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Governor Hochul announces transformational projects for Village of Newark as part of $10 million downtown revitalization initiative

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced five transformational projects in the Village of Newark as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award. The awards encourage a sense of place where residents and visitors can participate in a range of recreational opportunities, interact with the Erie Canal waterfront, attend local events, and enjoy everyday living. 
“We are reinvigorating downtown communities across New York State, creating more accessible and affordable places to live,” Governor Hochul said. “As an Erie County native, I know the impact that funding for these local improvements will have in the Village of Newark, allowing visitors and residents alike to better access recreational opportunities, public spaces, and other amenities.” 
With this DRI award, the Village of Newark can leverage the Erie Canal as a vital asset in establishing an active, year-round cultural hub in the Finger Lakes region. Investments in Newark’s downtown repurpose public spaces into vibrant gathering places, provide much needed accommodations and amenities to bolster tourism, offer a diverse mix of housing options to attract new residents, and create a regional recreation and wellness center for all.
The investments are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy and create more opportunities within the Finger Lakes Region. The DRI is led by the Department of State, which provides technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area. 
The specific projects to be funded through the DRI include:

Restoring Existing Anchor Buildings
Creating the Newark Regional Health and Wellness Center – DRI Award: $3,340,000
Repurpose a large, underutilized site on the Erie Canal into a vibrant center of activity, providing up to 25 new jobs, and a much needed community space for residents. Elements of the project include medical offices, an indoor track and other sports facilities, and a community flex space.
Repurposing Coventry Commons – DRI Award: $2,000,000
Convert a 90,000-square foot former manufacturing space into approximately 95 apartments and 5,000-square feet of community space. 
Constructing the Newark Canalside Hotel – DRI Award: $1,985,000
Construct an approximately 60,000-square foot, 98 room full-service hotel with a banquet and conference center. 
Revitalizing the Canal Port – DRI Award: $1,580,000
Improve the port with a promenade including an amphitheater, farmers market, kayak/canoe launch, new utilities, and streetscape upgrades. 
Redeveloping the Historic Former Newark Hospital Building – DRI Award $795,000
Restore the former Newark hospital into mixed-income apartments.
New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “Located on the historic Erie Canal waterfront, the Village of Newark has enormous potential to become one of the Finger Lakes region’s most vibrant communities and tourism destinations. The strategic investments being made in Newark as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) will not only attract new residents to call this incredible downtown community home through the creation of new housing and a health and wellness center, but it will also enhance the lives of its current residents with streetscape improvements and new recreational amenities for the Canal Port that will help to transform this community. I look forward to seeing the completion of these new projects and how they will impact Newark for generations to come.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The Erie Canal was an economic game-changer, and it’s fitting that these Downtown Revitalization investments will harness its natural beauty to bring new life to the heart of this beautiful Wayne County village. By also repurposing underutilized or vacant buildings to create exciting, usable spaces, these transformational DRI projects will boost local businesses and foster economic growth for generations to come.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The leaders and planners and residents of Newark have created a plan that takes full advantage of the Village’s enviable location and historic role in the economic development of the Finger Lakes region. This $10 million Downtown Reinvestment Award investment promises huge rewards in terms of a sustainable future, building on strengths and enabling the creation of new homes, community gathering places, locally focused retail and commercial development, and tourist and visitor facilities to encourage additional growth. Congratulations!” 
State Senator Pam Helming said, “Congratulations to the Village of Newark, Mayor Taylor, and all those whose commitment and hard work has resulted in today’s announcement. This investment in the village will help accelerate downtown’s revitalization, support economic growth, and advance the transformative progress made in this community over the last several years. It is my honor to be a partner to the Village in this effort and I thank Governor Hochul and state agencies for their partnership as well. Improving housing options and opportunities for the delivery of wellness services will be a tremendous benefit for our residents. This is a great day for this historic Erie Canal community and the families who live here, the businesses that grow here, the tourists who travel here, and all those who love the Village of Newark and keep it moving forward.”
Assemblymember Brian Manktelow said, “I am very pleased to hear of the upcoming projects announced today by Gov. Hochul for the Village of Newark. The generous investment from the Downtown Revitalization toward the Erie Canal waterfront and further community resources will be a wonderful addition to local residents and visitors. These funds are important to transform our communities so they continue being accessible and appealing for residents, with walkable downtown features and options for recreational activities, and I look forward to seeing these upgrades take shape.”
Village of Newark Mayor Jonathan Taylor said, “We are thrilled with today’s announcement of the DRI projects. The State’s funding, combined with the investment of private developers, will generate the largest economic investment in Newark’s history. These projects will be transformative, catalyzing economic growth not only in the Village, but throughout Wayne County and the entire region. We would like to thank the Governor for her confidence in the Village and for this award which will enable Newark to keep moving forward.”
Downtown Revitalization Initiative
New York State’s DRI, a cornerstone of its economic development program, transforms downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers that offer a high quality of life and are magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, and economic and housing diversity. Led by the Department of State with assistance from Empire State Development, Homes and Community Renewal and NYSERDA, the DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative “plan-then-act” strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation and results in compact, walkable downtowns that are a key ingredient to helping New York State rebuild its economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to achieving the State’s bold climate goals by promoting the use of public transit and reducing dependence on private vehicles.  More information on the DRI is available here.
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