Finger Lakes Regional Project Awards

Finger Lakes Regional Project Awards

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Awarded Top Performer and Receives $80.7 Million for 100 Projects

Projects that will move forward as a result of Round Four of the Regional Council initiative include projects at the Eastman Business Park, Finger Lakes Business Accelerator Cooperative and Sibley Tower Redevelopment
(December 12, 2014)

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Awarded Top Performer and Receives $80.7 Million for 100 Projects


As part of Round Four of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) was awarded $80.7 million for 100 projects, including projects that continue investment in Eastman Business Park, foster innovation and technology commercialization, strengthen communities and key industrial sites, improve the quality of life of the region’s residents, attract more visitors, address key infrastructure barriers to growth and enhance workforce development, among other initiatives. The announcement, which supports projects in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties, was made Thursday in Albany. In total, $709.2 million was awarded throughout the state through Round Four of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

“The announcement that Governor Cuomo and New York State have singled out the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council as a ‘top performer’ will allow our council to continue the transformation of our region and move projects forward that revitalize the Eastman Business Park, as well as advance important workforce training, community development, tourism and small business objectives across the Finger Lakes,” said Joel Seligman and Danny Wegman, Co-Chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. “These awards are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our council and workgroup members. Bolstered by more than $80 million in funding for our region, we look forward to continuing the long-term sustainable growth of the Finger Lakes region in the coming years.”

Each of the nine counties within the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council received funding for select projects. Funded CFA projects identified by the FLREDC include:

  • $5,000,000 to High Tech Rochester for the Business Accelerator Cooperative. It will create a business accelerator “hub” facility within the City of Rochester to serve as the central coordinating location and home for dozens of startups and other stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • $3,069,587 for Rochester Sibley Tower Redevelopment. The project will update an inefficient structure to achieve LEED and Enterprise Green Communities certification as the first portion of a comprehensive redevelopment strategy for this 1.1 million square foot historic department store in downtown Rochester. The project will create 94 units of low-income housing, 92 units of market-rate housing, a new Lifespan Senior Center, 57,000 square feet of Class A office space, 10,000 square feet of retail, 10 retail pushcarts, an urban farm market and 200 underground parking spaces.
  • $3,068,300 for four businesses at Eastman Business Park, which is the FLREDC’s highest priority. FermCo, Inc. received $2 million to establish a bioscience manufacturing center. The state-of-the-art 1.5 M liter industrial biotechnology, general purpose fermentation facility in Eastman Business Park is for the production of bio based chemicals and fuels. American Fuel Cell, a start-up energy storage business, received $500,000 to locate at the Eastman Business Park. LiDestri Foods Inc. received $468,300 for the acquisition and installation of a high pressure processing facility at the park. MICROrganic Technologies Inc. received $100,000 for the commercialization of a bio-electrochemical system at Eastman Business Park.
  • $3,000,000 for GAIN Revolving Loan Fund: Growing the Ag Industry Now, a revolving loan fund for the agriculture industry of the nine-county region.
  • $1,639,000 for the Monroe Community College Downtown Rochester Campus Green Roof. Monroe Community College will retrofit two 1920’s era buildings with green roofs as the first phase of a high profile multi-phase effort, to incorporate green infrastructure throughout the campus. Green infrastructure practices will be used to reduce runoff and mitigate combined sewer overflows that contaminate the receiving waters of the Genesee River, Lake Ontario and Irondequoit Bay.
  • $1,500,000 to Genesee Biogas, Inc. to design, build and operate a biogas plant to support the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia. The plant will convert organic waste streams produced by agricultural and food processors into renewable energy.
  • $1,500,000 to the City of Rochester of the Public Market Master Plan Implementation Phase II, a renovation project for facilities located in the Rochester Public Market.
  • $1,500,000 to Monroe County for Frontier Field Improvements. Renovations and upgrades will be made to the baseball stadium in Rochester.
  • $1,500,000 to Rochester Institute of Technology’s MAGIC Laboratory Construction Project, which will create a new facility dedicated to animation, graphic design, interactive games and new media.
  • $1,500,000 to University of Rochester’s Institute for Data Science. It includes construction of a new facility to house the newly designated New York State Center of Excellence in Data Science.
  • $1,000,000 to Morgan-LeChase Development LLC for the Canandaigua Lakefront Redevelopment Project Phase 2, which is a massive infrastructure project.
  • $800,000 to the City of Geneva for improving access to Seneca Lake Phase III. The City of Geneva will design and construct shoreline improvements along Seneca Lake continuing implementation of the city’s waterfront infrastructure feasibility study. Projects include installation of a kayak launch, a pedestrian bridge and stream bank restoration at Castle Creek.
  • $750,000 to the Foodlink Food Hub Processing Center for the relocation and expansion of the commercial kitchen/processing center in Rochester.
  • $750,000 for the CityGate project to improve public infrastructure and public access to the Erie Canal, which will help kick-start the first few phases of this $200 million, multi-use development to become a new southern gateway to the City of Rochester.
  • $750,000 to Seneca County for the completion of a wastewater treatment plant on Route 318 in Seneca County.

Yates County had its best year in terms of awarded CFA projects with funding going to Emmi Roth USA for a facility expansion, Keuka College for construction of a Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics, Keuka Lake Hotel LLC for the construction of a new Hampton Inn in Penn Yan, the Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum for Discovery Campus Building renovations and exhibit installation, Town of Middlesex for improvements to its water district, the New York Wine Industry Association to design and construct green wastewater treatment systems and Village of Penn Yan for improvements to the Seneca Street Water Main. Yates County was identified as the FLREDC’s “NY Rising” focus in 2014 because of May 2014’s series of violent thunderstorms that developed into a torrential, life-threatening storm that demolished property and flooded large portions on the picturesque Finger Lakes community.

The full list of 2014 Regional Economic Development Council awards can be found at:

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle said, “This recognition is further affirmation that significant changes are indeed taking place throughout our region’s economy due to the tireless efforts of the Regional Council. “Our community is transforming before our eyes into a knowledge-based innovation economy that is now poised to create thousands of new jobs and attract hundreds of millions in new investments. I have been proud to partner with Co-Chairs Joel Seligman and Danny Wegman and I thank them for their commitment to never losing sight of the vision we share for our economy. The Regional Council is truly grateful for the continued confidence Governor Cuomo has placed in us and the Finger Lakes Region.”

Senator Joseph Robach said, “The Finger Lakes Region continues to make great strides due to the hard work and commitment of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and its work group members. As a Top Performer Awardee in 2014 I am pleased that a new influx of economic and community development funding will flow to the nine county region to create jobs, improve the quality of life and grow our economy.”

A centerpiece of the Governor’s strategy to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, the Regional Councils were established in 2011 to transform the State’s approach to economic development from a top-down model to one that is community-based and performance-driven. The initiative empowers community, business, and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region's unique strengths and resources in order to create jobs, improve quality of life and grow the economy.

During Round Four, members from the 10 Regional Councils traveled to Albany to make in-person presentations of their proposals to the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team. Over the course of two days, the SIAT, which is composed of State agency commissioners and policy experts, heard from each of the Regional Councils directly, reviewed the progress being made on projects that have previously received state funding, and assessed the regions’ strategic plan implementations and proposals for funding in 2014.

In the first four rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Finger Lakes region was awarded $305.7 million in state support for 366 projects across the region.

To learn more about the FLREDC, visit