Promotes revitalization of communities by redeveloping or eliminating blighted structures
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Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the Restore New York grant program will open 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," 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."
ESD 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.”
A press release noted 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. 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 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
ESD 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 Aug. 11. 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.
New York State Sen. 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."