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State awards Auburn $10M in Downtown Revitalization Initiative

By Eric Reinhardt


Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday delivered remarks inside the Auburn Public Theatre as he announced the city as Central New York’s winner of a $10 million prize in the $100 million in the third round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. (Photo credit: Gov. Cuomo’s Flickr account)

AUBURN, N.Y. — The state has awarded the City of Auburn $10 million in funding as the Central New York winner of the third round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

The Central New York regional economic-development council chose Auburn as part of a “competitive” process, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a Friday news release.

Auburn will use the $10 million in state funding to “revitalize its downtown neighborhoods and generate new opportunities for long-term growth,” Cuomo’s office said. Auburn now joins the cities of Oswego and Cortland, which were Central New York’s winners in the first and second DRI rounds, respectively.

Even though recent public and private investment; local planning efforts; and capital-infrastructure projects have started to “catalyze” the downtown area’s redevelopment, “there is still work to be done” along the city’s riverfront; transportation corridors; and arts district that are part of the DRI investment area and “provide the greatest potential for vacant property revitalization and corridor enhancement,” Cuomo’s office said.

The announcement complements CNY Rising, the region’s economic-development blueprint.

As in the first two rounds of the DRI, one downtown in each of the state’s 10 regional economic-development areas is selected as a $10 million winner, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

The next step

Auburn will soon begin the process of developing a “strategic-investment plan to revitalize” its downtown with up to $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant. A local planning committee that’ll include municipal representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders will lead the effort, supported by a team of private-sector experts and state planners.

The plan for downtown Auburn will examine local assets and opportunities and identify economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that “align with the community’s vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation.”

The downtown Auburn investment plan will outline the spending of DRI grant funds on “revitalization” projects that will “advance the community’s vision” for its downtown and that can “leverage and expand” upon the state’s $10 million award.

Auburn’s plan for the DRI’s third round will be complete in 2019.

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