Governor Cuomo announces ‘transformational’ project for Potsdam

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POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Potsdam has made the list of transformational projects included in the statewide Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Potsdam, located in St. Lawrence County, will receive funding through the initiative to help redevelop and repurpose underutilized building, improve streetscapes and support downtown and local businesses.

Potsdam is one of 19 to receive $10 million and was named as Downtown Revitalization Initiative winner in October 2019.

“As we build back New York’s economy better than before, we must embrace a bold vision and in ways that breathe renewed vitality into our communities,” stated Governor Cuomo said. “The critical resources provided by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative are helping communities like Potsdam reimagine and reshape their downtown areas toward a brighter, more prosperous future.”

A healthy downtown is vital to transforming communities into great destinations to work, play and raise a family. Thanks to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we are doing that in the North Country, Southern Tier and across the state,” added Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The revitalization projects announced today in Potsdam and Hornell will not only further reshape their respective downtowns for the better but generate economic activity and give small businesses a much-needed boost.”

According to the Governor’s Office, with the state-awarded funding, the Village of Potsdam will engance waterfront amentities, improve streetscapes and pedstrianization.

Potsdam is also set to bolster arts and cultural organizations and support tourism within the village.

“The village of Potsdam was thrilled to have been selected by Governor Cuomo as one of the 2019 recipients of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative,” shared Potsdam Mayor Reinhold J. Tischler. “Our local planning team, state agency partners and consultants released a call for projects that resulted in Potsdam receiving 42 downtown revitalization proposals.  Fourteen of these were included in our strategic investment plan based on their potential to have a transformational impact on downtown Potsdam. The Governor selected 8 projects focusing on private commercial development, streetscape enhancements, the arts, culture and waterfront recreation.”

Specific projects funded through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative for the village include:

  • Relocate and expand the Potsdam Food Co-op
  • Expand the North Country Children’s Museum
  • Establish a fund to rebuild downtown Potsdam
  • Expand the Clarkson Inn
  • Revitalize the North Country Arts Center
  • Expand the Sandstone Diner
  • Enhance the downtown streetscape
  • Construct a Downtown Riverwalk Trail

North Country Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Dr. Ty Stone, Jefferson Community College President, and James McKenna, Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism CEO, added, “Placemaking is vital to creating inviting, walkable downtowns that welcome visitors to explore and encourage new residents to establish roots. The eight projects selected for downtown Potsdam will support future growth by utilizing assets like waterfront access and an arts and entertainment venue to spur new investments in the community.”

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative was first launched by Governor Cuomo in 2016. Through the initiative, New York State has committed $400 million to invest in downtowns.

The initiative is headed by New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development, and state Homes and Community Renewal.

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