A pair of Hudson Valley communities have become the latest to be awarded millions to revitalize their downtown spaces and grow the economy.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that both Ossining in Northern Westchester and Haverstraw in Rockland County have been awarded a $10 million Downtown Revitalization (DRI) award.
The move comes as part of the fifth round of the DRI.
According to state officials, "as part of DRI Round (Five), each of the state's 10 regional economic development regions are being awarded $20 million, to make for a total state commitment of $200 million in funding and investments to help communities boost their post-COVID-19 economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods."
"The Downtown Revitalization Initiative continues to work with and empower local communities to reimagine their cities to create a brighter future for present and future generations,” officials previously stated. "By investing in the infrastructure, we can help attract even more new businesses, residents, and visitors to these areas.”
Officials said that "the DRI serves as a cornerstone of the state's economic development policy by transforming downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers of activity that offer a high quality of life and attract redevelopment, businesses, jobs, and economic and housing diversity. In this round, (Hochul) doubled funding from $100 million to $200 million and allowed each Regional Economic Development Council to decide whether to nominate two $10 million awardees or one $20 million awardees for transformative and catalytic downtown redevelopment projects."
In Haverstraw, village officials said that they are "aiming to make this area an inclusive, lively, 21st-century urban center where residents and visitors can live, work, learn and play."
"Haverstraw has stayed committed to downtown revitalization with multiple completed and ongoing projects, including multiple mixed-use developments, a new waterfront esplanade, and streetscape improvements," they said.
"Building on this work, Haverstraw aims to redevelop vacant space, expand public space, increase the economic activity of and access to the waterfront, as well as embrace their diverse history."
Further south in Ossining, they plan to focus on the Waterfront District.
"With a downtown that is on both the State and the National Historic Registers, Ossining wants to use their existing assets, including a rich history, public amenities, engaged residents, and an innovative business community, to build on previous successes and strengthen their downtown to have the greatest economic impact," Hochul said.
Haverstraw and Ossining now join the cities of Middletown, Kingston, New Rochelle, and Peekskill, which were the Mid-Hudson Region's winners in the first four DRI rounds.
"Our downtowns are the hubs for communities to connect and thrive, and as a former local official I know personally how transformative this funding can be to boost quality of life," Hochul said.
"Through our Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we will continue to give communities, like Ossining and Haverstraw, across the state the extra boost they need to recover from the pandemic and create more viable, livable, walkable downtowns."
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