On Thursday New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office announced the projects that were picked for the City of Plattsburgh’s downtown revitalization initiative.
“These investments will help spur economic development in and around the City of Plattsburgh, creating an environment that will attract and retain our young workforce, foster economic growth, and create new jobs for men and women throughout the region,” Governor Cuomo said.
“These projects will transform Plattsburgh by supporting the growing arts community, increasing access to the waterfront and providing a boost to businesses downtown,” added Cuomo.
“Young people have started to take interest in Downtown Plattsburgh as evidenced by a 13 percent growth in households that trend younger than the national average,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul
“Through the DRI, Plattsburgh will improve its riverfront access, invite development of its waterfront district and improve the pedestrian experience, taking advantage of its location in the Adirondacks and its unique historical significance to build its strength as a tourist destination and a great community for young people raising a family,” added Hochul.
According to a media release, the $10 million dollars received will go towards the following projects:
- Durkee Street Mixed-Use Development: Redevelop the centrally-located Durkee Street parking lot, increase residential and commercial activity, return the site to the tax rolls, and better connect the historic downtown with the waterfront. Development of the site will be accomplished through a public – private partnership, and may include approximately 45 residential units and almost 47,000 square feet or commercial space that will complement the character of downtown Plattsburgh.
- Food Incubator: Create a small, “pop-up” or temporary kitchen and retail space connected to the resources and business expertise of the North Country Food Co-Op. The incubator will support new or growing prepared food businesses downtown by providing easy connections to the shared commercial kitchen and equipment, as well as access to a base of potential customers already patronizing the Co-Op.
- Shared Commercial Kitchen: Create a commercial kitchen space to support Plattsburgh’s small food businesses and professionals to cook, process, and package food and bakery products. Suitable space will be located, renovated, and fit out with kitchen and commercial equipment for use by local organizations, farms, and others.
- Enhance Riverfront Amenities: Improve riverfront access at key points to strengthen the connection to downtown, increase recreational opportunities, and highlight Plattsburgh’s natural assets. Improvements will include the creation of a continuous Riverfront Walk, upgrades to MacDonough Park, creation of a new overlook that projects out into the river, and a kayak launch to create a formal access point to the river and provide room for a kayak service.
- Dock Street Waterfront District: Prepare materials to invite private development in the Downtown Waterfront District. A request for proposals will be issued to invite developers to proposed new uses for the Dock Street Waterfront District that will connect residents and visitors at the waterfront with the city’s historic core.
- Downtown Streetscape Improvements: Improve the downtown streetscape and pedestrian experience with investments to key streets and walkable areas. The project includes design and construction of streetscape improvements on five streets within the downtown, development of protected pedestrian and bike access on Veteran’s Memorial Bridge which connect downtown Plattsburgh to neighborhoods on the east of the Saranac River, and transformation of an underutilized open space into an active downtown park.
- Fund for Downtown Residential, Retail and Hotel Improvements: Provide a grant fund to incentivize downtown development and rehabilitation. Grants will be targeted at upper floor residential and commercial/hotel development, façade improvements, retail space redevelopment, and small business support.
- Advance the Art & Innovation Studio: Develop an Art & Innovation Studio at the Strand Cultural Center. Provide the physical space for students, creative entrepreneurs, and other community members. Install equipment and software that will encourage experimentation and support educational programming across multiple disciplines.
- Marketing, Branding & Signage Strategy: Implement a cohesive marketing, branding and signage strategy. Targeted downtown marketing will strengthen Downtown Plattsburgh’s identity and visibility, and improved wayfinding and signage will draw attention to historic and cultural assets, as well as visitor amenities.
- Strand Center Capital Improvements, Marketing & Branding: Fund capital improvements at the Strand Center Theatre, and support strategic marketing and advertising efforts. The Strand Center Theatre attracts approximately 10,000 visitors to downtown Plattsburgh with live performances. Completion of key capital needs to fully restore the historic theater and support for marketing and advertising materials will increase the number of annual visitors to an estimated 25,000.
“Governor Cuomo has given our City a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent our downtown and accentuate our hidden assets,” said Plattsburgh’s City Mayor Colin Reed.
“Projects that will transform the way we use the Durkee Street site, how we can stimulate the creativity of downtown entrepreneurs, how we access our river and lake, and how we can polish up our historical, cultural, and commercial assets will allow our city to live up to a vision that is increasingly articulated. Plattsburgh is an amazing place that can finally realize all the richness it has to offer, in beauty, history and culture,” added Reed.