The Economic Development Council of the
Capital Region is seeking $500 million for
large-scale economic development projects,
including some in downtown Glens Falls.
The grant application was revealed on Oct.
5. It calls for redevelopment efforts to begin
with Glens Falls and Albany as pilot projects.
The grant money is intended to help create
more livable communities, that make students
more employable and assist businesses.
The funds come from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s
Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Three grant
packages of $500 million each will be awarded
toward the end of the year.
A set of “downtown catalyst projects” has
an initial promise of more than $800 million
in “partner commitments which are largely
contingent on winning the URI,” the report
submitted to the governor said.
“The Capital Region has been on a journey
to transform its economy from one that is
dependent on the public sector to one where the
private sector is the engine of growth,” it states.
In the plan, a proposed “population
health technology cluster” aims to transform
health care statewide and across the nation
through the development of “a unique public-private
ecosystem” that would bring together
regional providers and payers with “world class
technology firms, local community
organizations, and other partners to share,
aggregate, analyze and mobilize data to enable
smarter health care solutions.”
The three grant winners will get about $130
million annually when regular REDC funding
is included. The governor said that even with
the extra money going to top performers, the
“losers” of the competition will end up with
about $90 million.
The Capital Region’s Upstate Revitalization
Initiative plan was the result of an eight-month
effort that gathered ideas from people in public
meetings and through social media. Experts were also consulted.
The plan also calls for spending millions on
spurring tourism as well as marketing crafts
and helping area residents develop enterprises
that produce specialty agriculture products.
Six other upstate New York regional
development councils are competing for
The plan leverages $800 million in “partner
commitments” and $75 million to $140
million to support “catalyst projects.” This
latter appropriation would be for smartgrowth
development efforts that complement
and support revitalization projects already
In Glens Falls, areas targeted are “underutilized,
vacant, and deteriorating properties”
in low-income neighborhood areas.
Officials have said the project would be in
the South Street, Broad Street and Hudson
Avenue areas, but also said the plan could
change somewhat and no firm commitments
The grant application cites that in downtown
Glens Falls, commercial property has a vacancy rate averaging about 20 percent, partially
because of the exorbitant cost of renovating
historic buildings. It says that $30 million fund
could partially offset that cost.
“Our downtowns must be able to attract and
retain young professionals, a critical group for
our future,” the plan states. It said young adults
are about 94 percent more likely to live in urban
neighborhoods than other settings.
The first round of such projects in Glens
Falls and Albany would create between 10,000
and 12,000 jobs and generate $20 million in
tax revenue over the first five years of grant
implementation, according to the community
leaders and consultants drafting the grant
Businesses to receive loans will be expected
to create one job for each $40,000 in funding —
and maintain these jobs for at least two years.
Loans are expected to range from $50,000 to
The website for the regional council is
for those interested in additional information
on the organization.