After three years of eating Cuomo porridge, Rockland County may bring home regional council bacon

After three years of getting nearly shut out of regional grants, County Executive Ed Day this week announced that the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) endorsed five Rockland County projects as regional priorities for Round IV of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative.

Endorsements are not final grants and at least one of the Rockland projects, a possible Legoland theme park at Letchworth Village in Haverstraw, is merely in the exploratory phase.

A total of 25 projects were endorsed in the Mid-Hudson Valley, with Rockland County in line to secure five (20 percent).

“In a nutshell, Rockland County jumped from worst to first in Governor Cuomo’s competition for economic development dollars,” County Executive Day said. “One of my core campaign promises involved economic growth – attracting investment, expanding business development and creating jobs – all of which are keys to our long-term economic vitality. Today’s recognition by the MHREDC will put Rockland County in a stronger position to attract more private investment and drive job growth.”

The following priority projects in Rockland County have been endorsed by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council:

LEGOLAND New York – This overall $250 million project consists of the development and construction of the LEGOLAND NY theme park, which once constructed would be followed potentially by a LEGOLAND Water Park, LEGOLAND hotel, and the expansion of the theme park. The CFA application requests assistance with phase one infrastructure work. The project would provide an unprecedented boost to regional tourism as LEGOLAND NY projects up to two million visitors annually (approximately), two thirds of which would be tourists to the Mid-Hudson region.

Anellotech DS3 – This project consists of the construction of a structure to house a pilot plant to conduct processing applications previously researched and developed on a bench scale in the biomass sector to produce basic chemicals such as benzene, toluene and mixed eylenes.

Brooklyn Brewery Production Facility – This proposed expansion of the Brooklyn Brewery includes construction of a state-of-the-art 400,000 expandable to 1 million barrel brewery in a 200,000 square foot building on approximately 25 acres in the lower Hudson Valley or a location in New York City.

Hudson Valley Craft Beer Cider and Spirits Project – This project consists of the creation of the Hudson Valley artisanal craft beer, cider and distilling incubator. The project sponsor will bottle and label their own hard cider as well as lend the facility to manufacture and contract brew for smaller craft brewers that are presently manufacturing their goods outside of New York State, or do not have the capacity to grow their own brands or have the know-how to bring products to market. The project would create approximately twenty direct jobs by its completion and also help the farming industry in the area by revitalizing the farming of hops in New York State, in addition to the use of New York-grown apples, grapes and other crops.

Jawonio Integrated Health Wellness and Work Project – A $24 million enhancement, consolidation and expansion of Jawonio’s New City campus, which will include substantial renovation/construction of a 97,000 square foot building.