Orange County Partnership - News

  • A map of the proposed Dinosaur Park in Orange County

Exciting Commercial Projects in Orange County Secure CFA Funding Awards

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced in November that more than $81 million was awarded to support 97 priority projects across New York State through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative. On Dec. 14 she reported that an additional $196 million had been awarded to support 488 projects (across multiple state agency programs) that participated in Round XI of the Regional Economic Development Council Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) initiative.


This year, $525 million in resources from state agencies was made available to support community revitalization and business growth consistent with the REDC strategic plans. Additionally, projects within each region are eligible for a share of $300 million in Industrial Development Bond Cap to support low cost tax-exempt bond financing for qualified projects. Additional project awards, including the State’s Water Quality Improvement Project program, will be announced in the coming weeks, the governor stated.


Among the award recipients include a host of major projects in the Hudson Valley and Orange County regions, involving bioscience, downtown revitalization initiatives, the arts and even the development of a Dinosaur Park.


This year, $150 million in grant funds from Empire State Development was made available on a continuous and competitive basis to support the immediate needs of applicants. Additionally, projects within each region are eligible for a share of $75 million in Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in their region.


“The pandemic toll touched every corner of the state and every sector of New York's economy, and as a result we must ensure that our recovery does the same,” Gov. Hochul said. “As we move forward from the pandemic, we are using the rolling grant process to build New York State back better by supporting shovel-ready projects with the potential to accelerate new investments and catalyze economic growth in every community.”


Empire State Development President & CEO, Hope Knight said, “The COVID pandemic has had a devastating impact on our state, and this is especially true for the businesses and organizations that are the foundation of our economy.  The Regional Economic Development Councils, made up of people who know their own communities best, have recommended innovative projects that will help their regions rebuild, and reemerge stronger and smarter for the future.”


This initial round of priority projects was recommended by each Regional Council because of their project readiness and alignment with each region's strategic plan.


Some of the more significant projects receiving CFA funding in Orange County included:


Grand Street Downtown Revitalization Project—The project being developed by Foster Supply Hospitality Inc. will transform three long-vacant county-owned buildings on Grand Street in Downtown Newburgh into a hospitality complex featuring an 80-room hotel, rooftop tavern, a premier spa, restaurants and event space. Once operational in 2023, the $24-million project will provide up to 61 full-time jobs. The project will receive $1.25 million in ESD grants.


Dinosaur Country—The Orange County Dinosaur Park, will be a recreational experience that spans more than 136 acres and will feature more than 60 realistic life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. The Dinosaur Park experience will include six dinosaur themed playgrounds, a splash park and six education pods. There will be a fossil dig site, robotic dinosaur rides, an amphitheater, a T-Rexpress train that circles the park, multiple dining options and a dinosaur carousel. The company will invest $12 million into this project and will create more than 100 new jobs. The project will receive $1.2 million in ESD grants.


Aspire Brewery Development Project— Aspire Brewing will transform a mostly vacant 90,000-square-foot commercial building in the Town of Wallkill into a micro-brewery and hospitality attraction, featuring, a casual dining restaurant, beer garden, an outdoor patio and a unique indoor entertainment space. The project will receive $500,000 in ESD grants.


Storm King Art Center Capital Project—Storm King Art Center in New Windsor offers local, national, and international audiences a chance to discover sculpture amid 500 acres of Hudson Valley landscape. In response to growth, Storm King launched Art that Moves You Outside, a capital project to enhance the experience of residents and visitors, and protect its art, nature, and people. The Art Center will begin phase one that includes two building elements: The Welcome Sequence and the Conservation, Fabrication, and Maintenance Building. The Welcome Sequence will streamline the arrival into Storm King, and the Art Center’s Conservation, Fabrication, and Maintenance Building will protect the safety of staff and the artwork. The project will receive $2 million in ESD grants.


State officials noted that the application for ESD Grant funds remains open, and applications are being reviewed on an on-going basis until funds are exhausted. Applicants with strong, shovel-ready projects that align with the state and region's economic development strategy.   Projects can apply through the Consolidated Funding Application.