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Westchester Village Of Ossining Awarded $10 Million As Part Of New York's Downtown Revitalization Initiative

OSSINING, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- In popular culture it's known as the home of Sing Sing prison, and the place where Don and Betty Draper lived at the start of "Mad Men."

In real life, the village of Ossining is a suburban hot spot, with a downtown that's about to get a huge infusion of cash, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported Monday.

Luis and Kathryn Corena ran out of patience waiting for a cool cafe to open in Ossining.

"We used to run into people from Ossining in other towns, in other coffee shops," Luis Corena said.

Five years ago they did it themselves, opening First Village Coffee, a key piece of the vibrant scene developing in the historic village.

"Just on this strip, alone, most of the business owners are Ossining residents. So, it's people that have decided that they wanted to not just open a business but invest in Ossining, itself," Kathryn Corena said.

That community spirit was rewarded Monday with a $10 million grant from New York's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, highly prized development aid that every municipality in the state wants to win.

Kathy Hochul became New York's governor three months ago Monday. This was her first chance to hand out downtown revitalization cash. She's putting a different spin on it than Andrew Cuomo.

"It's no longer the era of Albany dictating your destiny," Hochul said.

Her administration is doling out the funds with no mandate that it go to projects supported by the governor, instead allowing winning communities to decide how it's spent.

"This is very much driven by local communities with the state oversight, rather than the state determining what we work on," Ossining Mayor Rika Levin said.

Ossining residents will have input on possibly fixing up the community center, more amenities on the Hudson Riverfront, or making state Route 9 a nicer place to drive and walk.

In all, $10 million should brew up some very nice improvements in the up-and-coming village.

The governor also announced a $10 million Downtown grant for Haverstraw in Rockland County.

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