Kingston is the region’s $10 million winner for this year’s round of state funding for downtowns.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Sept. 20 that the Ulster County city of about 23,000 will receive $10 million in funding and investments from the state as part of Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
Cuomo launched the program last year. The program has each state regional development council review proposals from municipalities in its region before selecting a winner. Last year, Middletown won $10 million in the first round of the contest. The mid-Hudson region includes Sullivan, Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties.
Factors in deciding a winning downtown include whether it is compact and livable, prepared to capitalize on future private and public investment, has recent or pending job growth and has identified development projects that will be ready for implementation within the first one to two years of receiving state funds.
The plan from Kingston will focus on the city’s historic neighborhood known as the “Stockade Business District.” Kingston Mayor Steve Noble said in statement that the funds will help “will help revitalize our Stockade Business District and lay the foundation for even more growth and success.”
A press release from the governor’s office said the city had the “ideal combination of recent strategic investments, shovel-ready future opportunities, involved anchor institutions and partners, recent infrastructure improvements and supportive policies and plans to jump-start the DRI planning process.”
“The best days for Kingston lie ahead, I am sure of it, and this is going to be a giant step down that road,” Cuomo said at a press conference Wednesday at the Keegan Ales brewery in Kingston.
Following Cuomo at the press conference, Noble said the grant “is literally going to be transformative for our community.”
The city will first receive $300,000 of the $10 million to fund the process of developing a strategic investment plan by early 2018 for the rest of the state funding.