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The Vision

In October 2017, the city of Cortland was identified as the community under the purview of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council to receive $10 million as part of Round 2 of New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).


A team of NYS Department of State planners and private consultants was assigned to guide the city through the DRI process and to create a Strategic Investment Plan that will help the city achieve the goals of the initiative. A Local Planning Committee (LPC) comprised of 11 community stakeholders and two co-chairs representing business, education, arts and civic interests was assembled to lead the city’s efforts and aid in public outreach efforts to ensure the public was involved in all aspects of the DRI process.

For frequently asked questions about the DRI, visit

This funding will bring new life to downtown Cortland and assist in its transformation into an economic engine.

The Arts

Expand the arts, music, sports and recreation based creative economy.

Build a Neighborhood

Build a complete downtown neighborhood that includes housing for all demographics, retail shopping, job availability, access to everyday goods and services and more.


Update infrastructure that integrates technology and sustainability to address 21st Century needs.

Expand the arts, music, sports and recreation based creative economy.


Build a complete downtown neighborhood.


Update infrastructure that integrates technology & sustainability to address 21st century needs.


Building Development Program

The City of Cortland awarded $540,000 in funding to 11 projects as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  The City was awarded $10 million DRI in 2017, and $600,000 of that funding was set aside for a Building Redevelopment Program to fund smaller projects in the DRI area. 

These smaller projects have the potential to be as impactful as larger DRI projects and will support downtown businesses.

Building Redevelopment

  • 50 Main Street (Seven Valley Crossfit) – Awarded $60,000 towards a $109,000 project to redesign the façade to match the historic character of the downtown, along with new lighting; new roof; HVAC system, and minor interior renovations.

  • 37-39 Central Avenue (Central Hair Studio) – Awarded $60,000 towards an $88,000 project including the creation of a new one-bedroom accessible apartment, replacement of storefront windows; and other interior and exterior improvements.

  • 37 Tompkins Street (1890 House) – Awarded $60,000 towards an $80,000 project to restore the 1890 House’s carriage house including a new roof; repaired windows and trim; repaired siding, and new paint.

  • 35 Main Street  – Awarded $58,000 towards a $100,000 project to complete façade improvements including masonry repair and painting, and commercial improvements to restore the former bank lobby to its original appearance.

  • 10-12 Main Street (Community Restaurant) – Awarded $58,000 towards a $128,000 project to undertake façade improvements including new paint, awnings, siding, and windows.

  • 33 Main Street (NY Bagel) – Awarded $50,000 towards a $133,000 project to install new storefront facades; new windows; and exterior paint.

  • 77-79 Main Street – Awarded $60,000 towards a $138,000 project to restore the front façade to a more historic appearance, including removal of brick from the storefront, signboard restoration, façade lighting; and other repairs to the primary facade.

  • 54 Main Street (Deli Downtown) – Awarded $55,000 towards a $73,000 project to add new exterior paint; new roof; new HVAC system; new signage; new lighting, and new interior commercial and residential work.

  • 130-136 Main Street (Ricon Hispano) – Awarded $59,000 towards a $116,000 project to undertake structural repairs to the cornice and parapet; repoint masonry; repair windows, and install new awnings over the storefronts.

Facade Lighting

  • 1 North Main St. and 2 Main Street – Both of these projects were awarded $10,000 towards the lighting of the façades of these historic downtown buildings.

* Project completed.

New York Bagel facade.jpg

Participating Organizations

City of Cortland New York
Cortland County Business Development Corporation Industrial Development Agency
Cortland Area Chamber of Commerce
Experience Cortland County Convention and Visitors Bureau
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