JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the creation of the $20 million Greater Binghamton Fund to spend on economic-development projects in Binghamton, Johnson City, and Endicott.
The projects are outlined in the “Southern Tier Soaring” Upstate Revitalization Initiative plan, which captured a $500 million prize in Cuomo’s 2015 economic-development contest.
Cuomo made the announcement during an appearance at the Goodwill Theatre in Johnson City on Wednesday morning.
The fund will spend money on projects that include mixed-use and mixed-income developments; private retail and commercial development; and smart-growth technologies will be implemented through infrastructure and streetscape improvements, according to a news release Cuomo’s office issued.
The Greater Binghamton Fund will work to turn targeted urban centers, or “iDistricts,” into communities where “the next generation of workers want to live, work, and play.”
The term “iDistricts” is short for “innovation” districts, Cuomo’s office said.
“The Greater Binghamton Fund is a game changer for this region, providing opportunities for development and revitalization, while helping to create an environment for businesses to expand and grow,” Cuomo contended. “This fund will increase access to the resources these communities need to attract top notch employees and support the vitality of the Southern Tier as the region continues to soar.”
The Greater Binghamton Fund will support projects that fall within the geographic boundaries of the designated “innovation” districts.
“Significant” economic drivers anchor the “iDistricts,” including the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator in Binghamton; the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Johnson City, and the Huron Campus in Endicott, which is the site of Binghamton University’s Center for Advanced Microelectronic Manufacturing (CAMM).
New York State had earlier provided CAMM $20 million to conduct “advanced” research and development in flexible circuitry, Cuomo’s office said.
“These targeted areas have historically experienced higher rates of unemployment, poverty, and vacant or blighted properties,” Howard Zemsky, president, CEO & commissioner of Empire State Development (ESD), said in the release. “The Greater Binghamton Fund will build on previous investment in anchor institutions and stimulate new investment to create sustainable downtown economies.”
ESD on Wednesday issued a request for proposals from a list of pre-qualified organizations.
The selected respondent will develop and implement a “strategic” investment plan and identify and develop “detailed” project profiles that the revitalization fund will finance.
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