Little Falls New York

Why you should invest here

Opportunity Zone & Brownfield Opportunity Areas

Local Resources

Little Falls, with its New York State Thruway exit, puts businesses within a half day’s drive of more than half the U.S. and Canadian populations.

  • The Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency delivers economic incentives to businesses and industries to diversify and strengthen Herkimer County’s tax base and enhance community vitality by supporting job creation, business and industrial development, and community revitalization.
  • The Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit membership organization. The Chamber’s mission is to foster a positive business environment for private and public entities operating in the County and to assure the successful continuation of and growth of current and new business in our region.
  • Check out New York’s Small Business Resource Center to see a definitive list of state services.
  • Learn how Empire State Development helps businesses grow.
  • Both the Albany International and Syracuse Hancock InternationalAirports add to Little Falls’ stellar transportation advantages that are anchored by easy access to the New York State Thruway.
  • The Albany Small Business Development Center has worked directly with 25,059 businesses, helping them to invest $450,479,965 in the area’s economy, and create or save 12,736 jobs.
  • The New York Business Development Corp in nearby Albany assists promotes and advances the business prosperity and economic welfare of the State of New York by providing loans to small businesses, including start-up, early stage, and mature businesses, with a particular emphasis on minority and women-owned businesses. They often include multiple participations, SBA guarantees, flexible amortization, and long-term payouts.

Invest in Little Falls

Little Falls has numerous investment opportunities for its iconic main street, including the purchase and restoration of mixed-use property in the downtown area to increase live/work opportunities, dining, entertainment, and retail spaces.

Visionaries see the opportunity to leverage the waterfront’s natural beauty as a placemaking opportunity with year-round public spaces to appreciate art, music, theater, dining, museums, real estate, and business developments.

Riverside Industrial Parkway has great investment potential for additional manufacturing space or consolidating warehousing through a low-cost acquisition for redevelopment or ground-up development.

There are multiple neighborhoods within the Opportunity Zone with affordable properties ready for single or multi-residential development, all within walking distance to parks, schools, the downtown, and waterfront districts.

Opportunity Zone

Opportunity Zones are specific census tracts (roughly 20% of each state) nominated by the Governor of each state that qualify for investment in business or property through Qualified Opportunity Funds.

  • Population: 2,125
  • Total Businesses: 124
  • Total Jobs: 1,694
  • County: Herkimer
  • State: NY

On December 22, 2017, a new tax incentive program was enacted to unlock 6 trillion dollars in unrealized capital gains and promote investments in specific economically distressed communities known as Opportunity Zones.

If you have invested in stocks, real estate, or other assets that have appreciated in value, historically, you cannot sell those assets without paying huge taxes. Now, by investing in a qualified opportunity fund, you can sell your appreciated asset and temporarily defer your original capital gain until 2026. You’ll also be able to reduce your capital gains expense and have the ability to permanently exclude capital gains from the appreciation yielded from your investment into the qualified opportunity fund.

Download the Beginners Guide to Opportunity Zones

Little Falls Opportunity Zone Map

Value to Investors

1) Deferral

Investors can defer tax on any prior gains invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund until the investment is sold or December 31, 2026 – whichever event comes first.

2) Reduction

The tax obligation on capital gain that has been moved into a Qualified Opportunity Fund will be reduced. If the investment is held for 5 years it will see a 10% reduction, and at 7 years the reduction on the tax obligation of that initial investment will be 15%.

3) Exclusion

If the investment in the Qualified Opportunity Fund is held for at least 10 years, all accrued gains from the fund are exempt from taxation.

City-Wide Comprehensive Plan 2018

The primary purpose of a Comprehensive Plan is to put the community’s vision for its future on the record. Any development proposal or action, whether private or public, should take into consideration the City’s vision as expressed in this Plan, and be consistent with its stated priorities. An adopted Comprehensive Plan provides an accessible and clear guide for entities seeking to invest in the community. It provides them with a better understanding of what the City is likely to approve and the types of actions that are preferred.

The intent of this 2018 Comprehensive Plan is to provide our City with an updated framework for future public and private investment in the community. It is the collective investment by our residents, businesses, civic institutions, community organizations, and local government that will shape the physical, social, and economic character of our community. A good plan outlines community-wide goals and action steps toward implementation that may be adopted by all those doing business with the City of Little Falls, residents and stakeholders alike.

More pointedly, New York’s zoning enabling statutes require that zoning laws be adopted in accordance with a comprehensive plan. Thus, the City intends that this comprehensive plan will provide the backbone for future changes to, and variances from, the local zoning law.

NYS Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) 2020

The City of Little Falls, together with civic groups, businesses, and residents, has completed this Pre-Nomination Study funded under the Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program (BOA) administered by the NYS Department of State.

The South Side/Waterfront New Vision Plan builds on our existing Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) for the Mohawk River and Erie Canal (2010), the City’s Comprehensive Plan (2018), and the investments we are making to rejuvenate the Waterfront and our adjacent South Side neighborhood community.

The South Side/Waterfront New Vision Plan will focus limited community resources on a vision for the reuse of shuttered mills and vacant and deteriorated commercial structures and homes adjacent to the waterfront. These properties should provide a foundation to attract new residents, jobs, and investments to Little Falls.

The Plan specifically focuses attention on key properties that could be redeveloped and used as catalysts for measurable public and private projects to revitalize and fully integrate both sides of the Mohawk River and Erie Canal waterfront with our overall community revitalization.

Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Grant Winner

Governor Kathy Hochul selected eight transformational projects in the City of Little Falls as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award in 2022. The awards will leverage the community’s walkability and rich historical, cultural, and natural resources. Renderings of the Little Falls revitalization projects are available here.

“The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is all about making our New York communities even better places to live, work and play,” Governor Hochul said. “Little Falls residents have seen the potential of their community as the Gateway to the Adirondacks, and I have been struck by their passion for taking it to the next level. I want to thank every person who has made today’s announcement possible as we turn the page and build a brighter future for this community.”

The Little Falls Downtown Revitalization Initiative award will help to create a more unified downtown to improve walkability and bikeability for residents and to catalyze additional investment along Main Street and within Canal Place. Through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the City is transforming the downtown experience by allowing a more natural flow for vehicular traffic, establishing a small business assistance fund, and replacing the Main Street Canopy to make walking, shopping, and dining downtown even more enjoyable year-round.

City of Little Falls ‘Brownfield Opportunity Area’ Plan Update

The City of Little Falls and Herkimer County IDA are currently working to complete a “Brownfield Opportunity Area” or “BOA” Plan focused on revitalizing much of the City’s waterfront neighborhood. 

The Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program is operated by the New York State Department of State and provides State planning funds to community-based organizations (CBOs) and municipalities to develop community plans for areas with multiple vacant properties or brownfields. Since the program began in 2005, the program has distributed $45 million across the State for planning and pre-development activities. While historically focused on brownfield sites, the program has evolved over time to take a more general look at opportunities for investment and revitalization of underutilized, abandoned, or vacant sites. The intent of the BOA program is to undertake neighborhood-scale plans that acknowledge that the presence of nearby vacant, abandoned, underutilized, and brownfield sites may be impacting investment in the larger community.

The City of Little Falls previously received funding from the NYSDOS to prepare a “BOA Pre-Nomination,” the first phase of BOA planning, which was completed in 2020. In the intervening years, there have been notable changes in Little Falls, including its selection as a DRI community and the associated planning undertaken through that process, completion of the Reimagine the Canals planning effort, and the City’s selection as an Empire State “Trail Town.”

The City has convened a committee of stakeholders to advance the 2020 Pre-Nomination to a complete BOA Plan and subsequent BOA designation. With BOA designation, the City can leverage the program benefits to advance key projects and build on the City’s successful designation as both a DRI community and Trail Town.

The City and IDA are being assisted by LaBella Associates to complete the planning process. Project resources will continue to be shared on the City and IDA websites and via social and traditional media outlets. Multiple opportunities will also be provided throughout the planning process to ensure public feedback. If you have any questions or comments about the planning process, please contact Norabelle Greenberger, AICP, Senior Planner at LaBella Associates at ngreenberger@labellapc.com or 518-824-1933.

Invest in Little Falls

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