Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Empire State Development Corporation

Empire State Development Corporation

  • belmont park redev

    Belmont arena rendering (rendering: Sterling Project Development)


    Delayed appraisal, dubious benefits analysis, interest-free financing complicate rosy outlook

    Three lessons from the long battle over Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn are that promises of huge financial benefits deserve skepticism, that independent studies trump promotional ones, and that scenarios should be presented as a range of outcomes, rather than just the best case.

    Unfortunately, those

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  • georgetown madisonida

    Former Camp Georgetown Correctional Facility is expected to soon become Camp Brihat Yoga Retreat (photo: Madison County IDA)


    As New York continues to drastically reduce its incarceration rate, many prisons have become surplus. The state prison population has fallen from its peak of approximately 72,600 in 1999 to 47,400 this year.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo, under whom 24 prisons and juvenile detention centers have already been shuttered, introduced and passed legislation as part of the new state budget that would allow him to shut down two or

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  • lic via edc

    (image via NYC EDC)


    The first of several New York City Council public oversight hearings on the deal to bring an Amazon campus to Long Island City will be held Wednesday at City Hall. Titled by the Council as “Exposing the Closed-Door Process,” the questions should concern not just the big-picture issues but also some fine print regarding the company’s acquisition of city-owned real estate.

    Of course, the estimated $3 billion in tax breaks and subsidies in the deal

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  • 640px long island city new york may 2015 panorama 3

    CityLights, second building from right (photo: King of Hearts/Wikimedia Commons)


    Amazon’s announcement that it will locate one of its two new “headquarters” in Long Island City, Queens triggered immediate backlash among some elected officials and residents of the community who fear the effects it will have on local housing prices and already strained infrastructure, among other consequences. But the residents of CityLights, the largest affordable co-op in Queens, are particularly incensed by

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  • govcuomo roswell

    Howard Zemsky, of ESD, in Buffalo (photo via the Governor's office)


    Alain Kaloyeros, the former head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute heading to trial this month for alleged corruption, was known for his luxury sports cars, self-aggrandizing boasts, and awkward social media posts.

    The new face of the state’s tech development projects, Doug Grose, strikes a different image: subdued, old-school business executive.

    Coming after Kaloyeros’ fall from grace and amid twin corruption trials, Grose’s appointment seems aimed at assuring taxpayers that state

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  • Zemsky economic development

    Howard Zemsky (photo: Govenor's Office)


    Starting this year, the state’s central economic development agency is required to produce an annual comprehensive report of all of the state-funded programs it oversees. The requirement of Empire State Development (ESD) was part of the state budget agreement reached last April amid intensifying criticism of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approach to economic development.

    With the report due on December 31 of each year, ESD must compile the past fiscal year's “aggregate totals” for each economic

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  • 34868772685 4a41dee04d z

    Howard Zemsky in Buffalo (via Governor's Office)


    Ahead of the 2018 legislative session, the New York State Assembly’s Economic Development Committee held a hearing Monday in Albany to evaluate the progress of the state’s multitude of economic development programs and hear testimony from companies and organizations that have benefited from state grants.

    Taking center stage was Howard Zemsky, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s economic development czar as president and CEO of Empire State Development, who defended the state’s jobs programs and was

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  • Cuomo gaggle teacher award night

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    A day after United States Attorney Preet Bharara unveiled a myriad of corruption charges against two of his closest allies and some of his biggest donors related to their abuse of the state’s economic development programs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled to Buffalo to announce he was expanding the program that sparked Bharara’s investigation.

    Cuomo publicly acknowledged the “truly disappointing” allegations and told the gathered crowd that his

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  • Cuomo Geico jobs econ dev

    Gov. Cuomo at a jobs announcement (photo: Philip Kamrass, Governor's Office)


    Over the last few weeks, several reports and legislative hearings have once again cast an unflattering light on New York’s economic development policies. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. In my 14 years serving in the State Senate, I’ve seen the names of the programs change, but the results remain the same – huge giveaways to a select group of companies that don’t live up to their job creation promises.

    On the Friday before the

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  • Cuomo Buffalo thank you

    Cuomo in Buffalo (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    United States Attorney Preet Bharara's attention has been drawn away from his normal stomping grounds to Buffalo, intrigued by what critics say is a shadowy network of state authorities and state-controlled non-profits handing out large business subsidies and contracts with little to no oversight.

    Watchdogs say that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, through SUNY Polytechnic head ...