Project Will Reimagine Key City Gateway, Strengthen Neighborhood Connectivity and Create Proving Ground for Pop-Up Businesses, Events and Programming
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of construction on the Clinton Market Collective project that will renovate Federal Park at the corner of Clinton Avenue and Broadway into the Clinton Market Collective. The project, sponsored by Capitalize Albany, is receiving $1.16 million as part of the $10 million Albany Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The $3.56 million project also was recommended for a $750,000 Empire State Development capital grant from the Capital Regional Economic Development Council, a $1.1 million American Rescue Plan Act award from the City of Albany, and a $250,000 grant from National Grid.
"The Clinton Market Collective project is the latest example of how our investments are transforming communities and driving economic development in downtowns across the state," Governor Hochul said. "This Capital Region project will create better business and job opportunities in the area while supporting a more beautiful and vibrant space. Through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, New York State will continue to deliver the resources communities need to thrive, flourish and reach their full potential."
This innovative reimagining of an underutilized property will result in the creation of a vibrant public space with a new market concept that serves as a proving ground for start-up businesses and hosts diverse pop-up retail, installments by local artists and signature events. The premier location of the market will strengthen a key gateway to the Capital City at the foot of the Skyway that greets more than 20,000 people daily, anchoring Clinton Square's role as both an engaging destination and a welcoming entry to the city's unique local neighborhoods, arts scene and commercial venues.
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "It is exciting to see the ground broken on this innovative Clinton Market Collaborative project which holds tremendous economic promise for the residents of Albany and the surrounding Capital District. The Clinton Market Collective is a catalyst that will spur the resurgence of Clinton Square by serving as a unique place for new businesses to grow, community members to gather and visitors to be welcomed into the city. Beautiful and vibrant public spaces are integral to downtown revitalization, and I am proud that the Department of State is able to support vital projects such as this one through our Downtown Revitalization Initiative."
The creation of the Clinton Market Collective will expand Clinton Square's significant strengths and opportunities that will be leveraged through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) investment. It is a primary gateway to the Capital City, serving as the front door to Albany for tens of thousands of New Yorkers and out-of-state visitors, including thousands of people who come to work here every day and the residents who call Clinton Square home. This area has a rich historic heritage represented by diverse architectural styles and landmarks, like Albany Union Station and Quackenbush House.
Clinton Market is set to complement the adjacent Skyway, the Capital Region's first and only elevated linear park - a project that was similarly designed under management of the City of Albany's economic development organization, Capitalize Albany, with funding assistance under a Regional Councils Initiative grant award.
While construction is underway, Capitalize Albany is stepping into a vital fundraising stage to support bringing additional key site amenities to the space which are needed to activate the market concept. The Corporation has packaged several highly visible corporate sponsorship opportunities to support the project's semi-permanent vendor space in specialized shipping containers, a performance stage, outdoor seating and more.
The Clinton Market site is bordered by Clinton Avenue on the south, Broadway on the east, North Pearl Street on the west and the Leo W. O'Brien Federal building on the north.
The City of Albany was named the Capital Region winner of Round 3 of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Albany's DRI plan is focused on revitalizing Clinton Square to create a welcoming gateway into the Capital City. This compact and walkable area, rich in history, arts and cultural assets, is where five city investment zones converge. The City envisions revitalizing Clinton Square directly while providing infill investments, corridor enhancements and targeted housing revitalization projects. With DRI investment, residents, visitors and the workforce will enjoy new links to the Hudson River.
Clinton Square is poised to be a thriving gateway district and a distinctive hub that connects and catalyzes activity in Downtown and the Warehouse District and draws this momentum into the Arbor Hill and Sheridan Hollow neighborhoods through public infrastructure enhancements, private project development and vibrant arts and entertainment investments.
Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The Clinton Market Collective project is just the latest example of how the Downtown Revitalization Initiative continues to breathe new life into city centers, through strategic investments in projects that create vibrancy, opportunity and engagement. ESD is proud to join the Department of State and other partners in supporting a public space that will further energize downtown Albany as a home for art, retail and startup innovation."
Representative Paul Tonko said, "The Clinton Market Collective is a shining example of how investing directly in our communities can transform underutilized areas into vibrant public spaces that drive economic development and revitalize our downtowns. I'm proud of my efforts to deliver the American Rescue Plan Act funding that made this project possible, and I applaud the Capitalize Albany team and all those involved in this endeavor for their hard work and their dedication to making Albany a better place to live, work, and raise a family."
State Senator Neil Breslin said, "This innovative renovation of Federal Park at the corner of Clinton Avenue and Broadway into the Clinton Market Collective that will complement the adjacent Skyway will help continue downtown Albany's revitalization. I applaud Governor Hochul and her team at the Department of State and Empire State Development for their ongoing commitment to seeing the City of Albany and the entire Capital Region thrive."
Assemblymember Pat Fahy said, "Clinton Square has historically been a nexus for commerce, retail, and shopping throughout Albany's vibrant history. The Clinton Market Collective marks the continuance of this important history and will serve New York's Capital City well as a modern and welcoming gateway that showcases the best of what our economy, culture, walkable communities, and arts have to offer visitors and residents alike. Thank you to New York Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez, Capitalize Albany, Empire State Development, and so many more who collaborated to help revitalize yet another part of our Capital Region's core; downtown Albany."
Assemblymember John T. McDonald III, RPh said, "The Clinton Market Collective will build upon the successful Albany Skyway by being an incubator for small businesses and creating cultural opportunities that will draw visitors to the area. I applaud all the work by my state and local partners to bring this project to life. Investing in our downtown communities is vital for all of our communities, and I look forward to seeing all that the Clinton Market Collective will bring to the City of Albany and the greater Capital Region."
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "Exciting things are happening all over New York's Capital City, including the construction of the Clinton Market Collective - a project that will transform an underused space into a vibrant and welcoming destination befitting one of Albany's gateways. This is a key component of our ongoing efforts to revitalize outdated infrastructure - just like we did with the Albany Skyway and Quackenbush Square - and turn it into something both useful and beautiful for visitors and residents alike to enjoy. It is an exciting time for Albany, and I want to thank everyone who helped champion this project, including Governor Hochul, NYS Secretary of State Rodriguez, NYS Senate Vice President Pro Tempore Breslin, Assemblymember Fahy, Assemblymember McDonald, Councilmember Love, Capitalize Albany Corporation President Sarah Reginelli, and the adjoining neighborhoods and business community. I also want to thank President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and Congressman Tonko for making the American Rescue Plan possible that is helping make a significant portion of this project possible via our Albany for All grant program."
Sarah Reginelli, Capitalize Albany Corporation President, said, "So many have already stepped up to bring this project to life, we're grateful to the hundreds of community members that shared their ideas for transforming this space during the Clinton Square DRI planning process, and thank you to National Grid, the Department of State, Empire State Development and the City of Albany for assistance in activating this untapped key city gateway. Additional crucial site amenities are needed to advance the market concept and we're looking forward to hearing from and working with additional project partners that will help us fully realize the site's potential. When completed Clinton Market will function as a destination designed specifically to spark diverse opportunities for signature events to provide exposure for, and grow, dynamic retail and commercial concepts. The space will draw visitors into Clinton Square and encourage them to spend longer exploring Albany."
Brian Sano, National Grid's Regional Director of Community and Customer Management, said, "The grant National Grid has provided will help support the design, reconstruction and rebranding of the underutilized Federal Park in the Clinton Square section of Albany to allow for the creation of a new market concept and provide ground for bringing start-up businesses to the area. National Grid employees are part of the fabric of the communities around the Capital Region. Our hope is that this critical connection between the Quackenbush Garage, Palace Theater, and new Capital Rep Theater with a new public streetscape, ADA ramp, walkways, lighting and other public amenities will help foster continued growth in the communities in which we live and serve."
Capital Region Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Ruth Mahoney, Executive Vice President, President of Wealth Management and Regional President at NBT Bank and Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, University at Albany President, said, "Plans for the new Clinton Market Collective project recognize Albany's many unique assets, from history to arts and commerce, and will help to connect and showcase them in this revitalized space. The DRI supports a vision for downtowns as vibrant centers for residents and visitors alike and makes that vision a reality - and we look forward to welcoming this new addition to the Clinton Square neighborhood."
Georgette Steffens, Downtown Albany BID Executive Director, said, "This incredible project is transformative on its own, and when you consider that a city is judged by how it greets its visitors, the Clinton Market Collective is quite literally groundbreaking. What had been an underutilized plot of land will soon serve as a vibrant welcome to those who live, work, and recreate here - a number that continues to grow as over 70 percent of Downtown employees have returned to the office, our District's 1,000th residential unit has come online, and event numbers have exceeded pre-COVID levels. As home to Albany's Central Social District, the BID works to introduce people to all that can be experienced here, and the Clinton Market Collective will serve as an important connective anchor between the Albany Skyway and the world-class arts and entertainment, shopping, dining, and public art that can only be found here. Congratulations to Capitalize Albany on today's groundbreaking, and to all partners who made this project possible."
Downtown Revitalization Initiative
New York State's DRI, a cornerstone of its economic development program, transforms downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers that offer a high quality of life and are magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation and economic and housing diversity. Led by the Department of State with assistance from Empire State Development, Homes and Community Renewal and NYSERDA, the DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative "plan-then-act" strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation and results in compact, walkable downtowns that are a key ingredient to helping New York State rebuild its economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to achieving the State's bold climate goals by promoting the use of public transit and reducing dependence on private vehicles. More information on the DRI is available here.