Saturday, October 31, 2020

Downtown Revitalization Initiative spreads with Durkee Street lot

The city of Plattsburgh will have less parking in the in the near future to make way for vibrancy in the downtown area.

In April of 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative – a comprehensive approach to transform communities ripe for development into vibrant neighborhoods, where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live and work. 

The City of Plattsburgh submitted its DRI application to the North Country Regional Economic Councils in May of 2016. 

It was announced the city of Plattsburgh was selected as a $10 million dollar winner from the North Country REDC later that year in July. Plattsburgh has planned to use 4 million of that funding for the Durkee Street project. The parking lot on Durkee Street will be replaced with an apartment complex to give more local residents a chance to live downtown.

“The purpose of this project is to increase the number of people who can live downtown,” DRI Coordinator Ethan Vinsor said. “It activates the Durkee Street with store fronts, so [Community Development] is hoping the DRI project bring vibrancy and improves the economic situation downtown.”

Vinson said by increasing the number of housing and commercial space, Community Development sees that as a benefit. That is the main goal for the DRI project. Community Development’s intention with DRI is to increase the number of people who live, visit and spend money in downtown Plattsburgh.

“The downtown, compared to other areas, is in need of revitalization,” Vinson said. “This is a catalyst to start drawing in more investments and improvements.”

Vinson understands the parking will be affected by the DRI but insists the pros of the Durkee project outweigh the cons.

The parking within the complex will be reserved for the residents, but the city has formed a parking advisory committee to explore solutions to the parking dilemma. It consists of city staff, residents and business owners.  Vinson said there will be public forums where everybody’s input will be heard.

“The council passed a non-binding resolution to go towards a manage parking system,” Vinson said. “The Plattsburgh Parking Advisory Committee also voted toward a manage system.”

Plattsburgh resident Paula Gonyea was unaware of the project until recently. She doesn’t object to it but is worried about the parking situation.

“I’m okay with it,” Gonyea said. “I think it’s very important they add a parking[alternative to other residents].”

The parking management system is still under development by the city but will help better the problem imposed by DRI. For more information about the DRI, visit cityofplattsburgh.com.

 

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