POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The Mid-Hudson Regional EconomicDevelopment Council reports it has endorsed 25 projectsacross its seven-county jurisdiction for funding under Gov.Andrew Cuomo's fourth round of regional councilcompetition.

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The 25 projects participating in the state's ConsolidatedFunding Application program have the potential to generate morethan $600 million in economic activity, 3,700 construction jobs andmore than 3,500 permanent positions. The Mid-Hudson Council'sregion includes: Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam,Rockland and Westchester counties.

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Gov. Cuomo is expected to announce regional council fundingawards sometime this fall.

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Some of the 25 projects selected as regional priorities arealready under construction while others have been on the drawingboard for years. However, very little is known of what is likelythe largest venture of this round's fundingcandidates—LEGOLAND New York. The council in itsannouncement says the $250-million overall project consists of thedevelopment and construction of a LEGOLAND NY theme park, whichonce constructed would be followed potentially by a LEGOLAND WaterPark, LEGOLAND hotel, and the expansion of the theme park. Thefunding request is in connection with the project's phase oneinfrastructure work. LEGOLAND is to be built in Rockland County andis believed to be based in the Haverstraw area. LEGOLAND had beenone of the bidders looking to redevelop Rye Playland in WestchesterCounty.

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“The 25 priority projects endorsed by the council today have thepotential to transform cities and communities across the Mid-Hudsonregion by creating new jobs, generating significant investment, andexpanding economic opportunities for New Yorkers,” says MHREDCCo-chairs Dennis Murray, PhD, president ofMarist College and LeonardSchleifer, MD, PhD, president & CEO of RegeneronPharmaceuticals, Inc. “Over the last three years, the Mid-HudsonREDC has worked hard to successfully implement our Strategic Planand it has paid off—to the tune of nearly $220 million of stateinvestment in the region to support more than 230 projects that arecreating jobs and spurring economic activity in the seven countieswe represent.”

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Some other notable projects among the 25 candidates selected bythe council include: continued funding of the Saw Mill RiverDaylighting project in Yonkers, the Mensch Grasmere,LLC project that consists of a boutique hotel, spa,restaurant and farm, including approximately 110 guest rooms andcabins, event space and culinary center with a working farmoperation believed to be in Dutchess County; and the $168-millionSoYo Mixed-Use TOD project, a 550,000-square-footmixed-use transit-oriented development in downtown Yonkers. Theproposal includes construction of more than 400 rental units(approximately), nearly 110,000 square feet of parking and 34,000square feet of ground floor retail and restaurants.

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There are a number of sizable proposals in the food and beveragesector including Niagara Bottling, LLC, which thecouncil states is currently evaluating communities in the NortheastUnited States to purchase land and construct a 358,000 square-footmanufacturing facility with an initial one high-speed bottlingline. The expansion project to be built in Ulster County willinitially create 41 jobs and carry a total investment in that willexceed $53 million. There is also a proposal by BrooklynBrewery to build a state-of-the-art 400,000 expandable to1-million barrel brewery in a 200,000-square-foot building onapproximately 25 acres in Rockland County or at a location in NewYork City.

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A $160-million project called the Williams Lake ResortCommunity being developed by Hudson River ValleyResorts LLC is seeking state funding for its plan to builda modern destination resort in Ulster County that includes a130-room hotel, 17,000 square foot spa, wellness center, publicrail trail, fitness center and other amenities.

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Ginsburg Development Corp., which recentlybroke ground on its long-delayed $65-million Harbor Squaremixed-use development in Ossining, is seeking funding for a6,500-square-foot waterfront restaurant that is to be part of thewaterfront rental apartment development.

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A major redevelopment project in Orange County is also seekingstate funding assistance. The Warwick Valley Office andTechnology Corporate Park, the former state-ownedMid-Orange Correctional Facility, is looking to secure funds forconstruction of road and related infrastructure leading to 10approved pad sites that could accommodate up to 850,000 square feetof commercial space on the site.

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Speaking of jails, a project to help make one of the most famousor infamous prisons in the region a tourist attraction is alsovying for state funding. The Sing Sing Historic PrisonMuseum is a planning project to help develop a completelyunique tourism venue that will tell the story of Sing SingCorrectional Facility and the American penal system in a historicalperspective.

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.