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Auburn wins $10 million from NYS to revitalize its downtown

The city of Auburn won $10 million in the the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative competition

The third time is the charm for the city of Auburn, which was the central New York winner of the third round of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Gov. Cuomo announced who would get the $10 million grant to a full house at the Auburn Public Theater Friday.

"You came in first. And you win $10 million," said Cuomo.

This means state money for a series of projects that meet the Cuomo administration's goal of making downtowns more attractive and livable. 

"We had a positive attitude this year, that by embracing our community’s history, that was going to be our foundation for a winning application this year," said Christina Selvek, director of projects and grants for the city of Auburn. "How exciting for a community of our size to be able to keep things moving forward," she said.

After losing out in the first two years of the competition, Selvek said this year's application embraced the community's history. Among the projects to be fused with state funds are new housing development, and more money for marketing of arts and cultural sites. And she said the winning application actually means more than the initial $10 million state investment.

"For the $10 million from the state, we are hoping $40 to 50 million of private investment, leveraging that in the community over the next three to five years," Selvek said.

In all, $100 million will be distributed to boost downtowns in 10 regions of the state. Oswego and Cortland were the first two central New York winners of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.