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Two Upstate Medical University projects win state economic development funding

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Two key projects by Upstate Medical University today received a total of $5.6 million in economic development funding through New York's Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

The council has awarded $3.6 million to redevelop Kennedy Square into a mix use of residential, commercial and research facilities. The funding will be used to make the nearly 10-acre site shovel ready for development. The location has been renamed Loguen's Crossing.

The council also has awarded $2 million to enable completion of the Central New York Biotechnology Research Center (CNYBRC), a joint project between Upstate and the State College of Environmental Science and Forestry. This project provides startup laboratory and development space that helps rehabilitate blighted property. The project will capitalize on the region's strength in biotechnology and galvanize its potential as a world-class center for biomedical services and bioscience.

Other Central New York projects also received funding, bringing the total economic development funds awarded to the region to more than $103 million.

"This is terrific news for all of Central New York," said Upstate Medical University President David R. Smith, M.D. "This funding puts these projects on the fast track and primes the pump for future economic development."

Smith acknowledged the leadership and vision of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy for jump starting economic growth throughout the state.

Smith also offered special acknowledgment to SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, who served on the statewide Chairman's Committee, and to Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor and CenterStateCEO President Robert Simpson, who together led the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council that championed Central New York projects for state economic development support. Key, too, in the success of Central New York's economic development plans were Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, and Cornelius Murphy, president of the SUNY-ESF.

"We are truly grateful for the leadership of all those involved who helped reinforce Central New York's role in energizing the state's economy by creating new jobs and attracting new businesses," he said.

Gov. Cuomo announced earlier this year the creation of 10 regional economic development councils across the state that considered proposals and created plans for regional funding opportunities.

On the Kennedy Square project, Smith said he hopes to tear down the dilapidated apartment buildings within the next six months. "There is a sense of urgency to get going on this project right away—and there is a great deal of momentum that we want to take advantage of."

While development plans for the site are still being discussed, Upstate officials have said the site will likely be a mix of residential, retail, office and educational space. Upstate already has plans to build an office complex at the site. The complex would allow Upstate to reduce significantly the amount of space it leases for various offices. Upstate said it would provide updates on plans to representatives from the city and county, CenterStateCEO and various neighborhood groups.

The CNYBRC will be a 60,000 square-foot facility to house biotechnology, educational and research programs. The center will seek corporate tenants interested in small medical device development and other medial research, as well as serve as incubator space for start-up biotechnology companies. It is slated to open in June 2012.