"Harbor View Square" will Redevelop Vacant Land to Create a More Vibrant and Walkable Downtown and Improve Connection to Lake Ontario Waterfront
Investment Complements "CNY Rising" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction on a $26.2 million mixed-income, mixed-use housing development in downtown Oswego. The new development, called Harbor View Square, will feature 75 rental homes serving a broad range of income targets and over 10,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space intended for small retail and eateries. The development is being constructed on an underutilized city-owned Brownfield site located at the convergence of the Oswego River and Lake Ontario. Harbor View Square is a priority project of the City of Oswego's Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
"With new quality affordable housing and commercial space, Harbor View Square continues the revitalization of downtown Oswego and the waterfront," Governor Cuomo said. "By transforming our urban cores into vibrant, livable communities for all New Yorkers, we will continue to grow the region's economy and keep Central New York rising."
"The Harbor View Square mixed-use development is a significant investment in downtown Oswego and demonstrates the importance of our Downtown Revitalization Initiative," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This new housing development will help to build momentum for continued growth in the community, and expands the availability of affordable housing. The Harbor View Square takes a site that has sat vacant and underutilized and gives it new life as a part of downtown Oswego's future."
The State's commitment to strengthening communities and growing the Central New York economy is reflected in CNY Rising, a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative that builds on the more than $5.6 billion the State has injected in the region since 2012. The State's investment in Harbor View Square complements CNY Rising by increasing access to high quality affordable housing and creating more vibrant, walkable downtowns.
The City of Oswego was awarded $10 million in 2016 through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, a statewide initiative to boost local economies and foster vibrant neighborhoods. Harbor View Square addresses several strategies identified in Oswego's DRI plan, including infill development of underutilized space and creating new residential opportunities in the downtown area. Harbor View Square will also activate the blocks between the heart of downtown and Lake Ontario, better connecting downtown Oswego to the lakefront and creating a more vibrant pedestrian environment.
The development's location at 68 West First Street is the former home of Flexo Wire, a nationwide wire manufacturer and distributor. The long-vacant property was named a brownfield site by the State of New York and will undergo remediation and cleanup under the Brownfield Cleanup Program.
Encompassing an entire city block, Harbor View Square will include a five-story building with 57 apartments and four ground floor commercial spaces totally 10,000 square feet. The development also includes 18 two-story townhomes. Eleven units will be set aside for persons with physical disability or traumatic brain injury. Apartments will be affordable to low- and middle-income households. Nine apartments will be market rate.
Building amenities include a fitness center, rooftop terrace, resident lounge, media center, and conference room. Harbor View Square is within walking distance of Lake Ontario's shorefront, downtown attractions, retail and restaurants.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal financing for the $26.2 million project includes federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Brownfield Tax Credits that will generate $13.2 million in equity, $3 million from the Community Investment Fund, and an additional $6.8 million in subsidy. Additional financing includes a Restore NY grant, an award from Oswego's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and a loan from the Leviticus Fund.
Harbor View Square reflects the State's commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the state's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building and preserving more than 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 of supportive housing. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multifamily and single-family housing, community development, and rent stabilization. Since 2011, HCR has invested $190 million in Central New York that has created affordable housing for about 7,700 residents.
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Harbor View Square exemplifies our efforts to reinvigorate New York's downtown cores with targeted investments and affordable housing. By transforming a long vacant industrial site into 75 homes and commercial space, we are creating a more walkable downtown that connects residents to the natural beauty of the waterfront. This is an exciting time for Oswego and we look forward to welcoming residents to their new home."
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "This project in Oswego is real community revitalization at work and an example of how Governor Cuomo's DRI transforms cities for the better. The new Harbor View Square will invite young workers and families to Oswego, which will then set the stage for further smart growth. We are proud to support this redevelopment of this brownfield and waterfront property."
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program is a critical component of Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative that is transforming downtown neighborhoods across the state into vibrant communities where New Yorkers want to live, work and raise families. Combined, the two programs form a powerful tool for turning blighted areas into engines of economic opportunity. DEC is proud to partner on the Harbor View Square project that will revitalize the region's overall economy and improve quality of life for residents of Oswego."
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "The revival of Oswego's downtown has already begun. Harbor View Square will play an essential role in furthering those efforts by linking downtown and the waterfront, which will spark new business and encourage people to live, work and play in Central New York's Port City. It's another example of how Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative enables New York's canal communities to showcase what makes them special."
Senator Patty Ritchie said, "Harbor View Square is a project that not only will provide people with quality housing options, it also includes space that will allow businesses to grow and create jobs. I'm excited ground is being broken on this important project and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on Downtown Oswego and the city as a whole."
Assemblyman Will Barclay said, "The Harbor View Square housing project is a perfect use for the former Flexo Wire site. This project will add new housing, commercial space and build on the revitalization the City of Oswego is currently experiencing. Developing this site has been a priority of the city and an important anchor project for the DRI. I applaud Mayor Barlow and all involved — city and state officials who have made this new housing project possible-- and look forward to seeing it built."
Oswego County Legislature Chairman Shane Broadwell said, "We are pleased to see more of Mayor Barlow's priority projects coming to fruition. The former Flexo Wire site has seen many uses over the years and this project will now transform a brownfield site into a multi-use facility enhancing this neighborhood, the West First Street corridor and the greater downtown area. We are excited about continued growth here in the City of Oswego and will continue to support our other communities across the county in their efforts to make Oswego County a better place to live, work and raise a family."
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow said, "The redevelopment of a brownfield site into an area that will anchor the ongoing revitalization efforts of Oswego's downtown and waterfront will cement the forward momentum not only in the areas of community and economic development, but also addresses the critical need of providing quality housing opportunities for low-to-moderate-to-upper income families in the city."
Ben Lockwood, President & CEO of Housing Visions, said, "We are excited to be a part of this tremendous opportunity for the City of Oswego. Many in the community have always envisioned the Harbor as a premier urban waterfront neighborhood. This redevelopment is another step towards the Oswego Harbor revitalization effort led by the City of Oswego."
Accelerating CNY Rising
Today's announcement complements "Central NY Rising," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.