Lockport Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI)

 

On Oct. 3, 2018, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the City of Lockport was selected as the Western New York recipient of a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant. The DRI is a statewide initiative that provides funding for high-priority projects designed to boost local economies and transform city centers into vibrant neighborhoods where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise a family.

The City of Lockport is a unique Erie Canal community anchored by a growing downtown district and an established tourism season. The city’s walkable 15-block central business district has several iconic buildings that are vacant or underutilized and represent impactful economic development opportunities, especially for a blend of affordable, market-rate and luxury housing. The City of Lockport is seeking to use DRI funding to improve walkability and connectivity to the Erie Canal, redevelop underutilized property, and add housing options to the downtown area.

Community engagement and support are critical to the long-term success of the revitalization of Lockport. The Local Planning Committee, stakeholders and community members will be actively involved throughout the DRI planning process. A schedule of prospective public meetings and key milestones can be found here.

The Study Area

Lockport’s DRI Study Area encompasses lands in the downtown are that are centered on the Erie Canal. The DRI area targets specific downtown areas that will benefit immensely from property redevelopment and corridor enhancement.

The DRI Program

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) is a comprehensive planning and implementation grant program designed to transform downtown neighborhoods into vibrant communities where New Yorkers want to live, work and raise families. Now in its third year, the state-funded program will invest another $100 million into 10 additional downtown neighborhoods across New York State. Participating communities are nominated by the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs) based on the community’s potential for transformation. Participating communities are awarded $10 million to develop a Downtown Strategic Investment Plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community’s vision for revitalization.

Development of the Downtown Strategic Investment Plan is guided by a Local Planning Committee (LPC), comprised of local stakeholders from a variety of relevant backgrounds, industries and sectors, and extensive public input. The LPC is charged with identifying and recommending projects to the state for funding consideration. The inclusion of projects in the Downtown Strategic Investment Plan does not guarantee funding through the DRI Program. Rather, New York state is responsible for selecting the most transformative and catalytic projects from those identified for each downtown to receive DRI funding.

The complete DRI process can be accessed below. For more information regarding the DRI program, please visit the State’s website.

What is the Local Planning Committee?

The Local Planning Committee (LPC) works with the consulting team, state planners, and key municipal representatives to develop a Downtown Strategic Investment Plan for the revitalization of its downtown. The LPC’s role is to ensure that the Plan reflects the unique nature of the downtown and that it fully addresses current and potential residential, commercial and institutional interests. The LPC will meet at least monthly to brainstorm ideas, review products and proposals, and provide direction and feedback to consultants. These meetings are open to the public. The list of all LPC members is provided below:

Local Planning Committee (click to expand)
NAME AFFILIATION
David Wohleben City of Lockport
Deanna Alterio Brennen YWCA of the Niagara Frontier
Brian Smith City of Lockport/Greater Lockport Development Corporation
Amanda Farrell City of Lockport
Kevin McDonough City of Lockport
Rolando Moreno City of Lockport
Joan Aul Greater Lockport Development Corporation
Paul Brown Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council
Gary Bennett Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
Becky Burns Niagara County Community College
Kathleen DiMillo Hunt Real Estate
Jessica Dittly Lockport Main Street, Inc.
Amy Fisk Niagara County Center for Economic Development
Dave Kinyon Locks Heritage District Corporation
Tom Mancuso Mancuso Group
Anne McCaffrey Eastern Niagara Hospital
Chris Smith Grigg Lewis Foundation
Jeff Tracy Starpoint School District
Shelley Unocic Lockport Ice Arena and Sports Center

Lockport Revitalization Documents