The third round of the Regional Economic Development Council Awards were announced Wednesday bringing ten regions across the state millions of dollars in funding for new projects. Central New York will get nearly $70 million, but fell short of previous years' awards. Our Candace Hopkins explains.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Some of the projects are already in the works, others are new ventures, but all together Central New York will receive $66.9 million from the state to help grow the area's economy.
"It's projects on the ground, it's planes in the air, and it's people who are gonna have a chance to get to work who wouldn't have that chance otherwise," said Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Rob Simpson.
The Central New York council submitted 32 proposals, that could equal up to 800 new jobs. But four specific projects were highlighted by Governor Cuomo.
A $2.8 millon will be used to convert the vacant NYNEX building in Syracuse into a mixed use facility with apartments, offices, and stores.
A $1.3 million will go toward the continued development of the Inner Harbor. There are plans to add a hotel, apartments, and commercial space in that area.
A $750,000 will be invested into the Central New York Raceway Project in Hastings.
A $500,000 will be used to purchase and renovate the vacant Harriet Tubman Residential Center in Auburn. The site will be turned into a healthcare, sports and wellness campus.
"We're very, very conscious of putting forth projects that not only offer the potential of large economic benefits and that meet our region's vision and our strategy, but projects that have a realistic chance of completion, where there's known companies, with strong track records, where there's good financing in place to support these projects," said Simpson.
And while nearly $70 million sounds like an impressive award amount, it's is lower than Central New York received the first two years of the competition. In both 2012 and 2011 the region was named a top performer. Now council members say they will use feedback from the state to improve for next year.
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish we were had been named a top performer again, and every time we set out into this process those 19 members of the council work so hard to try to position ourselves at the top of the state and I can tell you personally I'm looking forward to getting feedback as to where we can strengthen our efforts," said Simpson.
Efforts aimed at improving the area's economy, one project and job at a time.