“We are delighted and thrilled to be selected as the winner of Gov. Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative,” Penn Yan Mayor Leigh MacKerchar said in a statement. “This investment will spur further growth while enhancing our current assets throughout the community.”
Now in its third year, the state’s DRI is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s comprehensive approach to transform communities into vibrant neighborhoods through a competitive process within each of the state’s 10 regional economic development councils. One community from each of the 10 regions is chosen annually to receive $10 million to boost its economy through revitalization efforts.
“The Finger Lakes region is home to some of the greatest natural assets in the world, and I have seen firsthand how Penn Yan has been enriched by our growing upstate economy and booming craft beverage industry,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “Penn Yan is at the heart of the Finger Lakes, with a historic downtown that is primed for significant investment. With $10 million from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the village will be able to move forward with plans to improve housing, tourism assets and transportation connections.”
The Yates County village 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. Officials said the community has experienced a number of barriers to economic growth including the impact of extreme floods and lack of housing options.
The DRI planning effort in Penn Yan will focus on overcoming these barriers and promoting sustained, year-round economic growth by concentrating on four areas: leveraging the abundant natural assets; capitalizing on the growing craft food and beverage industry; using the local art scene as an economic engine; and capturing the intellectual capital that lives and vacations in the village.