New York

Intergrow Sustainable Greenhouses in Webster, NY to Create 100 New Jobs

Intergrow Greenhouses, Inc. is expanding its greenhouse operations in New York State with plans for two new, 25-acre state-of-the-art commercial greenhouses in Webster, NY.


Intergrow (photo –

The produce grown will be local, year-round, hydroponically-grown tomatoes, a produce that typically requires warmer, distant climates.

The greenhouses will utilize state-of-the-art and sustainable growing practices, and product packaging will be performed on site. The Webster economic development benefits include the creation of 100 new green jobs, in addition to a steady supply of fresh and locally grown healthy vegetables for residents in the region.

The project also advances a key component of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s strategic plan by increasing the region’s agriculture and food production.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement that “By expanding its operations in the Finger Lakes, Intergrow is driving job growth in a vital sector of our economy while offering New Yorkers greater access to high-quality, locally grown produce.”

Dirk Biemans, CEO of Intergrow Holdings, added that “We continue to see a growing demand for locally grown, year-round produce from our customers and are excited to stay in Western New York where we have found an opportunity in Webster for a greenhouse project to produce this product.”

The company already has an existing greenhouse in Albion, NY. In order to secure this expansion for Webster, state and local agencies are offering an array of tax incentives, grants and loans. New York economic development agency Empire State Development is providing up to $750,000 in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits, along with a $750,000 capital grant in return for job creation commitments.

The County of Monroe IDA has offered mortgage and sales tax abatements, as well as a 10-year standard PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes). The company is also getting a $400,000 economic development grant from Rochester Gas & Electric to help offset electric infrastructure costs, and Farm Credit East is providing a farm credit loan.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said that “With these two new greenhouses, Intergrow will be able to expand its successful tomato production in New York State, create new jobs and supply fresh, healthy vegetables to residents of the region.”

Greater Rochester Enterprise President and CEO Mark S. Peterson noted that “Past positive experiences in our region as well as a qualified site with the necessary gas and electric supply helped insure Intergrow expanded in our community.”

NYSEG and RG&E President and CEO Mark S. Lynch added that “This project is also attractive to us from another perspective: its design incorporates sustainability and that aligns with our focus on environmental stewardship.”

NYC Economic Development Corp Launches Global Business Exchange With Milan, Italy

Building on the success of the first NYC-Paris Global Business Exchange, the New York City Economic Development Corporation has now announced the opening of applications for a second Global Business Exchange, this time with Milan, Italy.

NYCEDC Global Business Exchange Milan

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The NYCEDC Global Business Exchange with Milan will provide New York City companies with access to business opportunities in Milan, and help Milan-based companies expand their footprints in New York City.

The program will help tech, social entrepreneurship, design, manufacturing, fashion and food companies overcome barriers that inhibit entry to foreign markets, and will build upon both cities’ shared commitment to global entrepreneurship and innovation.

NYC Economic Development Corp. President Maria Torres-Springer, who announced the program during the awards breakfast for World Trade Week, said in a statement that “The Global Business Exchange is already providing an extraordinary link between New York City businesses and the rest of the world, with companies currently expanding into Paris, and this exchange with Milan is the next step toward tapping into international talent and consumers.”

Deputy Mayor Responsible for Labor Policies, Economic Development, University and Research, Cristina Tajani of Milan, likewise noted that “Initiatives like these pursue and broaden the direction already taken by the City Administration in fostering the birth and development of new enterprise ideas capable, in different fields, of representing the best of Made in Italy.”

Up to 10 companies from each city will be awarded travel credits from Delta Air Lines, the program’s official airline. Each participant will also get up to six months of free office space in the partner city, as well as access to networking, potential investors, and mentors.

Chuck Imhof, Delta Air Lines Vice President-New York Sales, said in the release that “Delta is proud to support the next generation of global entrepreneurship through this partnership with NYCEDC Global Business Exchange.”

NYCEDC is partnering with the Embassy of Italy in Washington D.C., the Consulate General of Italy in New York City, the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, and the European American Chamber of Commerce to provide support for the companies during their time in New York City.

Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Secretary General Federico Tozzi added that “We are honored to partner with the City of New York Economic Development Corporation on this project and we will offer to the companies selected all our expertise and access to our contacts.”

Yvonne Bendinger-Rothschild, Executive Director, European American Chamber of Commerce, likewise noted that “We have already cooperated on the NYC-Paris Business Exchange and are looking forward to continue our relationship.”

For more information on NYCEDC Global Business Exchange programs, visit

ORDA, ESD Help Lake Placid, New York Retain USA Luge Headquarters

Jim Leahy, CEO of USA Luge, announced over the weekend that the association’s Board of Directors has unanimously voted to approve a proposal to keep their headquarters in Lake Placid, NY for the next five years.

Olympic Center in Lake Placid, NY

Olympic Center in Lake Placid, NY (photo – WEBN-TV/flickr)

As part of the site selection process, USA Luge had issued an RFP (request for proposals) about a year ago to determine the location of the association’s headquarters. They received competing bids from Lake Placid and Park City, UT.

Lake Placid, site of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games, has been home to USA Luge since its inception in 1979. Furthermore, Leahy cited key existing factors like the Olympic Training Center, indoor refrigerated start facility and access to the USOC Sport Medicine facilities as factors that weighed heavily in favor of Lake Placid.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement that this vote ensures that “USA Luge will continue to drive significant economic growth, create well-paying jobs and inspire the next generation of Olympians in New York State.”

Since 2011, the state has dedicated over $43 million in upgrades and improvements to Lake Placid’s Olympic facilities. State agencies Empire State Development (ESD) and the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) are now doubling down on the state’s investment in Lake Placid economic development through significant new commitments to USA Luge.

For its part, ESD will invest $1 million in the marketing and promotion of USA Luge, including $200,000 per year over five years to support the association’s televised events. Another $‎5 million in state funds through ORDA will support the creation of a new start ramp facility.

Howard Zemsky, President, CEO and Commissioner of chief New York economic development agency Empire State Development, noted that “The state understands how vital this organization is and strongly believes that it should remain in the region for years to come.”

Ted Blazer, President and CEO of ORDA likewise added that “All of us at the Olympic Authority are pleased that USA Luge will remain in Lake Placid.”

Apart from the Governor and officials at ESD and ORDA, Jim Leahy also thanked Jim McKenna, CEO of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. ROOST is an accredited Upstate New York Destination Marketing Organization that serves Lake Placid and Essex County, Franklin County and Hamilton County.

The USA Luge headquarters announcement comes on the heels of the American Dance Institute’s (ADI) groundbreaking of their $3.75 million headquarters project in Catskill, NY. ADI is relocating its headquarters from Maryland to the new Upstate New York location.

NYC Digital Playbook Outlines Strategy to Use Digital Tools to Improve City Services, Strengthen Communities

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the New York City Digital Playbook, a new strategy and set of principles that outline how the City plans to make it easier for residents to access City services, and how digital tools will be used to strengthen communities.

NYC Digital Playbook

NYC Digital Playbook (photo –

In his post on Medium, Mayor de Blasio said that “Today, we’re presenting an overarching plan for City government to use digital technology to increase equity and help all New Yorkers participate in the political, civic, and cultural life of the city.”

The Mayor noted that the New York City Digital Playbook outlines “how we want residents to experience City services and how we will use digital tools to strengthen communities, online and off.”

Mayor de Blasio also added that “The guidance within the Playbook will challenge all of our agencies and service providers to rethink the way they reach New Yorkers.” To this end, a printed “strategy deck” or set of cards is being distributed to staff across the city. Each card has a different principle or strategy printed on the front, and key explanations and tips on the back.

City leaders will use these cards to plan together and inspire each other when they’re designing new services, or thinking about how to make existing services better. For example, one of the strategies calls for engaging New Yorkers in the creation and testing of services. Human-centered research, design, and evaluation are powerful tools for creating services that satisfy both residents and front-line service providers.

In fact, the Playbook itself was developed using human-centered research and design methods, including meetings with residents from all five boroughs, and dozens of civic and technology leaders, elected officials, and City government officials and service providers. The City looked beyond New York City to learn from other governments and the private sector.

Another strategy calls for integrating digital services within neighborhoods and communities. Integrated services will empower diverse New Yorkers with access to information and resources and strengthen bonds between residents – online and in real life.

There are similar strategies for prioritizing design for mobile, and creating citywide technical, data, and design standards.

In his post on Medium, Mayor de Blasio says they are serious about improving how the City develops and delivers digital services, and we hold ourselves accountable. “We’ll track our progress and report publicly on how well we’re doing,” added the Mayor.

You can see the full set of NYC Digital Playbook principles and strategies at

Brooklyn Navy Yard Breaks Ground on Dock 72 Tech and Innovation Hub

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and members of his administration joined leaders of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Rudin Development, Boston Properties, Inc. and WeWork to break ground at Dock 72.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Dock 72 rendering

Brooklyn Navy Yard Dock 72 (Photo – S9 Architecture)

This transformative Brooklyn economic development project, first announced in July last year, will bring $380 million in private investment and 4,000 living wage jobs to the Navy Yard.

The 16-story, 675,000-square-foot building is centrally located within the Yard on a 60,000-square-foot strip of land jutting out into the East River between two active dry-docks, offering panoramic views of the City and the activity of the Navy Yard.

The building design created by S9 Architecture celebrates the surrounding maritime and industrial history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and is designed to drive innovation and collaboration between tenants. The building will feature floor plates from 40,000 to 60,000 square feet, offering contiguous and easily devisable blocks of space for a variety of tenant sizes.

Also notable is the fact that as per the agreement between the development team and BNYDC, all tenants in the building will pay a living wage to their employees, making it the first new development in Brooklyn with such a commitment.

Furthermore, tenants will partner with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Employment Center to match nearby residents with job opportunities to ensure more local benefits from this project. BNYDC and the developers have also agreed to significantly expand BNYDC’s existing internship program.

“We are, quite literally, doubling down on good jobs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “This project is going to help bring ideas, innovators and start-ups to the yard, where they can scale up their businesses, hire more New Yorkers and manufacture their products right here in Brooklyn.”

WeWork, which provides space, services and a community for its members, is anchoring the new building with a 222,000-square-foot lease, significantly reinforcing the Brooklyn Navy Yard as one of the largest concentrations of small and start-up businesses in the region.

Miguel McKelvey, co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of WeWork, noted that “A redevelopment project of this size and scale is a testament to the vision of our co-developers and of New York City to reinvent, reuse and revitalize this historically significant place.”

BNYDC President and CEO David Ehrenberg highlighted the potential Brooklyn economic development benefits from this project. “Thanks to this vote of confidence from respected investors and developers and this partnership with WeWork, BNYDC will be able to attract additional top creative and industrial firms that will create thousands of jobs for local residents,” said Ehrenberg.

BNYDC Chair Hank Gutman added that “This building will be a boon to the modern, industrial ecosystems of both Brooklyn and the entire City, as it supports 4,000 new jobs and the growth of small businesses.”

Dock 72 has been designed as a green building project, and is being built to seek LEED certification. Navid Maqami, Founding Principal of S9 Architecture, noted that “The primary program objective for Dock72 is the development of a 21st century work environment that encourages and enables new and maturing creative startups to flourish.”

With this project, the Brooklyn Navy Yard now has over $700 million of construction activity underway or in the planning stages, with employment expected to more than double in the next few years, jumping from 7,000 to 16,000 by 2020.

New Stapleton Waterfront Park Opening Activates Staten Island Historic Waterfront, Connects Communities

The New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Parks and Recreation, accompanied by state and local authorities, announced the opening of New Stapleton Waterfront Park on Staten Island.

New Stapleton Waterfront Park, Staten Island

New Stapleton Waterfront Park, Staten Island (photo –

The six-acre park includes grass and landscaped areas, benches, water fountains, a fish cleaning station, and lit walkways.

The City had to complete major road reconstruction in order to create the waterfront park, facilitate community connections and bring more open space to Staten Island’s North Shore.

NYC Economic Development Corp. President Maria Torres-Springer said in a statement that “This dynamic public space activates a historic waterfront that will connect communities and build on other development efforts along the North Shore such as The New York Wheel, Empire Outlets, Lighthouse Point and more.”

Borough President James Oddo noted that “Creating this green space is an important step in the major redevelopment that is going to transform the North Shore and increase activity along the waterfront.”

Through this project and others along the North Shore, NYCEDC has worked to transform the area into a dynamic hub that will create economic growth and thousands of jobs, support existing waterfront amenities and provide new waterfront uses.

New Stapleton Waterfront is a development located on the Homeport, a 35-acre decommissioned U.S. Naval Base on the north shore of Staten Island. It is now poised to become a revitalized, mixed-use residential community.

Apart from the New Stapleton Waterfront Park, the redevelopment effort along the waterfront includes 900 new rental apartments and over 35,000 square feet of commercial space as part of Ironstate Development’s URBY Staten Island project.

Urby Staten Island is a sustainable development that includes 900 LEED-certified residential units, along with 35,000 square feet of ground floor retail, a public plaza and 600 parking spaces. The project is creating more than 1,100 construction jobs and 250 permanent jobs.

The City, along with an Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grant from the NY Department of State, is investing approximately $130 million for public infrastructure improvements that include roadway upgrades, bicycle lanes, the new park, and the creation of a tidal wetlands cove for the benefit of the local community.

New York’s Acting Secretary of State Rossana Rosado added that the New York Department of State is happy to support the revitalization of the New Stapleton Waterfront. “These improvements provide vital access to the waterfront and will spur economic and recreational opportunities for Staten Island communities,” said Sec. Rosado.

Council Member Debi Rose pointed out that “Parks like these are an important reminder that we live on an island and that our waterfront presents boundless opportunities for recreation and for commerce.”

Rose went on to thank everyone whose work and vision made this park a reality, including the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the Parks Department and Ironstate.

Columbia University’s Science Center Project Gets $50M Financing Through Green Bonds

Columbia University will be able to raise $50 million to fund construction of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center through low-interest, tax-exempt Green Bonds sold by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) on behalf of the university.

Columbia University

Columbia University (photo – Youngking11/wikimedia)

The nine-story, 450,000-square-foot Jerome L. Greene Science Center, located on the University’s Manhattanville campus, will house the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute.

This new Institute will build on the University’s distinguished history in the study and treatment of the brain, while also serving as the hub of an even larger collaborative network of academics stretching across all disciplines including the arts, economics, law, and medicine.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement that the Jerome L. Greene Science Center will play a key role in the futures of both Columbia University and the State of New York.

“Not only will this facility help strengthen New York as a hub for cutting edge research, but also its construction demonstrates how the public and private sectors can work together to promote a cleaner and greener tomorrow,” added Gov. Cuomo.

The University is planning to pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green certification for the Science Center. Columbia’s Manhattanville campus has already earned LEED Neighborhood Development Platinum, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest designation. It was the first project to receive this green certification in New York City.

Key green features in the Science Center’s design include chilled beam technology that will significantly reduce the building’s cooling load requirements, plus a highly efficient radiant floor heating system located at perimeter areas that will significantly reduce building heating loads.

A curtain wall of a double skin metal and glass facade will act as an insulation blanket. The project has also engaged in reducing the environmental impacts associated with the transport of materials and resources by maximizing the selection of products from local and regional manufacturers within 500 miles of the project site.

Green Bonds provide investors with the opportunity to directly support projects that Columbia University has identified as environmentally sustainable, such as the Jerome L. Greene Science Center.

For its part, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York finances and builds the health care and education institutions that anchor New York’s communities, and has an outstanding bond portfolio of approximately $48.1 billion as of December 31, 2015.

DASNY President and CEO Gerrard P. Bushell highlighted the benefits of their collaboration, noting that “By issuing Green Bonds, Columbia University and DASNY are tying private sector support and low-interest financing together to finance and build a more sustainable future for New York.”

Anne Sullivan, executive Vice president of Finance and IT for Columbia University, added that “Columbia is proud to add green bond issuance to its already broad commitment to sustainability activities, from research to operations.”

New NYC Energy Efficiency Initiatives to Reduce GHG From Buildings, Create Green Jobs

A suite of new energy efficiency initiatives has been announced that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the over one million buildings in New York City.


ONENYC (photo –

Buildings account for nearly three-quarters of all emissions in New York City. The new steps the City has announced are projected to reduce GHG emissions from buildings by 2.7 million metric tons – the equivalent of taking more than 560,000 cars off the road.

The NYC economic development benefits from these initiatives include savings for building owners of approximately $900 million in energy costs, and creation of an estimated 1,300 direct construction-related jobs.

Combined with the policies and programs announced in Mayor de Blasio’s One City: Built to Last ten-year plan to retrofit public and private buildings, the City’s initiatives are now expected to reduce GHG emissions from buildings by a total of 6.1 million metric tons by 2025, putting the city well on a path to reach its goal of an 80 percent reduction in all emissions by 2050 (80 by 50).

The new initiatives and proposed bills announced are categorized as follows:

Require and Catalyze Retrofits in Existing Buildings – This includes retro-commissioning; requiring buildings to complete cost-effective energy conservation measures; requiring large and mid-size building owners to repair and improve heating distribution systems; requiring large and mid-size building owners to assess deep energy retrofit strategies as part of their required energy audit.

Also, new bills being considered by the City Council will improve efficiency and information transparency in mid-sized buildings and non-residential spaces, and seek changes to historic building and other laws to encourage energy improvements.

2016 New York City Energy Code – The 2016 New York City Energy Code was introduced in the City Council a few days ago, and incorporates best practice efficiency requirements that can be adopted in the market in the near-term. For example, the code will require a solar-ready zone on roofs of one- and two-family homes that have sufficient solar potential.

All told, the updated code will reduce energy use for new buildings and major renovations by approximately 8.5 percent for new commercial buildings, and 25 percent for new residential buildings, as compared to existing Energy Code standards.

Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and Founding Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, said in the release that these newest energy efficiency initiatives, especially those that focus on retrofitting existing buildings, are examples of real leadership and the City is to be congratulated for setting a big goal and laying out a clear path to meet it.

Moving forward, the City will also seek to change the paradigm for future Energy Code updates to ensure that they account for whole building energy performance and the interaction of systems.

ABC Relocation of Quantico Series Production Brings Hundreds of Jobs to New York

The ABC Studio television series Quantico is relocating production of its next season of episodes from Montreal to New York.

New York

New York (photo – stevevoght/flickr)

All aspects of production, including the writing team, will be based in New York, generating an estimated $68 million in spending in the state. The production will create at least 300 full-time jobs in New York, and production will continue through May next year.

Post production for the first season was also done in New York, and generated over $5 million for the local economy. ABC Studios, a key content provider for ABC Entertainment, is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co. Since 2011, Disney has directly contributed an estimated $500 million to New York State’s economy through television and film production, along with an estimated 37,102 jobs for New Yorkers.

In a statement announcing the project, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said that “We are proud that Disney recognizes all that the Empire State has to offer and that Quantico’s relocation will generate hundreds of jobs for New Yorkers and contribute millions of dollars to local businesses.”

Chief New York economic development agency Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky added that “The series is a welcome addition to the Empire State’s booming television and film industries, which have created thousands of jobs and contributed significantly to other industries across the state.”

Patrick Moran, Executive Vice President, ABC Studios, likewise responded that “ABC Studios values the strong partnership that has developed with Empire State Development (ESD) and we look forward to collaborating with the team to create an excellent television show as well as expanded job opportunities for New Yorkers.”

Quantico Executive Producer Joshua Safran noted that “Quantico is partially set in New York and the authenticity and production value gained from simply being amongst its varied environments is invaluable.”

Quantico joins a long list of major film productions and television series that have touted New York State’s Film Tax Credit Program as a major factor when choosing the Empire State as the location to film.

Since 2004, a total of 1,382 film and television projects have participated in the program and are estimated to have generated more than one million new hires and $20 billion in new spending in New York State. In 2015 alone, a record 203 film and television projects that applied for the program are estimated to generate 187,764 new hires and $3.05 billion in new spending statewide.

Mayor de Blasio Launches Solarize NYC Program to Expand Access to Low-Cost Solar

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the citywide launch of Solarize NYC, a program designed to further increase access to solar in the five boroughs and reduce costs through community group purchasing campaigns.

Solarize NYC

Solarize NYC (photo –

In addition to supporting the City’s goal of installing 250 MW of solar capacity on private property by 2025, Solarize NYC’s mission is to reduce barriers for communities that have historically had limited access to solar. Also, it will help grow the local solar industry by stimulating demand for local installers.

Solarize programs that aggregate customers typically reduce solar costs by 10 to 20 percent, and the definition of a “community” is quite flexible in this reference. Applicants will have the opportunity to self-define their community, whether the boundaries are geographic, such as a block or neighborhood; an affinity group, such as a Business Improvement District, a labor union, or a house of worship; or otherwise.

The Solarize NYC program builds on the successful NYSolar Smart Solarize Brooklyn CB6 pilot program run last year by Sustainable CUNY. Twenty-six contracts have been signed to date through this pilot, representing 141 kilowatts of power.

The new citywide Solarize NYC program will be a core component of New York City’s OneNYC goal of expanding renewable energy, a part of Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Mayor Blasio said in a statement that “We’ve focused on cutting red tape and leading by example, and solar installations have already tripled since the beginning of this administration.”

Over the last two years, the amount of solar capacity installed in the city has indeed tripled, with private and public installations now totaling almost 75 megawatts.  Public solar capacity has increased 13-fold to nearly 9 MW since Mayor de Blasio took office. During this same period, private solar capacity has nearly tripled from 24 MW to nearly 65 MW.

“Now, Solarize NYC means more and more New Yorkers across the city will have access to lower-cost solar – and can help us achieve our OneNYC goals of 80×50 and more,” added Mayor de Blasio.

Communities that are interested in applying to participate in Solarize NYC can submit a Letter of Interest here. The NYC Solar Partnership will work alongside selected communities to design a Solarize NYC campaign for them that will include technical assistance from solar ombudsmen; funding support for marketing materials and staff time; and marketing and outreach plans that are tailored to the needs of each community.

The NYC Solar Partnership is led by Sustainable CUNY, which works collaboratively with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to promote an equitable and self-sustaining solar market in pursuit of the Mayor’s goal of increasing solar capacity around the city.

CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken said in the release that “CUNY is proud to have led the NYC Solar Partnership over the last decade, building pathways to increased solar energy use and the creation of new jobs in our city.”

NYC Economic Development Corp. President Maria Torres-Springer noted that “Solarize NYC will lower energy costs for participants and create new solar job opportunities for local residents, proving that supporting the development of the clean energy sector isn’t just smart environmental policy, it’s smart economics.”

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