Downtown at Night
The City of Cortland, the "Crown City" of New York State, began its existence as a thriving, successful destination for both manufacturers and settlers. Beginning in the 1850s, the City's industry grew and Cortland became a manufacturing powerhouse. Many of the resulting architectural assets are still in place and they are a key piece of the proud heritage that is celebrated locally as the foundation for the City's re-emerging culturally commercial economy.

Questions to be Answered

Cortland faced the same existential questions as other communities in Upstate New York:
  • Are its best days in the past?
  • Will it ever be the thriving community it once was?
  • Is stagnation the new normal?
For the Cortland community, the answer is clear: No. Cortland has never accepted that its future was beyond its control, and it has worked tirelessly to leverage all available resources to redefine and rebuild the City's economy. In the first decade of the new millennium, local leaders decided that the best way to redefine its downtown's future to drive the local economy was to empower the business community as an active and engaged partner. In 2006, community leadership celebrated a catalyzing moment as the Cortland Downtown Partnership was formed to work collaboratively with the municipality and key partners to promote and enhance the culture and commerce of the downtown. Utilizing paid staff and volunteer driven committees under the Main Street "Four Point Approach" planning has turned to action. Cortland has proven to be persistent and creative in its approach over the last decade as a community; it has the seized the moment and now feels the momentum. For these reasons, Cortland is seeking nomination to Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Bold Plans

The Governor's bold Downtown Revitalization Initiative is matched only by Cortland's bold plans, and will provide the financial resources to bring the community's transformational strategies forward, elevating Downtown Cortland. As this proposal will clearly outline in great detail, the community is ready to go with an experienced team, private developers ready to invest, and a track record of turning its visions into reality. The DRI will transform the Downtown area into a thriving regional center of growth, and by extension, will bolster economic development efforts throughout Cortland County, the Central New York Region, New York State and the Country. Cortland is building a new community, and a new economy, for the 21st Century, and we invite New York State to join us for the journey.