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State says $200M available for fifth round of Downtown Revitalization Initiative

By Eric Reinhardt (


ALBANY, N.Y. — New York State has $200 million available for the fifth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

The funding is available for communities across the 10 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) regions to “bring new life to their downtowns through a comprehensive strategic planning process,” followed by the implementation of key projects,” the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

The state is announcing the fifth round of DRI as New York “rebuilds its economy” from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuomo’s office noted.

As part of DRI’s fifth round, the state will announce up to two funding awards — for a total of $20 million — per REDC region.

The City of Rome was a funding recipient in the second round of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). The state has announced a fifth round of DRI with applications due Sept. 15. (File photo credit: Cuomo flickr page)

REDCs will decide whether to nominate two $10 million awardees or one $20 million awardee for downtown-redevelopment projects upon review of the submitted applications.

As is the case with past DRI rounds, each selected community will develop a plan that “articulates a vision for the revitalization” of its downtown and identifies a list of  projects. The state will then award DRI funds for selected projects that have the “greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and realize the community's vision for the downtown,” per Cuomo’s office.

“We're marking the Downtown Revitalization Initiative's fifth year by doubling down on our commitment to help reimagine communities across the state, especially as we prepare for a post-pandemic future,” Cuomo said. “The DRI is a cornerstone of New York’s comprehensive economic-development strategy to drive investment and job creation in downtowns across the state. Our investments will support new and existing businesses, drive new mixed-use developments and bolster the arts and cultural venues to help attract residents and visitors for years to come.”



Applications for DRI’s fifth round — which are available on the DRI website — should be submitted to the appropriate Regional Economic Development Council by Sept. 15. All applications should be submitted with a $10 million award in mind but may indicate that they would also like to be considered for a $20 million award. Applicants that indicate interest in being considered for a $20 million award must respond to supplemental application questions in which they describe and confirm “specific transformative or catalytic” DRI projects and “demonstrate the readiness of those projects and local capacity to manage” the full $20 million in DRI funds, per Cuomo’s office.

New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado is leading the initiative. Communities receive support from private-sector experts and a team of state-agency staff led by the New York State Department of State in partnership with Empire State Development and New York State Homes and Community Renewal. 


About DRI, past regional winners

Launched in 2016, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative seeks to “accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhoods to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all 10 regions of the state,” Cuomo’s office said.

New York has awarded DRI funding to communities across upstate New York. They include (by region and in order by round):


Central New York — Oswego, Cortland, Auburn, and Fulton


Mohawk Valley — Oneonta, Rome, Amsterdam, and Utica


Southern Tier — Elmira, Watkins Glen, Owego, and Hornell


North Country — Plattsburgh, Watertown, Saranac Lake, and Potsdam


Finger Lakes — Geneva, Batavia, Penn Yan, and Seneca Falls



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