Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Grant Strategy & Writing Services

Project Location: Haverstraw, NY & Ossining, NY
Client: Villages of Haverstraw and Villages of Ossining

New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) is a grant program led by the Department of State where the State’s Regional Economic Development Councils nominate communities $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community’s vision for revitalization. In its fifth year, the program expanded to include two downtowns in each region to receive $10 million each or one downtown to receive an award of $20 million.

Nelson Pope Voorhis was retained by the Villages of Haverstraw and Ossining to play a critical role in preparing Round 5 DRI applications – providing advice, edits, and content to Ossining, and directly preparing the application for Haverstraw. Both communities had previously submitted DRI applications for previous funding rounds and were selected as finalists. NPV built upon the prior applications to strategize with each community on the proposed DRI boundary area and potential projects to include in the application. NPV also strategized with each community on how it wanted to position itself within the Mid-Hudson region and highlight its connections to neighboring communities, including the shared ferry connection between Haverstraw and Ossining. NPV worked with each community to finalize the vision and goals for the DRI boundary area and modify the narrative to ensure the grant application was highlighting their qualifications including groundwork already conducted, and readiness of projects to receive funding in a succinct and meaningful way.

Work included finalizing project narratives, revising project descriptions, project readiness, and responsible parties. NPV also assisted in the coordination of the construction estimates for the projects. NPV refined the DRI boundary map for Haverstraw and provided input and edits to the Ossining DRI boundary map. Valerie Monastra of NPV, having worked extensively on previous applications and DRI implementation, was able to provide timely advice that allowed the two communities to undertake future procedural steps in advance, such as suggesting revising video narratives before the actual requests by DOS.

The Haverstraw application was able to draw upon work recently conducted for its Comprehensive Plan and LWRP documents, both of which were policy documents that NPV assisted the Village in crafting. These policy documents and the zoning implementing them, allowed the Village to generate significant investment interest in advance of the DRI. Several of the projects already underway in response to the Plan and zoning implementation, will now be eligible for possible capital assistance through the DRI award.

NPV anticipates providing advice and local assistance through the forthcoming DRI process, which will provide State-designated professionals to prepare the Strategic Action Plans in a condensed timeframe. NPV will assist the communities to ensure that they are keeping pace with the process and advancing the most impactful redevelopment and revitalization projects.

Relevant Project Components:

  • Downtown Revitalization
  • Grant Writing & Administration
  • Grant Strategy
  • GIS Mapping & Analysis
  • Municipal Planning