State awards $10 million to support Falls redevelopment efforts

Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited the Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center on Wednesday to announce the award of $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding to support efforts to redevelopment the Main Street corridor. 

The state of New York is making a sizable investment in the future of the City of Niagara Falls, with an emphasis on the city's Main Street area. 

During a visit to the Niagara Falls Conference Center on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the award of $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funds to assist in the redevelopment of the Main Street and to support ongoing efforts to maximize benefits offered by the nearby Niagara Gorge and DeVeaux Woods State Park. 

Cuomo noted that in recent years the construction of The Niagara Falls International Train Station and Intermodal Transportation Center as well as the development of the plan to remove the Robert Moses Parkway and restore ecosystems along the reclaimed Niagara Gorge have laid the groundwork for enhanced connectivity between these core components. 

"With this investment, we are doubling down on our commitment to revitalizing Western New York and building on the assets that exist in the Niagara Falls community to further maximize this world-famous area," Cuomo said. 

Niagara Falls won the fourth round of the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which most recently supplied another $10 million to support redevelopment efforts in the City of Lockport.

Cuomo's office indicated that the new round of state funding will assist the Falls in identifying key investments in public spaces, signature design projects, and strategic support of private projects to continue to bridge the divide, sown by urban renewal, between Main Street and the Niagara Gorge by fostering connections between community assets, a sense of place, and residential options for a diverse population.  

Niagara Falls will now 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 made up of municipal representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders will lead the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners. The Strategic Investment Plan for downtown Niagara Falls 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 Niagara Falls Strategic Investment Plan will guide the investment of DRI grant funds in revitalization projects that will advance the community's vision for its downtown and that can leverage and expand upon the state's $10 million investment.

"One only need to take a look around to recognize Governor Cuomo's commitment to the City of Niagara Falls," Mayor Paul Dyster said. "From the removal of the Robert Moses Parkway to the expansion of our parkland and beyond, the governor's series of strategic public sector investments have served as a trigger for many positive developments taking place in our city - including unprecedented investment from our partners in the private sector within our Main Street Business District."