to develop this major commercial retail and residential project in the heart of downtown. It is our hope that this development initiative will be the catalyst for future investment in the center of the downtown district."
Southern Tier Economic Growth President Michael Krusen said, "It is said that a thousand-mile journey starts with a step. While this is not the first step in Downtown Elmira's exciting revitalization it is an important one. It is great news to see the hard work and effort that went into securing the $10 million dollar DRI grant start to move ahead. There is so much more to follow and Elmira has much to be excited about. We are grateful for the support we have received from the State of New York and the Governor's Office.
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
This announcement complements "Southern Tier Soaring the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan - attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.