November 12, 2021
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Chinatown will receive $20 million in funding as the New York City Region winner of the fifth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). As part of DRI Round 5, each of the state's 10 regional economic development regions are being awarded $20 million, to make for a total state commitment of $200 million in funding and investments to help communities boost their post COVID-19 economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods.
"Chinatown serves as a beacon of cultural richness and diversity, not just for New Yorkers, but for the entire world," Governor Hochul said. "With this award, Chinatown will shine even brighter and reach its fullest potential as a vibrant community and an international arts and cultural destination. Strategic public investments like this spark an upward cycle of revitalization that takes on a life of its own by enhancing community pride, creating a positive buzz and attracting private sector investments."
Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin said, "Chinatown now joins a growing list of motivated communities throughout the State that have transformed their downtowns through this innovative and nation-leading program. This award will help ensure an equitable recovery for this vital community, and will further bolster the renaissance in downtown redevelopment that is spreading and flourishing throughout New York State."
The DRI serves as a cornerstone of the state's economic development policy by transforming downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers of activity that offer a high quality of life and attract redevelopment, businesses, jobs, and economic and housing diversity. In this round, Governor Hochul doubled funding from $100 million to $200 million and allowed each Regional Economic Development Council to decide whether to nominate two $10 million awardees or one $20 million awardee for transformative and catalytic downtown redevelopment projects.
Like past DRI rounds, each selected community will develop a strategic plan through a bottom-up, community-based planning process that articulates a vision for the revitalization of its downtown and identifies a list of signature projects that have the potential to transform the downtown and leverage further private and public investments. DRI funds will then be awarded for selected projects that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and realize the community's vision for the downtown.
Chinatown will use the $20 million DRI award to build on its history as a cultural destination in order to preserve and return the neighborhood to a vibrant downtown area. Chinatown already launched several ongoing and planned projects that have created excitement and momentum for further revitalization, including restoration of the Kimlau Memorial Monument, multiple affordable and senior housing projects, and multiple resiliency projects at NYCHA properties.
Chinatown's DRI will build on this progress by creating new arts and cultural space, improving connectivity, increasing housing, and expanding green space to achieve its goals of building an arts and culture economic engine, attracting tourists and regional visitors, solidifying the neighborhood as a cultural home for the 1.2 million Asian American Pacific Islanders living in the NY metro area, and improving the quality of life in the neighborhood.
With this award, Chinatown will shine even brighter and reach its fullest potential as a vibrant community and an international arts and cultural destination.
To read more about this story, you can visit Governor Hochul Announces Chinatown as $20 Million New York City Region Winner of Fifth-Round Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
New York Pressroom
November 10, 2021