Eight Downtown Revitalization Projects Increase the City's Walkability and Bikeability, Expand Business and Housing Opportunities and Improve Public Spaces and Amenities
Project Renderings Available Here
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced eight transformational projects in the City of Oneida as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award. The Awards will leverage the community's rich historic resources to create more housing and business opportunities.
"Our Downtown Revitalization Initiative provides critical funding that ensures our New York businesses thrive within our local communities," Governor Hochul said. "This much needed economic development funding provides the City of Oneida with a unique opportunity to revitalize the downtown and draw new economic investments to the area. I look forward to following the City's progress and the impact our local economic development efforts will continue to have on job creation and community transformation across the state."
The City of Oneida developed and grew around the expansion of the New York State Canal System in the 1830s and continues to highlight its Canal legacy as a catalyst for growth, tourism and quality of life. The City's dense, walkable downtown contains significant architectural and historical assets on which to build its resurgence. Oneida's revitalization is focused on improving its parks, public amenities and streetscape infrastructure and creating new mixed-use spaces.
The investments are part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities within the Central New York Region. The DRI is led by the Department of State, which provides technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area.
The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community's Strategic Investment Plan, such as — increasing the City's walkability and bikeability; expanding business and housing opportunities by redeveloping and repurposing existing buildings; and improving public spaces and amenities. The $9.7 million State investments in these projects through the DRI will leverage additional public and private sector investments as the revitalization process proceeds and builds momentum.
The projects include:
Increase the City's Walkability and Bikeability
Improving Downtown Infrastructure and Streetscaping - DRI Award: $1,521,000
Improve streetscape and pavement to portions of Main St., Broad St., Madison St., Farrier Ave. and Vanderbilt Ave., with bicycle infrastructure added to Sconondoa St.
Expand Business and Housing Opportunities by Redeveloping and Repurposing Existing Buildings
Reimagining the Vacant Hotel Oneida - DRI Award: $2,900,000
Rehabilitate the iconic hotel to provide new downtown mixed-use space including several apartments, a restaurant/pub and a banquet space.
Restoring and Upgrading the Devereaux Building - DRI Award: $1,569,000
Restore and upgrade the Devereaux building into a mixed-use residential, retail and commercial redevelopment.
Redeveloping the Lerman Building for Commercial and Residential Uses - DRI Award: $1,141,000
Redevelop an underused building to leverage all 20,000 square feet, including the creation of townhouse-style apartments and commercial spaces, and expand the existing Oneida CoWorks space to include new offices and a conference room.
Developing a Downtown Business Assistance Fund - DRI Award: $600,000
Create a matching grant fund for façade improvements and interior improvements, including heavy equipment and permanent installations. The fund will be administered by Madison County.
Establishing a Form-Based Zoning Overlay District - DRI Award: $100,000
Create a form-based code and overlay district for the DRI area to ensure that future development meets the aesthetic intent of the city.
Improve Public Spaces and Amenities
Upgrading Facilities at Veteran's Memorial Park - DRI Award: $1,059,000
Install an ADA Splashpad and a Pickleball court on the Veteran's Field campus and implement repairs/upgrades for the bathhouse facilities. Develop a new memorial area at Veteran's Memorial Playfield to honor veterans from various armed forces.
Developing Area Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Soccer Fields - DRI Award: $760,000
Build soccer fields and parking areas on former flood sites to encourage downtown area sports. FEMA has already approved of these uses being built on this site.
New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguezsaid, "New York's Downtown Revitalization Initiative is making strategic investments in compact, walkable downtown neighborhoods like the City of Oneida to spur economic growth and improve quality of life for residents all across the State. The $10 million being awarded to Oneida will fund community-led projects that highlight the City's Canal legacy and its nationally designated historic districts by repurposing iconic vacant and underused buildings like the Hotel Oneida and the Devereaux Building into mixed-use spaces that provide housing and public gathering spaces. I look forward to seeing the success of these projects and how they positively impact the community."
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is a shining example of what communities can do when they believe in themselves, and as we rebuild from the pandemic, this program is bringing a renewed sense of hope to places like Oneida. DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative 'plan-then-act' strategy coupling strategic planning with immediate implementation, resulting in walkable downtowns that are key to reinvigorating local economies. The eight Oneida projects announced today further demonstrate the commitment that Governor Hochul's administration has made to upstate New York."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "New York State's growing canal system fueled Oneida's earlier growth, and these eight transformational DRI projects will serve to strengthen the city's economic currents. Restoring, creating and beautifying places to live work and play will be the key to Oneida's success, both now and for the future."
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "These eight projects in Oneida are focused on strengthening and improving public amenities, recreational opportunities, and commercial and housing resources. The projects complement Oneida's rich history, wonderful waterfront, and walkable downtown. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative will help to create a more cohesive environment that offers enrichment and opportunity for residents and visitors, and a chance to see the city's ambitious strategic plan come to fruition. Congratulations!"
State Senator Rachel May said, "It is exciting news that the City of Oneida has been selected to receive funding from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. This investment to improve walkability and bicycle access will help create jobs, retain residents, improve business opportunities and increase the quality of life for everyone. These projects will add to an already vibrant and engaging downtown space. Thank you to Governor Hochul and the Regional Economic Development Council for selecting Oneida."
City of Oneida Mayor Helen Acker said, "We are very excited with the announcement of the funded projects for the Oneida DRI. I would like to thank Governor Kathy Hochul for her investment in downtown Oneida's future. With the combination of both government and private partnership this is the single largest investment in Oneida's history. It is a game changer for our city. I would also like to thank our Local Planning Committee, Oneida's Planning Department, the Department of State and the Central New York REDC."
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.
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