Posts Tagged ‘Economic Development’

Good Intentions + Politics = ?

April 26, 2008

From Austin Chronicle BY KATHERINE GREGOR April 25, 2008
Eastside Development: A community dialogue     On Saturday, April 26, Central East Austin neighborhood residents, East End property owners, and all interested citizens are invited to a second consensus-building meeting concerning proposed developments in the East End. The meeting – organized by the Austin Revitalization Authority, in partnership with the city of Austin – will address changes to the East 11th and 12th streets Urban Renew­al Plan. The ARA has taken a good deal of heat in the community for its weak execution of the plan to date, as well as for other problems – thus the need for dialogue.     The purpose of the Urban Renewal Plan is to encourage positive new development that has “a thriving mix of uses.” As a guide to development on East 11th and 12th, it describes, block by block, the details of desired height, density, and parking. The April 26 session will be the second in a series of three; the final session will be on Saturday, May 17. The outcome is expected to change the city’s Neigh­borhood Conservation Combining District, which provides incentives for development. –What’s happening in Austin is also happening in New York State (and probably elsewhere in the US): Not enough communication between the people driving economic development efforts and the people being affected by these efforts; Robert Moses is alive and well.

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IN with Big Economic Development Project, OUT with Income Eligible Housing

April 10, 2008

Biotech Center for Kennedy Square     Posted on Post-Standard Thursday, April 10, 2008 By Maureen Nolan Staff writer Syracuse, NY:     The vast and vacant Kennedy Square apartment complex will come down, possibly by this summer, to make way for a $30 million to $40 million biotechnical research center, classrooms and research space, state officials announced Wednesday.      SUNY Upstate Medical University is taking over ownership of the property. The research center will cover four of the site’s 14 acres, and Upstate will seek proposals from private developers to create commercial projects and student residences on the other 10 acres, Upstate President Dr. David Smith said.     “We expect this will bring hundreds of millions; in fact, I would give it a conservative estimate of $200 million, of private sector investment into this city,” said Daniel Gundersen, Upstate chairman of the Empire State Development Corp., the state’s main economic development agency. “It will transform an area of downtown which is so important as a nexus between University Hill and the city.”     But Twiggy Billue, of the American Friends Service Committee, didn’t find much opportunity for low-income people as she listened to the future being laid out for the property.     Kennedy Square was built to provide close to 400 apartments for low- and moderate-income tenants.  Read more.

Otsego County leads branding effort with 189 other groups

April 3, 2008

Brand-name identity sought for area 
By Jake Palmateer 2/1/08 Staff Writer for The Daily Star    The Heartland of New York, Upper Susquehanna Valley, Central Leatherstocking, Western Catskills.    These are some of the names used to describe the Chenango-Delaware-Otsego region.    Central Leatherstocking is the official moniker for most of the region under the state’s I Love New York program, launched nearly 31 years ago. Named after James Fenimore Cooper’s series of novels, it is defined by the state as the area enclosed by Interstates 81, 88 and 90 and includes Chenango and Otsego counties. Delaware County is part of the Catskills region under I Love New York.    It may be time for the Chenango-Delaware-Otsego region to brand itself, according to an ad-hoc group of business and arts and cultural organization leaders who met Thursday at Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta.    That may mean adopting a new name, said Garet Livermore, vice president of education at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown.    “You can brand through a name; you can also brand through images,” Livermore said.    In addition to branding the region, the group is looking at ways to cross-promote the various businesses, attractions and organizations in the area and to pool resources.    Everyone in this area self-identifies with a smaller community, Livermore said.    But he said the group believes it’s time to look at ways to strengthen the collective identity of a region that boasts several museums, two halls of fame, rich arts and cultural programming and popular baseball summer camps.    When someone mentions the Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes or the Adirondacks, Livermore said, most people can draw a clear mental picture of what the area means to them.    That doesn’t seem to be the case with this region, he said.    Diane Elliott, executive director of Foothills Performing Center, said if surveys of the name “Central Leatherstocking” were done of people in Buffalo or New York City, only a handful of respondents would identify it with James Fenimore Cooper.    The name “Central Leatherstocking” means nothing to most visitors that come to this region, Livermore said.    The idea of building a stronger brand for the region would benefit the local economy by increasing awareness among potential visitors of what this area has to offer, he said.    This could lead to longer stays by visitors who might otherwise spend their time visiting just one area attraction, Livermore said.    The idea of branding the region goes beyond the tourism industry, said Kevin Price, executive director of CDO Workforce Investment Board.    Area companies, including large manufacturers such as Amphenol in Sidney, have found it difficult to attract talented employees to the region, in part because of a lack of branding. Companies from out-of-state seeking to relocate or expand may also overlook the region for the same reason, he said.    “It really is economic development. It really is work force development,” Price said.    Elliott said the group understands there may be some resistance.    “Change is hard for everybody,” Elliott said.    That’s why it will be important for local communities to have an input in the process as it moves forward, she said.    “This will be a process. It’s got to come from the people,” Elliott said.    A summit of business, cultural and community leaders within the next few months is in the planning phase; the group has identified 189 groups, businesses, institutions and individuals it hopes will attend.    But Elliott said the ad-hoc group is seeking input from anyone who wants to give it.    After the summit, the next step will be to seek seed money to hire a marketing consultant to study branding the region, Elliott said.    “We all feel that now is the time,” Elliott said. “There is a (statewide) focus on the economic situation of upstate New York.”    A unified effort can lead to better promotion of tourism and an improved regional economy, said state Sen. James Seward, who attended the meeting Thursday.    “I think they are on the right track here,” Seward said.    Seward discussed the Senate GOP majority’s Upstate Now program at the meeting. Marketing upstate New York’s recreational, cultural and tourism opportunities is one component of the $3.7 billion economic stimulus plan passed by the Senate last week.    Elliott said the group is also encouraged by Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Upstate Chairman of Empire State Development Dan Gundersen, both of whom are interested in revitalizing upstate.    “We do have tremendous allies,” Elliott said.    For more information or to inquire about attending the summit, call Price at (607) 432-4800, ext. 118.    Hmmmmmmm.

Watch it!

November 1, 2007

Higher budget means no money for upstate schools and economic development.  What the fuck?  Now bean counters in the Department of Budget Office will be able to make cuts to social programs needed by 1000’s of people with moderate to low income living in NYS.  Sucks to be poor.  Read more in the New York Times.