Oswego receives excess of $2.5M in ‘Restore NY Grants’

Staff reports

Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Lt. Gov. David A. Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno Tuesday announced the recipients of $100 million in Restore New York grants. Restore New York was designed to revitalize urban areas and stabilize neighborhoods as a means to attract residents and businesses.

In Oswego County, the City of Oswego received $2.5 million for its Oswego Harbor Revitalization projects (East and West); the City of Fulton recieved $330,000 for its Route 481 Corridor Revitalization project; and Phoenix was the recipient of $726,000 for its State Street Revitalization project.

According to Mary Vanouse, Community Development director, the City of Oswego submitted the Oswego Harbor Revitalization Project proposal in September, 2007. She said the project has two elements:

• On the west side of the Oswego Harbor an underutilized brownfield industrial site at 68 W. First St. will be demolished and a new mixed-use building will be constructed to accommodate 24 market-rate apartments with six retail structures on the West First Street elevation.

• The second element of the project will include the construction of a 450-seat conference center on the north side of the Best Western Captains Quarters Hotel. The new addition will also include 16 luxury hotel suites and a new waterfront restaurant at the Oswego Riverside elevation. These two components will bring a $12.9 million investment to the City of Oswego over the next two years and an additional 60 jobs to the Port City.

The City of Oswego is very grateful to have this grant to improve Oswego’s economy and its waterfront,” said Mayor Randolph F. Bateman. “With this grant we will see the demolition of the Flexowire site and the construction of two very attractive developments. Housing with retail on the north end of West First Street and a new Conference Center for the north end of East First Street. This means more jobs, and an economic engine that will generate further investment in Oswego’s economy. I am thankful for Governor Spitzer’s and Chairman Gunderson’s support of Oswego’s economic proposals and look forward to more positive development in our downtown waterfront locations.”

“The City of Oswego has needed a new conference facility on its waterfront for many years,”  Vanouse said. “We have heard many times that conferences wanted to come to Oswego to see all that has been accomplished on our waterfront, but we simply could not accommodate a large conference of more than 200 people. Now we will have the facility to bring these conferences here.”

On the Waterfront Square Development, she said, they now have the accommodations that so many retirees have desired on our waterfront.

“We hope this new development brings our professionals and retirees home to Oswego,” Vanouse said. “This is the culmination of many years of focused planning through the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program and all of our partners in Empire State Development, Department of State Division of Coastal Resources and the Office of Small Cities and with our local developers, George Broadwell and GEO Hotels, Inc. and Jim Monahan with Monahan Development Company. We are very excited to see the results of this grant for Restore New York.”

The project will begin the process of environmental review and project scheduling over the next two months. Project schedules and contracts will be subject to Empire State Development review and approvals. 

Restore NY funds municipally sponsored projects for the demolition, deconstruction, rehabilitation or reconstruction of vacant or obsolete structures.

“The $100 million investment in Restore NY funding demonstrates the state’s commitment to provide a catalyst for meaningful community development projects throughout New York State,” said Spitzer as he traveled Tuesday in Utica, Plattsburgh and Ithaca. “This year’s projects represent the tremendous potential in urban communities, which will spur economic activity and allow our neighborhoods to flourish. Creating resonant communities will provide the foundation for New York’s Innovation Economy for generations to come.”

This is the second round of funds from a pool appropriated in the 2006-07 state budget. Restore NY was designed as a competitive process with specific criteria. Strong emphasis is placed on projects from economically distressed communities across the state with priority given to projects that leverage other state or federal redevelopment, remediation or planning programs such as brownfields or Empire Zones. Round III of the program will begin in 2008.

The Palladium-Times