Orange County Partnership - News

  • Photo Credit: NYS Governor Kathy Hochul

State Earmarks $60 Million to Help Localities Redevelop Blighted Properties

The Orange County Partnership is pleased to report that municipalities throughout Orange County can now apply for grants to help them transform blighted, underutilized properties into residential, commercial and/or mixed-use developments.


The state opened applications on Feb. 22 for the next $60 million in the latest round of the Restore New York grant program, which is administered by Empire State Development. As part of the FY 2025 Executive Budget, Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed an additional $50-million investment to fund future rounds of Restore NY.


The goal of Restore New York is to help attract residents and businesses by redeveloping residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties. State officials noted that each project should align with the regional strategic plan of the Regional Economic Development Council and projects should be either architecturally consistent with nearby and adjacent properties or consistent with the municipality's local revitalization or urban development plan.


Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Restore New York gives municipalities the support they need to create real change in their communities. By removing or rehabilitating eyesores that bring down a neighborhood, municipalities have opportunity to revitalize their community and generate new economic opportunities.”


Funding can be used for vacant, abandoned, condemned or surplus buildings and these properties can be demolished, deconstructed, rehabilitated or reconstructed. Emphasis will be placed on projects in economically distressed communities, projects that leverage other state or federal redevelopment funds and the project's feasibility and readiness. Eligible applicants include counties, cities, towns and villages within New York State based on the following criteria:


  • Cities over 100,000 in population may apply for up to $4 million for one project. However, cities of over 1 million in population and counties therein must apply for projects in a distressed area of the city.


  • Cities and villages with populations between 40,000 and 99,999 may apply for one project up to $3 million.


  • All other municipalities may apply for one project up to $2 million.


Empire State Development may grant a limited number of special awards. Municipalities with populations of 100,000 or less and counties with populations of 400,000 or less as of the last census may apply for an additional $10 million to put toward a second separate project or toward part of a larger project in addition to the funding limits listed above. Special projects are where the property causes severe economic injury to the community, leaving a highly visible and blighted property or properties in the central business district of a highly or moderately distressed community which has a depressing effect on the overall economic development potential of the community.


Interested municipalities can apply for the latest round of the Restore New York program at:


Communities interested in applying are encouraged to register at for ESD’s instructional webinar, which will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 27.


An intent to apply form must be received by ESD by March 25, 2024. For more detailed information on the program and requirements visit