[UPDATED] Finger Lakes projects to get $80.7 million


UPDATED 4:15 p.m. — Details regarding some of the funded projects are starting to trickle out.

The Finger Lakes Council's award includes a $5 million Empire State Development grant for High Tech Rochester to establish a facility for high-tech startups in the city's Downtown Innovation Zone. The facility will include office space, conference rooms, and wet lab space, and will serve as the organization's new headquarters, says a press release from the organization. High Tech Rochester will also apply for START-UP NY designation for the facility, so the fledgling companies can access the significant tax breaks offered by the state program.

The press release doesn't say where, specifically, High Tech Rochester will locate the facility, but the innovation zone covers the area within the Inner Loop as well as High Falls. The organization's start-up incubator in Henrietta will continue operating, but as a satellite facility, the press release says.

Eastman Business Park received $2 million toward construction of its Biosciences Manufacturing Center. The 60,000 square foot facility will allow companies to convert sugars from renewable materials into biochemicals, bioplastics, and biofuels. The state previously committed $3 million in state funding for the project, according to a press release from Kodak, which owns the business park.

Three business park tenants — LiDestri Foods, American Fuel Cell, and MICROrganic Technologies, Inc. — also received funding.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's Office says the Sibley Tower redevelopment project received $3 million and Rochester Institute of Technology received $1.5 million toward construction of its MAGIC Laboratory. The RIT facility will help commercialize the university's work in computer gaming, film, animation, illustration, graphic design, and imaging science. (A story in this week's edition of the City touches on RIT's role in Rochester's burgeoning video game development industry.)

In a statement, County Executive Maggie Brooks said the award includes funding for renovations at Frontier Field. The council requested $4.5 million for the project, but Brooks' statement doesn't include the amount awarded for it.

Original story:  The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council will get $80.7 million in funding and tax incentives to advance its priority projects.

The award was announced this afternoon during a ceremony in Albany. The resources will be spread among specific projects, though the state hasn't yet released the details on which projects will get funding and incentives and how much they'll receive.

The regional council's list of priority projects, which it finalized in the fall, includes continued reuse and development of Eastman Business Park; some business accelerator projects; some college and university projects; a high-pressure processing center for the local food and agriculture industries; the Science, Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing Park in Genesee County; and a project centering on waste water treatment for Finger Lakes wineries. (The council's strategic plan and list of priority projects is available here.)

But the $80.7 million award also benefits some smaller projects, which had to go through an application and review process.  

Over the previous three years, the Finger Lakes council has received $225 million in regional economic development council awards. Last year, the council received a $59.8 million award.

And for those keeping track, the FLREDC's 2014 award eclipses the $58.6 million that'll be directed to the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.