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ESD Announces Groundbreaking on Lake Tunnel Solar Village Project in Geneva

Technologically Advanced Housing Development is Supported Through Round I of the Transformative Downtown Revitalization Initiative 

Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy


Empire State Development (ESD) announces a groundbreaking will take place later this afternoon for one of the most technologically advanced housing developments in the northeastern United States. The Lake Tunnel Solar Village project in the City of Geneva, is one of the 12 projects supported by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Geneva was the Round I winner of the $10 million competition. $1.25 million has been committed to the project. Lake Tunnel Solar Village is a green infill residential development that will also serve as a demonstration project for a new product called the LifeWall, which harnesses solar power. The energy efficient modular units, which will make up the village, will also be manufactured on Forge Avenue in Geneva. The 24 condominiums and 8 townhomes will be transported from the factory to the lakefront site, and will exclusively use solar electric and heat pump technology. Developers Lake Tunnel Solar Village, LLC, led by Marita and Tracey Wallace, expect that the first occupants will be able to move into available units by the end of the year.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Lake Tunnel Solar Village is an innovative example of how the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is transforming city centers through forward-thinking projects like this model of sustainable development, which will draw both visitors and residents to Geneva’s waterfront, helping to further power the region’s economy.”

The Lake Tunnel Solar Village project will also include a new pathway that will connect the new housing to both the commercial center of downtown Geneva and the lakefront. The project will create a new unique attraction, increase downtown visitor traffic and connectivity to the lakefront, and connect wine trail visitors to Geneva’s thriving food scene.

Marita Wallace of Lake Tunnel Solar Village, LLC, said, “This has been a developing vision for us for many years, to create caring and environmentally responsible communities, using local labor and resources, says Marita Wallace. “The DRI grant and the support of the City of Geneva gave our plans the extra boost to prove there is a market for sustainable housing.  We believe this will be a great addition to Geneva and we are happy to be part of the revitalization of Downtown.”

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Congratulations to the Lake Tunnel Solar Village and the City of Geneva on this tremendous renewable energy project.  We need to look no further than this cutting-edge community to see how Governor Cuomo’s leadership is transforming New York’s clean-energy economy.  It’s truly inspiring to see Village residents harness the tremendous power of the sun to maintain a comfortable and cost-efficient home using technology built right in the City.”

In July of 2016, Governor Cuomo announced that the city of Geneva had been selected as the region’s first round winner of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Other projects selected to revolutionize the city’s downtown area include; $2.2 million will be used to improve pedestrian access to the Seneca Lakefront from downtown; $1.75 million to upgrade the overall pedestrian experience with streetscape enhancements, and $750,000 will be used to develop a public marina north of the existing Long Pier to increase the number of boat slips available to residents and visitors, and increase the attraction of downtown to boaters.

City of Geneva Mayor Ron Alcock said, “The projects being funded through the Downtown Revitalization are attracting private investors which will help the city implement its strategic vision. Many thanks to Governor Cuomo for his continued support of our community-led planning initiatives.”

Ontario County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Victor Town Supervisor Jack Marren said, “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is working to restore economic opportunity throughout the region. With the support of Governor Cuomo, we are have successfully secured a strong future for Geneva and it is safe to say, we are moving the Finger Lakes Forward.”

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

Shari Voorhees-Vincent | | (585) 399-7055
Press Office | | (800) 260-7313

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