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Investment Supports Vital Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Project Supported by Mohawk Valley’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative Fund


Empire State Development (ESD) today announced a $6 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) grant to repair the bulkheads at Harbor Point in Utica, Oneida County.


The bulkheads are crucial to the structural integrity of the harbor walls and represent the latest step in the work of the Utica Harbor Point Redevelopment Plan, which was finalized in 2014. The project also includes improvements to the marina and the overall site, and an initial phase of private mixed-use development.


ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “This Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant will allow Utica to take the next step in its grand plan to turn the waterfront into a new and exciting food and entertainment destination for tourists and locals alike.”


As part of the Harbor Point redevelopment, the City of Utica and the Harbor Point Local Development Corporation requested funds to assist with the reconstruction of the harbor bulkheads. Repairing the bulkheads is one of several interconnected components of the overall redevelopment of the Utica Harbor. The Plan establishes a modern vision for the harbor by revitalizing the area to create an economically sustainable multi-use development that will become a premier waterfront destination in the City of Utica.


The new bulkheads will provide a safe and stable structure for visiting vessels to dock and to attach floating dock structures.


In 2015, the state launched a URI competition to strategically focus on the economic development of Upstate NY as part of long-term, regionally-based plans for economic growth through its 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs).


The REDCs have changed the way NYS invests state resources, through a community-based, bottom-up approach designed to meet each region’s needs, involving private-public partnerships of local experts and stakeholders.


Through a competitive process for state resources, the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), the REDCs create strategies for growth through projects and initiatives that attract private investment and create jobs. The Mohawk Valley received $50 million to implement its strategic plans.


New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "As it has for countless communities across upstate New York for the better part of two centuries, today's Erie Canal continues to be a catalyst for sustainable economic growth. We are proud to have partnered with the City of Utica and the Utica Harbor Point Development Corporation to move this important project forward and to see this facility serve a vital new role in Utica's renaissance and the Canal's next century of operation."


“The Utica Harbor Point Redevelopment Project is a shining example of how economic development and progress can happen when there is collaboration,” said City of Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri. “Securing funding to reconstruct the Harbor bulkheads marks a major milestone in this process and the support we’ve received from State partners has enhanced our efforts to redevelop this unique regional asset. Once completed, the Harbor will serve as a year-round attraction and catalyst for continued economic development in Utica.”


Senator Joseph A. Griffo said, “The harbor redevelopment project aims to revitalize an area once used for heavy industrial purposes and to transform it into an asset that has the potential to help the local economy, provide job opportunities, expand recreational offerings and increase tourism to Utica, surrounding communities and the entire region. This funding will help with needed repairs to the bulkheads at Utica’s harbor and will assist with moving the mixed-use development of the city’s waterfront forward.”


Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica said, "Harbor Point is one of Utica's greatest assets--a scenic waterfront area that is a short drive away for thousands of people.  The collaboration that has developed between private industry, interested area residents, and government is already a successful model of creative redevelopment of a unique recreation area.  Today's announcement represents another significant milestone in revitalizing Harbor Point into a significant attraction for Mohawk Valley residents and visitors to the area.  I look forward to seeing the vision for this beautiful area fulfilled in the near future."


“The Utica Harbor Point Development Corporation (UHPDC) has been working alongside our State partners to redevelop Utica’s Harbor Point into a landmark destination for our region,” said UHPDC President Vincent J. Gilroy, Jr. “Our engineering and construction teams have already commenced work to re-grade the DSA-1 site and prepare it for the coming development. This news enables us to keep momentum as we turn our attention to the lynchpin of the project — repairing the Harbor walls so that the site remains an attractive, mixed-use waterfront destination for years to come.


About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.