Downtown Revitalization Initiative

HR&A developed investment strategies to secure $75 million in private investment and create 500 jobs in three downtown neighborhoods.

In 2016, New York State launched the $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative to transform 10 formerly declining downtowns into places where tomorrow’s workforce will want to live, work, and raise a family. HR&A worked with three downtown communities – Jamestown in Western New York, Plattsburgh in the North Country, and Jamaica, Queens – on a seven-month strategic planning effort to identify targeted public investments that will spark private investment and create jobs.
With a team of planning, landscape design, engineering, and public engagement professionals – in concert with local planning committees composed of leaders from government, business, and civic organizations – HR&A identified local strengths, challenges, and priorities through technical analysis, public workshops, and deep engagement with local planning committee members. HR&A’s work resulted in 32 project recommendations across the three communities, including:

  • Gap financing in Jamestown to redevelop two vacant properties into a 140-key full-service hotel and a brewery, which would draw on visitation from the National Comedy Center.
  • Public infrastructure funding to unlock development potential in Plattsburgh, including redevelopment of a publicly owned site in the historic downtown.
  • Development of an inviting gateway plaza in Jamaica, plus investments to support local job and industry growth, including a 10,000-square-foot co-working space and high-speed broadband. Final awards are forthcoming.

HR&A framed the proposed projects within long-term revitalization strategies and developed implementation plans, which were summarized in strategic investment plans submitted to the state on behalf of each downtown. In total, awarded projects will leverage nearly $30 million of state funds to attract more than $75 million in additional private and public investment, create at least 500 direct jobs, and set the stage for further downtown growth and community development.


Based on the success of first round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, New York State announced the launch of a second round in the spring of 2017.


To learn more about this project, please contact Partner Kate Collignon