News in Cortland NY

POSITIVELY CORTLAND: City Submits Plan for $10 million Competition

Positively CortlandMayor Brian Tobin is pleased to announce that the city’s entry into Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative has been submitted to the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council.  At stake: $10 million in state dollars to help push existing and potential projects over the top in an ongoing effort to build upon growth spurred by the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC’s).
“Three years ago, I started an ongoing discussion about our community, and what we could be. Downtown Cortland has been a big part of that dialogue. As the central gathering point for people throughout Cortland County, it is clear that Downtown is important to the entire community.
In addition to discussions about our dreams, we have been planning and investing in logical steps to help us realize our future.  The timing of the Governor’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative fits in perfectly with the groundwork that has been laid to allow the City to capitalize on our past and current efforts. We want to continue the rise of downtown Cortland.  We have identified projects and opportunities ripe for development to transform the downtown into a modern gathering space where tomorrow’s workforces will want to live, work and socialize. Since we have been thinking about ways to improve our city, the process was named Positively Cortland.  The name carries over very well to our application,” says Mayor Tobin.
That application, along with supporting documents, is available at a website launched specifically for the initiative:  Downtowns nominated for funding after REDC and state review will be made public June 30, after which a state-appointed consultant will be deployed to the selected city to assist the local economic development team in the development of a revitalization strategy.
“Cortland is fortunate to have pulled together a team of dedicated forward thinkers who are passionate about helping us grow.  Over the past several months, this team has been working on the City’s application, and I am positive that readers will find that it shows a plan to make Cortland a showpiece in the great State of New York,” remarked Mayor Tobin.
The Mayor’s team included:

 A key component of the Positively Cortland initiative has been the development of underutilized and vacant properties.  The goal is to continue transforming the community and economy to better meet our current and future needs. The timely work done in the Downtown Market Analysis this past April captured responses from nearly 700 residents and stakeholders regarding their vision for the future of downtown. This information helped guide the City’s application.
There have been recent successes downtown, such as the openings of the 7,000 square foot grocery (The Local Food Store), the state-of-the-art black box Cortland Repertory Theatre, and a mixed-use business incubator the Cortland Business Innovation Center. The downtown district is ready to focus on upper story development, by partnering with local developers and business owners. Furthermore, with restaurants and nightlife thriving downtown and a growing appetitive for unique locally made and or grown products like the Cortland Beer Company and The Finger Lakes Tasting Room, the downtown can support both the recent trend in city population growth and the long-term trend of increased tourism.    
“Downtown is poised for an influx of public and private investment, and it is on the right trajectory and it will continue to grow as the preeminent driver of the local economy,” Megivern said.  Significant gains have been made over the last decade in the heart of our county and region that provide a strong framework for continued expansion. The local economic development team hopes that the city’s DRI submission will only add to the momentum in the growing levels of positivity and pride amongst residents.