Downtown Revitalization Initiative – the public’s voice
This web site was created to help give the Oneonta community a stronger voice on Oneonta’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Oneonta was awarded a $10 million grant from NY State as part of an effort to improve the urban vitality of city centers across New York State. In order to ensure that the $10 million is invested wisely, the state has required that Oneonta develop a strategic investment plan through collaboration between a private consulting group (Stantec), local government officials, and a local planning committee (aka Steering Committee). According to the NY State government, these groups must seek input from Oneonta residents, business owners, and other stakeholders in order to develop a plan that has broad local support.
As tracked here, there have been 8 public meetings to date on Oneonta’s DRI. These public meetings are a requirement of NY State as part of the DRI planning process. During these public meetings many enthusiastic Oneonta residents, business owners, and property owners came out and contributed ideas and insight. Many of these same ideas can be found on this web site under comments.
The January 24th presentation from Stantec outlines the DRI projects that are being pushed forward and how the $10 million is proposed to be allocated. In addition, during the January 24th presentation a hardcopy of the ‘project summary‘ was handed out. Since January 24th there have been small changes to the plan.
For those in the Oneonta community who are just getting involved, you can find names and information on our Local Planning Committee here.
As of February 2017 the plan focuses the bulk of the DRI funds on the development of new structures that would contain both apartments and retail space. These proposed new structures would be located in the following three areas:
(1) Proposed Innovation Center (formerly Food Hub) – This is the site of the eminent domain procedures that has been in the news lately (public hearing). Another article dated January 24th states: “Otsego Now’s study includes a preferred proposal to build a six-story, 87,778 square-foot building that houses the Innovation Center on the first and second floors. The first floor would have retail space and a commercial kitchen, the proposal said, and the second floor would have a demonstration kitchen, conference rooms, and a training center for programs offered by Otsego Now”. Approximately 40 to 50 apartments would be on the third through sixth floors.
(2) Westcott parking lot (area next to Ruffino’s) – the proposal is to build 25 to 30 apartments & 4,000 sq ft of retail space over the existing public parking lot. Parking would be located under the structure; however, some or all of the parking would not be for public use anymore. It is unclear where the public would park when visiting this area of downtown.
(3) Municipal Parking garage – several proposed options involve restructuring the parking garage to include from 0 to 55 apartments and/or 4,000 to 18,000 sq ft of retail space. The number of parking spaces would be reduced if apartments or retail space are added. There may also be a new transit hub built.
The proposed apartments are intended to attract and house local residents (not students).
Is this a good use of our DRI funds? Please note the Comments section of this web site.
Oneonta’s winning application dated May 2016 can be found here.