Plattsburgh approves preliminary plans to redevelop downtown parking lot

Local News

The Plattsburgh Common Council has approved preliminary plans for a mixed-use apartment complex and commercial property on what’s now the Durkee Street parking lot. It hasn’t come without protests and some tweaks to the plans.

Some people in the Lake City are worried that much of the free parking downtown will vanish once the $22 million project is complete. The developer and the city are saying otherwise.

Opponents of the project have been protesting on the steps of Plattsburgh City Hall immediately before recent Common Council meetings.

“Many of my clients are older, senior citizens,” downtown business owner Jonathan Schneiderman said. “Asking my clients to walk even two or three blocks in the winter is a hardship.”

Thursday evening, the council members approved a revised version of the plans at the same meeting where the developer, Prime Companies, first presented those revisions. Since January, Prime has added 115 parking spaces to the plans, many of which will be public.

Other public parking is also being added elsewhere downtown, “so when you add them all up, it actually turns out we have more public parking, and better-distributed public parking, throughout the downtown than ever before, so that’s really a testament to the creativity of the developer,” Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read said.

“Parking’s a major concern that we’ve understood,” Prime Companies partner Todd Curley said. “We’re trying to incorporate as much parking on the site as we possibly can, and also be cognizant of our design to allow the city to do more on-street parking to service the other businesses and owners around there as well.”

Under the revised plans, Durkee Street traffic would change from two-way to one-way. Prime Companies has also removed a pool from the design.

Another new development involves the future of the Plattsburgh Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market — a development the market’s own manager says she wasn’t aware of until this meeting.

Market staff have been talking with the city about the possibility of moving away from the Durkee Street lot, but the plans would apparently force a move to the city’s marina.

“We were not under the assumption that it was a definite thing about moving, and as was stated earlier this evening, apparently, it is,” Plattsburgh Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market vice president and manager Julie Baughn said. “There’s a lot of vendors who will not be able to go down there. We have meat vendors who need to plug in coolers. We have things like that, so we need the building, we need electricity, we need a bathroom, we need running water.”

There’s no word yet on whether the market would have a new building at the marina or not.

The plans still need permitting approval. The Clinton County Planning Board, the Plattsburgh City Planning Board, the City Zoning Board or some combination of all three also need to review them.

If Prime Companies clears those hurdles, it intends to start construction next April.

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