"In Peekskill, monies from the grant would jump-start revitalization efforts at 407 and 427 Highland Avenue and 418 N. Division Street, the seven-building site vacated by White Plains Linen when it relocated to larger facilities within Peekskill in 2012," officials said in a statement. "The city will study possible uses for the property, including the possible development of a business incubator and housing and activities for young professionals."
Parts of Brewster and Peekskill have been named "2013 Opportunity Areas" by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC), the same organization with which the grant application was filed earlier this month. The designation "allows both to work collaboratively to compete for special grant funding from Empire State Development for economic revitalization and workforce development," according to city leaders.
The application seeks $100,000 in state grants. Peekskill would receive $70,000, and match state grant funds of $60,000 in cash and $10,000 in-kind services. Brewster would use its $30,000 to study its Main Street.
Westchester Community College is looking for funding through the council, too. That money would help implement workforce training in Brewster and Peekskill.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Peekskill,” Mayor Mary Foster said in a press release. “The city envisions incubator space for emerging entrepreneurs and the development of a partnership for workforce development with Westchester Community College that will benefit Peekskill’s business community and underemployed and unemployed residents.”
Officials should know by the end of the year whether the funds will be awarded.
“Building on Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo’s vision for regional economic development, the collaborative approach between Peekskill, Brewster, and WCC provides the right environment for revitalization and workforce development,” Dr. Marsha Gordon, member of the MHREDC and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester, said in the release.
Here's some additional information provided by the city via a press release:
- Grant funding would be applied to programming through Westchester Community College’s FITT To Grow NY: Flexible Innovation Training and Technical Assistance Supporting Economic and Workforce Development program, providing English as a Second Language training and business support services. The college has also applied to the MHREDC for funding.
- With an emphasis on regional planning, the MHREDC chose to name the City of Peekskill and Village of Brewster as Opportunity Areas as both municipalities are looking to revitalize underused properties and are experiencing similar demographic changes.
- “There was unanimous support on the Regional Council to create an Opportunity Area with Peekskill and Brewster to foster joint grant applications,” said Jonathan Drapkin, CEO of Pattern for Progress and member of the MHREDC. “Both municipalities wrote excellent applications and both share regional resources, changing demographics, and have the capacity to grow. They are truly representative of the region."
- Peekskill’s growing population stands to gain from a series of grants. “The City is already experiencing entrepreneurial investment from its minority communities and this trend will continue to escalate,” said Mayor Foster. “Peekskill has several successful women-owned and minority–owned businesses, ranging from professional and personal service firms, real estate development companies, and artist studios and galleries, to flourishing restaurants and retail establishments."