White Plains Granted $10M in Downtown Revitalization Funding by New York State

By JOHN JORDAN – February 2024

WHITE PLAINS, NY—The City of White Plains was honored this month as a recipient of this year’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative Mid-Hudson Region and will receive $10 million in economic development funding.

In making the announcement, the state reported that two Orange County communities, the villages of Highland Falls and Montgomery, received $4.5 million each from the $100-million NY Forward program.

“Local communities’ downtowns are part of what makes New York State vibrant and great,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul at an event here in Westchester. “These initiatives provide communities with the necessary funding to revitalize their downtowns and they help them feel ‘seen and heard’ by the state. Helping uplift the areas around the Hudson River will drive tourists in and make residents excited about where they live.”

She also noted that the City of White Plains was one of 20 communities that were certified statewide earlier this week as “Pro-Housing Communities” and therefore eligible for a portion of $650 million in state discretionary funding.

The City of White Plains has won Round 7 of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative program and will receive $10 million in state funding.

The City of White Plains joins Middletown, Kingston, New Rochelle, Peekskill, Haverstraw, Ossining and Port Jervis, which were Mid-Hudson winners in the first six rounds of the DRI.

White Plains will 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 will examine local assets and opportunities to identify economic development, transportation, housing and community projects that align with the community’s vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation. Plans for the DRI’s seventh round will be complete in 2024.

Under the NY Forward program, Highland Falls and Montgomery will now begin the process of developing a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize their downtowns. 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.

Funding will be awarded for selected projects from the Strategic Investment Plan that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and generate new opportunities for long-term growth, state officials said.

For Round 7 of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, each of the state’s 10 economic development regions are being awarded $10 million, to make for a total state commitment of $100 million in funding and investments to help communities boost their economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods.

During her speech, Gov. Hochul noted the state is investiing $98 million in the Westchester County Transit system, a 5.5% increase from 2023 funding levels. It is also commiting $108 million for roads and potholes.

“I hate potholes. I travel more than anybody, and when I was Lieutenant Governor, I hit every pothole in the state. I know them personally,” Gov. Hochul said. “And so, no more. This is the great State of New York. Our roads should be perfect and we’re going to keep making those investments and the roads and highways and bridges should be extraordinary.”

We’re going to resurface and expand sidewalks on Fair Street and John Simpson Road in one of our communities. And fix Route 17-Exit 122 in Wallkill and also raise the elevation of the Annsville traffic circle in the Peekskill area,” Gov. Hochul said.

The governor noted the tremendous damage caused by rainstorms to the Village of Highland Falls in early July last year and in other sections of the Hudson Valley and recalled that she walked the streets of Highland Falls with local officials to survey the significant destruction caused by the flood waters.

The amount of water that has come out of the heavens since I’ve been governor is amazing,” she said. “The flooding for weeks and weeks and weeks on end was just unrelenting. Everyone talks about these 100-year events. Why am I getting them every two years?” She said the state is setting aside $435 million for critical climate and flood resiliency programs.

In addition, the state is granting Hudson Valley governments $159 million in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities funding and another $200 million for state parks, including $39 million for Bear Mountain State Park. Environmental Bond Act funding that will finance improvements at Lake Sebago at the Harriman State Park ($78 million) and $70 million for the Sojourner Truth Park in Kingston.

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