Most of the approved projects in that menu look pretty good to me, but in the first line item, $3.9 million is set aside for streetscape improvements, with reference to ‘truck separation.’ That is likely some kind of effort to facilitate Colarusso’s gravel operation, which is imposing a ton of downside impact on Hudson with no corresponding economic upside for the City. This agenda is being driven from Albany by people in the Governor’s office, not from Hudson. I hope we can all come together and make sure the future of our waterfront is defined by those of us who actually live here, and not by a bunch of ‘economic development’ specialists from elsewhere.
Here the press release:
13 Downtown Revitalization Projects Create Housing and Employment Opportunities, and Improve Streetscapes
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced 13 transformational projects for Hudson as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. The strategic investments in downtown Hudson will create additional employment and housing opportunities, as well as improve safety and aesthetics for streetscapes throughout the city. The investments are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities for the Capital Region.
“This important investment will support Hudson’s continued transformation by focusing on a sustainable, diverse and attractive downtown,” Governor Cuomo said. “These Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects will help the city continue its revitalization efforts by fostering job growth, creating new business opportunities and investing in community development that will improve Hudson’s downtown for generations to come.”
Hudson was named a DRI Round 2 winner in August. Downtown Hudson has the look and feel of the post-industrial cityscape that millennials seek, while retaining a working historic waterfront along the Hudson River. Dense housing in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative area ranges from historically-designated single-family homes to townhouses and high-rise apartments, served by a variety of dining and shopping options in revitalized historic structures. Recent organic, entrepreneurial development has primed Hudson for the next phase of its revitalization: the increased development of mixed-use projects that incorporate affordable and market-rate housing and transportation oriented design; job incubation to create high quality, living-wage jobs; workforce development to prepare local workers for year-round local employment; and a re-imagining of the waterfront for expanded public use and enjoyment. DRI investment will drive the continued success of existing private and public ventures; emphasize job growth and the attractiveness of the district; and set the stage for economic and civic expansion in the district and across the Hudson. These DRI projects are the latest example of Governor Cuomo’s ongoing commitment to Hudson and the entire region.
The specific projects to be funded through the DRI include:
Implement Complete Streets Improvements: Design and construct a phased Complete Streets initiative throughout the DRI area to provide safe access, aesthetic improvements, and separation of truck traffic from pedestrians and bicyclists. Examples of improvements include safe and functional at-grade railroad crossing, streetscape improvements, bike lanes, extension of the North Bay trail, sidewalk and crosswalk improvements, pedestrian stairs, and signage. ($3,982,550)
Renovate Promenade Hill Park and Provide ADA Access: Renovate Promenade Hill Park, an important public space in the heart of the DRI area, to preserve its historic features while providing access to park amenities and extraordinary views of the Hudson and the Catskills for people of all abilities. ($1,100,000)
Improve the Safety and Aesthetics of Cross Street and the Second Street Stairs: Improve the safety and aesthetics of Cross Street and the Second Street Stairs by designing and implementing streetscape improvements along Cross Street. This will include grading and repaving, new sidewalks, and lighting and replacement of the Second Street stairs leading from Allen Street to Cross Street. ($250,000)
Establish the North Bay ReGeneration Project for Environmental Education: Develop a new Urban Environmental Education Center on North Front Street near Dock Street to host the North Bay ReGeneration Project (NBRP), an innovative, community-based, and youth-centered approach to sustainable neighborhood development. Funding will be used for site development, planning, infrastructure, and renovations. ($400,000)
Establish a Community Food Hub to Support Small Startup Businesses: Renovate space in an existing building to create a Community Food Hub (CFH). The CFH will support small and startup businesses by including on-site retail, a commissary kitchen, incubator space, aggregation and distribution of local produce, and flexible event space. The facility will accommodate job training, nutrition instruction, life skills classes, and culinary training. ($700,000)
Stabilize the Dunn Warehouse for Future Re-Use: Stabilize the historic Dunn Warehouse, the City’s last remaining central waterfront building, and conduct a feasibility study for its reuse. The City of Hudson will issue an RFP for a public/private partnership to adaptively reuse Dunn Warehouse based on recommendations in that study. Critical structural improvements will be made to exterior walls and masonry, the roof, and perimeter drainage, and a new concrete slab will be added. Remaining funds will be used for other interior renovations. ($1,000,000)
Winterize Basilica Hudson and Create a High-Visibility Public Greenspace : Winterize buildings on the campus of Basilica Hudson, a non-profit multidisciplinary arts center on Front Street, to provide more year-round space and create public greenspace. ($250,000)
Redevelop the KAZ Site as Mixed-Use Transit-Oriented Development: Support the redevelopment of the KAZ site by demolishing an existing warehouse to make way for mixed-use transit-oriented development. Infrastructure improvements will support an innovative mixed use development on the site, such as housing appropriate for students and young professionals, a job readiness pipeline program, and community college programming. ($487,160)
Provide Workforce Development Infrastructure at River House: Provide professional work space for creative economy professionals in a vacant former schoolhouse which blights a residential neighborhood. Renovations will include four floors of offices, studios, sound, and visual editing suites with up to 100 workstations, plus a Community Membership Audio Visual Center where local film and media makers could work together on short-term projects. ($250,000)
Repurpose Historic Fishing Village as a City Park: Convert city-owned land containing a historic collection of fishing shacks into a waterfront park with access to the Hudson River. The project at the city’s northern boundary will include the demolition of some of the shacks to open the space, as well as basic repairs to preserve the more historically significant and visually interesting structures. DRI funds will be used for site cleanup, remediation, design services and site preparation. ($150,290)
Construct Mixed-Use and Mixed-Income Housing on State Street: Develop a vacant parcel of land on State Street for mixed-use and mixed-income housing. The project will include retail and community space on the first floor and approximately 40-units of mixed-income rental housing targeting incomes between 30% and 120% of Area Median Income (AMI). ($800,000)
Provide Minority, Women and Veteran Owned Business Support: Implement a grant program to support minority and women business enterprises (MWBE) and veteran-owned businesses. Matching grants will be made for capital improvements, technology and security upgrades, emergency repairs, ADA improvements, and capacity building. Participation in various NYS MWBE programs will be promoted to enhance the diversity of Hudson’s business community and encourage participation in local micro-loan programming and other state programs. ($100,000)
Fit out Commercial Kitchen and Retail Space to Provide Workforce Training: Renovate 14-16 South Front Street to create a mixed-use space focusing on job creation, work-force training, and staff development. A commercial catering kitchen will be created with staff-training space, live-work employee suites, storefront market and a coffee shop. ($230,000)
Hudson developed a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize its downtown with $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant. A Local Planning Committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders led the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners. The Strategic Investment Plan for downtown Hudson examined local assets and opportunities and identified economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with the community’s vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation.
“I have seen firsthand how the Downtown Revitalization Initiative has given new life to communities across the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “These projects as part of the DRI investment in Hudson will further advance the revitalization of the city’s downtown and increase opportunities to one of the Capital Region’s gems along the river. New housing developments and mixed-use projects, as well as public space along the waterfront, will attract more people and create more jobs in the area.”
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “Hudson’s vibrant downtown has established itself as a destination for visitors and a great place to live and work. With the Downtown Revitalization Initiative investment, Hudson is primed to be even more welcoming for tourists, residents and businesses.”
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The projects supported by the DRI in Downtown Hudson will capitalize on the city’s historic waterfront, create the necessary infrastructure to encourage new investments, and support workforce training initiatives and early-stage businesses.”
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Through Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, these community-led, targeted investments will combine with HCR’s $233 million investment in the Capital Region over the last seven years that has created affordable housing for about 8,500 residents to help ensure that as Hudson’s economy grows, all New Yorkers have the opportunity to take part. In New York State, we are lucky to have a Governor who understands how to build inclusive, long-term economic success.”
Senator Kathleen A. Marchione said, “Today’s announcement confirms what local residents already know so well: great things continue happening in the City of Hudson. These strategic investments in downtown Hudson are great for the city, great for Columbia County and great for the Capital Region. I thank all involved for this continued recognition of Hudson and the many positive developments happening in the city.”
Assembly Member Didi Barrett said, “The City of Hudson has worked very hard to craft projects that will benefit a wide range of the community’s residents. Attending local DRI meetings this past year, I saw hard work from the Local Planning Committee and genuine interest and input from the whole community, resulting in a fantastic slate of final projects. Hudson’s biggest challenges – including waterfront development and access to affordable food and housing – are all addressed. I look forward to seeing these initiatives come to life in a way that is distinctly Hudson. Thanks to everyone who engaged in the DRI process for contributing to the next phase of Hudson’s exciting future.”
Hudson Mayor Rick Rector said, “The City of Hudson is proud and grateful to benefit from these important investments, which will create opportunities and foster further smart growth for our community. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the City of Hudson is even better positioned for a bright future and we look forward to seeing these projects come to life.”