Economic Development

Secretive drone firm to invest $50M+ at Calverton

By JOHN L. KOMINICKI // Calverton’s enterprise zone is near a deal with a Brooklyn aeronautical startup that plans to build giant, solar-powered aircraft that would fly high above commercial jet traffic and beam laser-powered communication signals to earth. The firm, Luminati Aerospace, has acquired the land and buildings of a skydiving school at the former Grumman test site and is set to invest $50 million and employ 40 to 50 people, according to Riverhead Supervisor…


Albany funding affordable housing in storm areas

With Hurricane Joaquin positioning itself for a potential East Cost strike, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced a new $20 million program to support eligible affordable-housing projects in areas ravaged by previous tropical events, including 2012’s devastating Hurricane Sandy. Citing damage caused not only by the historic superstorm but by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee – which struck just weeks apart in 2011 – the governor invited qualified housing developers in 33 New York…


Tech plays center stage in latest funding contest

With visions of a thriving innovation economy front and center, Long Island business and academic leaders are shooting for $105 million in commercialization funds through the annual Regional Economic Development Council competition. The Long Island council, comprised of more than 20 businesspeople and academicians appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pored over 254 applications from Nassau and Suffolk companies, governments and nonprofits – the highest number of applications since the contest launched on 2011 – to determine…


Farm preservation, defense, marketing programs land state funding

Peconic Land Trust, a not for profit dedicated to conserving Long Island’s working farms and undeveloped land was awarded $1 million in state money to kick off an agricultural equipment grant program. The funding, part of more than $16 million announced by the state on Monday, will go to assist farmers willing to make capital investments in their farming operations, with awards capped at $25,000. The program was developed in cooperation with the Long Island Farm…


Suffolk in line for $388M sewer project

Consider it a silver lining to some of Long Island’s darkest clouds. In what’s being proffered as a response to the historic flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy, $388 million in state and federal funds will flow into Suffolk County to expand sanitary service to over 8,000 parcels of land currently utilizing on-site septic systems. The coastal resiliency initiative, approved by FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, is a major victory for lawmakers and activists who have…


DiNapoli: Sloppy controls at Upstate IDAs

NY Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is keeping the heat on industrial development agencies around the state, this time with audits that suggest poor followups on approved projects in upstate Niagara, Tompkins and Wyoming counties. “When taxpayers and communities are helping to incentivize and assist local economic development efforts, there must be proper accountability,” DiNapoli said in releasing the audits. “IDAs are leveraging tax breaks in exchange for long-term jobs and future revenue for their communities, but without…


Cuomo: Your billions for Upstate are paying off

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo took to the Huffington Post on Wednesday to extol what he called “irrefutable” evidence that Buffalo, Rochester and the rest of Upstate New York are on the economic mend. While acknowledging that his plan for an Upstate renaissance had been widely considered a fool’s errand, Cuomo said “any objective source would admit significant progress has been made. Even the skeptics are startled.” “Just yesterday the Buffalo News Editorial Board said, “While…


State team to visit local eco-dev projects

By GREGORY ZELLER // As it prepares to submit requests for another $100 million or more in state aid, the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council is proudly showing off some of its brightest accomplishments to date. As part of a region-by-region tour of economic-development council projects, a team of high-profile state officials is visiting Nassau and Suffolk on Wednesday, checking in on some of the highest-profile projects funded by the annual REDC awards. Kevin…


The Debrief: Kevin Law on Jeter, Trump and taxes

Few individuals play as influential a role in the Long Island economy as Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association, chairman of business booster Accelerate Long Island and co-chair of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. We chatted about unemployment, infrastructure and Derek Jeter. In Kevin’s words: OK, JETER FIRST: We’re thrilled that Derek Jeter will be the guest speaker at our LIA fall luncheon in October. We had Mitt Romney…


Melville credit firm gets power grant

A Long Island credit services company is among 15 statewide firms that will receive low-cost electrical power through the latest round of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ReChargeNY program. RUI Management Services, which is headquartered in Melville and claims regional offices throughout the nation, will share 10.4 megawatts of low-cost electrical power with 14 other New York State businesses, according to a statement from the governor’s office highlighting the 12th round of ReChargeNY allocations. Including the 10.4…


Cuomo unveils $4B LaGuardia redo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pitching an innovative $4 billion makeover of LaGuardia Airport that would consolidate its four terminals into one hub and reposition the facility closer to Grand Central Parkway. In addition, the airport would be connected to public transit via an AirTrain link and 24-hour ferry service. Delta Air Lines, which owns the current Terminals C and D, would be a “full partner” in the project with the Port Authority of New York…


Hofstra, LIFT, arts group win state funding

Hofstra’s medical school, LIFT’s composite program and the Long Island Arts Alliance were among the winners of the latest round of Albany economic development funding announced Tuesday. A total of $17 million in grants was awarded by the Empire State economic development arm. Long Island was honored with $438,000. The Hofstra award of $152,000 is earmarked for furniture, fixtures, computers, tablets and associated equipment to support the university’s Medical Scholar’s Pipeline Program. The program is…


New lottery promotion: Scratch for Long Island

The New York Lottery and the state’s tourism arm are launching a scratch-off game to promote tourism to five parts of the state. As per usual, Long Island not included. The $2 tickets offer 15 different vacation packages to New York City, Cooperstown, the Adirondacks, Niagara Falls and the Finger Lakes valued at $5,000 apiece, up to $25,000 in cash and $25 worth of “I Love NY” merchandise. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new scratch-off game on Sunday as…


FAA funding safety upgrades at Republic

Farmingdale’s Republic Airport is in line for more than $24 million in safety upgrades via funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and New York State. The enhancements include realigning runways, the relocation of a taxiway and nearby hangars, realigning the airport’s perimeter road, improved signage, runway markings and lighting and the installation of a security fence. Republic sits on 526 acres and features two asphalt runways, a two-story terminal, nine jet hangars and more than 460…


Debrief: Phil Rugile, LaunchPad Huntington

A longtime strategic consultant and successful entrepreneur in his own right, Phil Rugile is the perfect soldier to fight for Long Island’s innovation economy, and the right man to lead the energetic LaunchPad Huntington facility. Also an Entrepreneur in Residence for Accelerate Long Island, the human capital strategist at eGifter and founder of 100 Urban Entrepreneurs – a nonprofit mentoring program for inner-city startups – Rugile is media-savvy, highly creative and enthusiastic about the Island’s…