Town of
Economic Development


The Hamlet of Houghton is an ideal location for those seeking the charm and opportunities of a vibrant college village.  Houghton rests along New York State Route 19, bound on the east by the Genesee River and the Genesee Valley Greenway. This location is ideal for those seeking recreational opportunities or enjoying the region's vast collection of natural resources.


The presence of Houghton College (1,000 student enrollment) offers numerous cultural, educational and recreational opportunities year round for students, faculty, staff, families, retirees, visitors, and more. The addition of a 107,000 square-foot field house in 2014, complete with baseball, softball, and multisport stadiums, will serve the college with new fitness and recreational opportunities as well as offer a venue for concerts, conferences, and cultural events that meet the needs of the broader community.



The Houghton Group, a group of enthusiastic community members, has been formed to address the revitalization of the business and economic offerings of the community and is seeking ways to help the community better serve current residents while making it a destination for visitors from Allegany County, New York State and beyond. 

Funding Opportunities:

Through the Consolidated Funding Application process and StartUpNY, New York State offers a wide variety of programs that could be accessed for various projects throughout the Hamlet and Town.


Qualified grant writers are being identified and encouraged to apply for grants in order to take full advantage of these programs.  Matching Fund opportunities may be available.  Applicable private foundations and venture capital are being pursued aggressively as are partnerships with local organizations.
Business Development:

The residential community has a few active storefronts and many more buildings and undeveloped property that are available for new, renovated retail space.  Members of the Houghton Group are working with potential business owners and investors to identify the best locations for both retail and manufacturing opportunities.


Route 19, Houghton’s Main Street, and NYS Bike Route 19, a statewide recognized bicycle route, link Allegany County with Wyoming and Livingston Counties to the North and Interstate 86 on the South. SR 19 also serves as the gateway to Houghton College, a major employer in the community.



Existing business in Houghton includes a U.S. Post Office, two restaurants, dance studio, dentist office, doctor office, cooperative market, hotel, laundromat, car wash, nursing home, and private high school, as well as the College’s Campus Store. Additional retail, service and light manufacturing businesses are being pursued, including additional restaurants, retail shops, gas station and convenience store, light manufacturing, and a variety of service providers.

Streetscape Improvements:

The basic structures on Main Street are well maintained structurally but could be brought up to a higher standard aesthetically to create a more walkable, enjoyable community experience. The aim is to facilitate neighborhood interaction, linking nearby residential areas to a commercial district and public facilities and encourage downtown growth of local businesses and services.


A walkability assessment is currently underway to address improvements and adjustments to sidewalks, crosswalks, and traffic lights that can be reasonably implemented in the Hamlet of Houghton. The Cornell Cooperative Extension, the NYS DOT, and Allegany County have been enlisted to help in the analysis.

Public transportation to Houghton from surrounding communities is currently available through Allegany County Transit. Regular bus routes provide additional means for connecting Houghton with the surrounding communities.



The following are improvements that will address the aesthetics and functionality of the downtown area:


·         Extending sidewalks north along Route 19 to the new Kerr-Pegula Athletics Complex, allowing better access to additional parking, stores and services.

·         Extending sidewalks to the south of town and into residential areas to link housing, shops, services, and transportation accessibility.

·         Installing new stamped concrete crosswalks at high pedestrian traffic areas along SR 19 to improve safety and encourage a more quaint “village” look.

·         Installing new lighting that is more aesthetically pleasing and energy efficient.

·         Hanging flags, banners, and signs from light poles on a rotational schedule.

·         Maintaining new flower containers and other planters to keep the town looking colorful and healthy.

·         Providing more seating with new benches to encourage people to stop and enjoy the sights and sounds.

·         Providing bike racks near parks and storefronts to create a safe place for people to leave their bicycles while they shop or eat along NYS Bike Route 19.


·         Keeping the sidewalks and green space clean with new garbage receptacles.

Recreation and Natural Resources:

The Genesee River & The Genesee Valley Greenway


The beauty of the Genesee River, its tributaries and its shoreline will continue to generate public demand for all types of recreational activities including wading, fishing, boating, biking, snowmobiling, hiking, horseback riding, camping and bird watching. Seeking new businesses that serve the needs of this market is essential.


Town Parks

The NYS Office of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the 
Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway and the Town of Caneadea, are in the process of creating a town park that will become a trail head for the Genesee Valley Greenway, now a NYS Park.  The proposed park and playground area will serve as the recreational and social focus of the town. It will be developed for both active and passive uses such as picnicking, walking, accessing the Genesee Valley Greenway, Genesee River, stores and restaurants, and participating in Houghton College activities and community events. 



Updates, such as new lighting and a gazebo will make the existing Leonard Park, located in the heart of downtown, a more desirable gathering spot for community events.

Get Involved:

This plan for revitalization of businesses, streetscapes, and increased access to recreational and natural resources will take the vision and partnership of investors and entrepreneurs who are seeking a supportive community in which to invest. Those who are interested in starting a new business or relocating a current business to Houghton should contact a member of the Houghton Group to discuss the opportunities and options.

Houghton Group
Ralph Kerr
Phone: 716-969-0688
Houghton Group
Phyllis Gaerte
Phone: 585-567-9621
Houghton Group Talks Business Development

Houghton College Star article about business development in Houghton...

For those unfamiliar with Houghton, a tour of the town would most likely take somewhere around thirty minutes, including stops such as the Houghton Inn, China Star, Subway, the post office, and the college campus among others. This small town persona has defined Houghton for some time.