State Agencies to Collaborate With Regional Economic Development Council to Revitalize Downtown Plattsburgh, Create Jobs and Spur the Local Economy
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the winning projects selected for City of Plattsburgh in the North Country region as part of the state's $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The DRI aims to transform local neighborhoods across the state into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise a family. Working together with state agencies and the Regional Economic Development Council, Plattsburgh has built a strategic investment plan that identifies catalytic downtown projects consistent with the initiative’s goals.
"This 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."
"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, who made today's DRI announcement in Plattsburgh. "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."
The 10 winning projects are:
- 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.
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "The Governor’s vision brings enhanced economic opportunities for communities across New York State. This Downtown Revitalization Initiative investment will attract and keep people in our state. Plattsburgh Downtown will flourish with new projects that will infuse a new vitality to the area to help families and businesses grow together for generations to come.”
NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Governor Cuomo's DRI program was created to recognize and reward the best in local, well-planned growth that anticipates and balances the needs of the current residents with the promise of new mixed-use development. Helping communities like Plattsburgh embark on a path that embraces renewal, fresh employment and housing opportunities, recreational and arts enrichment, and creating a more attractive and livable community guarantees a more vital future for all New Yorkers."
Senator Betty Little said, "I'm extremely pleased that the City of Plattsburgh is the recipient of this funding which I know will go a long way to transform the downtown economy. I’m certain that we will see a lot more economic activity that will benefit the local businesses and improve the experience of local residents and visitors."
Assemblyman Billy Jones said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative award brought financial support to the North Country which we, here, already knew had viability and promise. The approval of these projects continues the path forward that so many in our community have worked hard to forge. I look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition and the economic prosperity it will assuredly bring to our region."
City of Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read said, "Governor Cuomo has given our City a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent our downtown and accentuate our hidden assets. 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."
The City of Plattsburgh
The City of Plattsburgh is located on Lake Champlain in the northeast part of New York State about 20 miles south of the Canadian Border. To the west of Plattsburgh sits 6.1 million acres of land called the Adirondack Park which contains the famous Adirondack Mountains. There are over one hundred summits, ranging from under 1,200 to over 5,000 feet in altitude. Plattsburgh was founded by Zephaniah Platt in 1785 and is the home to approximately 19,000 people. Plattsburgh has been the site of a number of historical events. These events include the Revolutionary War's Battle of Valcour Island and the War of 1812's Battle of Plattsburgh.
The City of Plattsburgh is poised to transform into a 21st century, regionally competitive community while maintaining its quaint, small-town essence. Under the DRI, Plattsburgh will focus on projects in the downtown area that will leverage significant private investment to promote sustainability and reduce the city’s carbon footprint, provide new housing opportunities, and expand upon its economic potential as a regional center of culture and commerce.
Plattsburgh was selected as the winning DRI community after the local regional Council weighed seven criteria in selecting Plattsburgh as its nominee:
- The targeted neighborhood should be compact and well-defined.
- The downtown, or its center, should be of a size sufficient to support an active, year-round downtown and should have a sizeable existing or increasing population within easy reach for whom this would be the primary downtown.
- The downtown should capitalize on prior, and catalyze future, private and public investment in the neighborhood and surrounding areas.
- There should be recent or impending job growth within, or in close proximity to the downtown that can attract workers to the downtown, support redevelopment and make growth sustainable.
- The downtown must contain properties or characteristics that contribute or that could contribute, if enhanced, to the attractiveness and livability of the downtown, including the presence of developable mixed-use spaces, housing at different levels of affordability and type, commercial and retail main street businesses, including healthy and affordable food markets, walkability and bikeability, and public parks and gathering spaces.
- The downtown should contain or articulate how it can create policies that enhance quality of life, including the use of local land banks, modern zoning codes, complete streets plans, or transit-oriented development; and
- Local and community support must exist for revitalization of the downtown. There must be a commitment among local leaders and stakeholders to build and implement a strategic investment plan for the downtown.
For more information on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and how to apply for its second round, go to: https://regionalcouncils.ny.gov.
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