PROJECTS UNDER DEVELOPMENT
TRA is working on the development of a number of projects for possible implementation in the next 1-3 years. Among these are:
The idea is to create a new business in downtown Ticonderoga that would have both a beer brewing operation and a food service/restaurant in the same building. This builds on the growing interest and support for craft beer brewing nationally and in the region. The brewpub would make its own line of beer from its own recipes, which could be enjoyed either by tasting samples, or as a featured part of the restaurant's menu. A challenge for the brewpub, as for existing bars and restaurants in the region, is to have a business plan that can keep the operation open and profitable year-round.
A key objective of the brewpub would be to draw more people to the downtown area of Ti. The brewpub would also open the opportunity for growth in a number of additional directions including wider distribution of these Ticonderoga craft beers, supporting great production of hops by New York famrers, and a possible Ticonderoga water bottling plant, using Lake George water.
New School of Applied Technology
TRA is working with the North Country Community College (NCCC) which is leading a consortium of New York state college to look at the feasibility of creating a new School of Applied Technology in Ticonderoga. The school might be located in one half of the unused Lowe' building in Ticonderoga, which could also then house one or more businesses in the total 100,000 square foot building. The School would focus on training students across a variety of skills and technologies, thus improving their employment options and strengthening the workforce capacity in the region. It would also bring up to 300 new students into the Ti area, with perhaps half living in dorms, apartments or houses in the area.
The Feasibility Study for the possible school will be completed in April, 2016. TRA's potential roles might include providing mechanisms for investors to channel their funds through TRA, and providing financial benefits based on its status as a Local Development Corporation.
New Creative Financial Products for Revitalization
TRA is developing new and creative mechanisms that can help increase the amount and availability of funds that are targeted on revitalization in the greater Ticonderoga area. This includes approaches that can increase the opportunities for citizens to invest in local business development, which typically faces a number of government restrictions. The possible products include:
- Partnership with a local financial institution to earmark some of their financial assets specifically on revitalization efforts, and helping make better known the availability of such new mechanisms for loans to businesses.
- A Community Loan Fund mechanism as a way for private individuals to target some of their personal investments to be used for revitalization actions. Investors would expect to earn a profit, but would be willing to wait longer for their returns, and would support a wider approach that builds in more extensive mentoring and professional advice for new entrepreneurs, including younger people, women, and low and moderate income persons.
An important support element of these mechanisms is the creation of a Mentoring Network to support new and existing business development.