Press-Republican

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April 25, 2014

City to study future growth

(Continued)

PLATTSBURGH —

WEIGHING PLANS

The new council, which took office Jan. 1, has been exploring ideas for revitalizing the city.

The advent of First Weekends last year brought about temporary closures of City Hall Place, and the council recently approved the use of more than a dozen on-street parking spaces for outdoor dining during the summer.

Councilor Josh Kretser (D-Ward 6) has also suggested the city explore the permanent closures of some city streets to enhance the downtown marketplace.

A few years ago, local planning efforts suggested a major development at the Plattsburgh City Beach complex.

Major plans for a marina development at Dock Street Landing have also been weighed by the city.

Farrington said the study will give the city a better idea of how such developments should unfold.

“We want to be able to identify any opportunities, any constraints there might be and any alternatives we might consider,” he said.

EXAMPLE OF REBIRTH

Calnon pointed to the transformation of City Hall Place downtown about 20 years ago.

The buildings on the street, then known sarcastically in local circles as “The Street of Dreams,” were in poor condition, and some were home to bars known for boisterous behavior.

There was little for retail offerings, and the street was seen as a higher crime area.

With the aid of grant money and willing entrepreneurs, the street was changed to a vibrant dining and retail area that serves as the centerpiece of many city celebrations.

“We need to take a look and see if something like that can happen elsewhere,” Calnon said.

He said the study will not only consider what ideas to explore but show the preferred finance models for such investments.

“If construction is needed for some plans, the financing could be different than it was 20 years ago, and we will take a look at that,” he said.

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