R.J. Rose Realty LLC, a Yonkers, NY-based real estate company that specializes in rejuvenating historical buildings, recently received a $500,000 capital grant from the Empire State Development Grants Program to help revitalize Yonkers Carpet Mills Arts District (CMAD) and the region’s infrastructure.

The Alexander Smith Carpet Mills Project was one of only 28 out of 400 projects selected during the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process in the Mid-Hudson region. It has been offered one of the largest awards in the region this year. The grant will help further the development and renovation of the historic Alexander Smith Carpet Mills facility to create a major regional arts and new technology destination. In September, R.J. Rose Realty purchased the historical “Worsted Building” (179 Saw Mill River Road). The grant will also help further the development and renovation of this building in Yonkers to become useable space for commercial lofts, companies or for a professional school.

The ten CMAD property owners in the Alexander Smith Carpet Mills, led by Randolph Rose, President of R.J. Rose Realty, worked with the City of Yonkers and numerous local arts organizations to create a strong funding application in July 2015. Supporters of the grant include: Mayor Mike Spano; Wilson Kimball, Commissioner of Planning and Development; Janet Langsam, CEO Westchester Arts; Michael Sabatino, Minority leader, Council Member 3rd district; Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins, NY State Senate, 35th district; George Lattimer, NY State Senator, 37th district; Shelley Mayer, Assembly Member 90th district; Anthony Lemback, VP Friedland Realty Advisors; George Pretlow, Assemblyman, NY State Assembly 89th District; Hudson River Museum, Richard Halevy, Director of Government Relations.

Rose and George Huang, owner of YOHO Art Studios, worked together to start this coalition for CMAD; Harv Hilowitz assisted with writing the grant. The group also applied for Priority Project Status, and as part of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development’s application in the competitive URI (Upstate Revitalization Initiative). The funding requested was to be used for exterior improvements to the buildings, including arts destination signage, lighting and entrance/landscaping improvements. Funding was also requested for critical interior infrastructure and interior space improvements for artisan tenants.

In December 2015, an announcement was made by Governor Cuomo’s Office that the project was eligible to receive up to $500,000 in grants starting in 2016, This will be confirmed upon contract notification. The funding will be matched by contributions made by the ten property owners as reimbursements for monies spent on the project.

“We are thrilled to receive this major grant to help continue the revitalization of Yonkers,” said Randolph Rose, President of R.J. Rose Realty. “This project will help enhance our building’s infrastructure as well as the entire community. We hope to attract new businesses, artists and tourists to the wonderful city of Yonkers.”

“This Arts District is comparable to where the Meat Packing District of Manhattan was in its development 30 years ago,” said George Huang, owner of YOHO Art Studios. “We are extremely passionate with the vision to improve and transform the community for the future.”

The Alexander Smith Carpet Mills facility is a registered NY State and National Historic District located in Yonkers. It includes 85 buildings, encompassing 19 stylistically varied industrial buildings and six rows of workers’ housing on 38 acres. The mills were developed between 1871 and 1930 along the Saw Mill River. Workers’ housing for the mills, known as Moquette Row, was built between 1881 and 1886. The carpet works developed by Alexander Smith (1818-1878) were a major part of Yonkers’ economic vitality for nearly a century.