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Homes and Community Renewal

Governor Cuomo Announces $5.5 Million Investment To Create Jobs And Expand Affordable Housing In North Country

Project Selected By Governor's North Country Regional Economic Development Council; Will Create Hundreds of Jobs and Help Alleviate Housing Shortage in Watertown Area

Camba Gardens-209 Units of Affordable and Supportive Housing

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $5.5 million investment to build nearly 300 rental units in Watertown, expanding affordable housing and creating hundreds of jobs in the North Country. Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy today joined local officials for a groundbreaking ceremony to launch the construction of the Beaver Meadow Apartments in the Town of Watertown.

The project, a public-private partnership will help alleviate housing shortages in the Watertown area by adding 296 units of rental housing, including 60 apartments for low income households. Last week the Governor's Regional Economic Development Council named the North Country region as a best plan awardee and gave the region $103.2 million in state support to fund 70 projects, including the Beaver Meadow Apartments.

"The strength of our State's economy depends on empowering regions like the North Country to determine their own economic future. We are investing in creating jobs and housing in Watertown because it represents an economic boost for the North Country region and our State," Governor Cuomo said. "The Beaver Meadow Apartments demonstrates the effectiveness of public-private partnerships, and government coming together to help stimulate the local economy and create much-needed jobs in the North Country. I thank the North Country Regional Economic Development Council members, as well as the local officials involved, for their hard work."

The public-private partnership will be jointly funded by a $2.4 million award from the Governor's Regional Economic Development Councils and a $3 million investment by the Development Authority of the North Country. The project is estimated to create approximately 365 jobs and is designed to meet Green Building Initiative standards.

Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy said, "I am thrilled to participate in today's groundbreaking ceremony at Beaver Meadow. Through the Governor's North Country Economic Development Regional Council process, we heard the need for more housing here in Watertown, and we came together to deliver through close collaboration between the public and private sector. With the support of the Development Authority of the North Country, Beaver Meadow Apartments will help our efforts to provide affordable housing and create jobs here in the Watertown area."

The Watertown housing market is known for high occupancy rates. Since 2004, the increase in military personnel at the Fort Drum post has significantly affected the market, driving up the need for more housing units and the cost of housing in the area. With current average occupancy rates at more than 97%, and at 99% for affordable units, the Beaver Meadow Apartments will give additional options for those seeking housing in the Watertown area.

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Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, said, "The Fort Drum area has seen a severe housing shortage that Beaver Meadow will help address. With the drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the population in the area will grow even further, increasing the demand. Governor Cuomo understands those needs, and how much housing and jobs are tied together. Under his leadership, we are expanding the stock of affordable housing in the North Country -- and we will thereby grow the entire regional economy."

The New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided the state funds for this project through the Housing Trust Fund Corporation. The development team consists of COR Watertown Company LLC as developer, general contractor, and management agent with James Fahy Design as architect. Upon completion, the project will be owned by COR Watertown Company LLC.

Congressman Bill Owens said, "Beaver Meadow is a critical part of the process to bring additional housing units online in the Drum community. These units represent an opportunity for more working families to make their home in Northern New York. I look forward to seeing further residential development in the area and will continue to work with local stakeholders to see that the Fort Drum community is prepared to grow well into the future."

Senator Patty Ritchie said, "Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has proven his commitment to rebuilding all parts of New York State and that has included the North Country. The Beaver Meadow Project would not have been able to begin construction so soon without the support of the Governor and state investment. I applaud the Governor for once again showing how our government can deliver results for New Yorkers. I look forward to continuing our work together in revitalizing the communities in the North Country."

Assemblywoman Addie Russell said, "The Beaver Meadow housing project will allow the Watertown and North Country to expand its capacity so that it can continue to grow and prosper. The project will also stimulate the economy by contributing millions of dollars to the economy and create hundreds of jobs in the near future. I am delighted that the state has committed to this project allowing construction to begin with today's ceremonial groundbreaking. I applaud the Governor for investing in a stronger North Country, and I am confident our region will help move the State of New York forward."

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush said, "The Beaver Meadow Housing Project is great news not only for our local community, but also for Fort Drum. We have more soldiers coming home to New York every day, and ensuring they have housing after their service to our state and country is the least we can do. Today we are finally starting to fill the hole of available housing in the North Country. I commend the collaborative efforts by Governor Cuomo, the Development Authority of the North Country, Empire Housing, COR Development, and the Department of Defense on fulfilling this project."

Town of Watertown Supervisor Joel Bartlett said, "With our proximity to Fort Drum, the Town of Watertown is an ideal location for families and soldiers of Fort Drum to call home. The construction of the Beaver Housing Project will provide much-needed housing for these families in addition to more jobs here in Watertown and the entire North Country region. This would not have been a possibility without the assistance from Governor Cuomo, the DANC, and the various other organizations involved with getting this project started, and they all have my gratitude."

Jim Wright, Executive Director of the Development Authority of the North Country, said, "For years, the Development Authority has worked to address infrastructure needs and promote economic development in here in the North Country. We have been a proud partner with the state in launching the Beaver Meadow Project and we are pleased that with today's groundbreaking, the construction of these new, affordable apartments begins. In his economic development initiatives, the Governor has stressed the power of private-public partnerships. This project will serve as a model for future partnerships in housing. I thank the Governor for his commitment to the housing sector in the state, and we will continue to respond to these needs."

Last Updated: 12/21/2011