Grove Header- White.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Central New York Wins $500 million from State's Upstate Revitalization Initiative contests

Official Flickr of Governor Andrew Cuomo

  Central New York’s Regional Economic Development Council continued its winning ways this year, walking away from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) and Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards with a total of $500 million.

The region will receive the money over the course of five years in roughly $100 million increments.  

Senator John Defrancisco, who is on the council, said he was pleased Central New York came out on top once again. The council said about 5,900 jobs could be created as a result of the new state aid.

 “Now that we got the additional money, the obligation is to try and make sure the projects that have been selected are actually going to be good projects that create jobs, not just promises of jobs,” Defrancisco said.

According to the 88-page plan, “CNY Rising From the Ground Up,” the investments will channeled into six “signature investment areas” - indoor farms, unmanned aerial and ground systems, local government modernization, the fight on poverty, a global manufacturing and logistics hub, and a national veterans resource complex.

The region has been a top performer in the competition since 2011, receiving more than any in the state at $344 million. In addition to the URI awards, a combined $750 million was handed out to the rest of the economic development councils, for a total of $2.25 billion in investment. 

Cuomo said this level of development has been unheard of in nearly 200 years. 

“This is the largest investment in Upstate New York since the Erie Canal,” Cuomo said. “Today, we are investing $1 billion in Upstate New York, and we are actualizing 1,000 economic development projects all across Upstate New York, just today.”

Central New York’s take for 2016 alone will be more than $122 million.

The top three projects of this year include:

  • Veterans Resource Complex at Syracuse University - $2,000,000: As a part of Syracuse University’s Master Plan and Veteran’s Initiative, the University will completely renovate a building located at 111 Waverly Avenue and turn it into a multi-use facility for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families.
  • Inns of Aurora LLC - $1,500,000: The Inns of Aurora expansion will create full-time jobs and preserve 135 existing jobs. Projects include the construction of a 10,000 square foot spa in a restored mansion in the village of Aurora and the building of a new 15,000 square-foot event center which will overlook Cayuga Lake.
  • Felix Schoeller North America, Inc. - $1,200,000: Felix Schoeller will shift the company’s manufacturing from a foreign location to Central New York with the purchase and installation of a Silicone Coating production line at its Pulaski, Oswego County facility. The total private investment in equipment and infrastructure will cost approximately $8.5 million.

The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions claimed the remaining billion dollars from the URI  contests.   

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at