State’s top economic development official is stepping down

Saranac Lake village board members and Gov. Andrew Cuomo pose with an oversized check for $10 million in August 2018 at the Hotel Saranac, at an event to announce the village won the grant through the state Downtown Revitalization Initiative. From left are village Trustee Paul Van Cott, Trustee Melinda Little, Mayor Clyde Rabideau, Cuomo, Trustee Patrick Murphy and Howard Zemsky, head of New York's Empire State Development. (Enterprise photo — Jacob Linton)

ALBANY (AP) — The Cuomo administration’s top economic development official is stepping down.

Empire State Development says Friday that Howard Zemsky will relinquish his duties as president and CEO of the state’s main economic development agency.

Zemsky will remain with the ESD as chairman of the board and will help in the search for his successor. State officials say there’s no timetable for naming his replacement.

The Brooklyn native and Buffalo real estate developer was appointed to the position in March 2015 and was paid an annual salary of $1.

Before joining ESD, Zemsky worked with the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. His company’s redevelopment projects include turning an old factory in Buffalo’s Larkin District into an office complex.

Zemsky’s move was first reported Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.

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