NY State Announces Nearly $10M in Funding for 12 Downtown Peekskill Projects
John Jordan | May 12, 2021
ALBANY—New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Tuesday the list of projects in Peekskill that the state will fund as part of its $10-million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award granted to the Northern Westchester County city two years ago.
The 12 projects in Peekskill will provide funding that will facilitate mixed-used transit-oriented development, improve pedestrian connections and support for small downtown businesses. The governor also announced DRI funded projects for Baldwin, a hamlet in the Town of Hempstead on Long Island.
“We are focused on building New York State back better than ever before and these strategic investments in Peekskill and Baldwin will play an important role in our economic resurgence,” Gov. Cuomo said. “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative continues to work with and empower local communities to reimagine their cities to create a brighter future for present and future generations. By investing in the infrastructure, we can help attract even more new businesses, residents and visitors to these areas.”
Peekskill was named a DRI Round 4 winner in August 2019. Through the DRI, the city looks to enhance its identity as a regional arts destination, a hub for businesses and jobs and a center for tourism. The DRI also aims to improve connectivity between the scenic waterfront, transit centers and the downtown mixed-use community.
Key DRI projects include infrastructure, lighting, and pedestrian safety improvements between downtown and the waterfront integrated with efforts to support artists, creative businesses, and bolster Peekskill’s identity as an arts center. Investing in strategic DRI projects will promote additional redevelopment and establish Peekskill as the ultimate small city in which to live, work, and raise a family, state officials noted.
The funding for Peekskill announced by New York State on Tuesday totaled $9.7 million.
The specific projects to be funded through the Peekskill DRI include:
Redevelop 41 N Division St. as a Mixed-Use Building Housing the Peekskill Arts Center, Multi-media Production Spaces, and Apartments—$1,638,752: Redevelopment of 41 N Division St. as the primary home of the Peekskill Arts Center on the ground floor, multi-media production spaces in the basement level, and new micro-apartments on the two upper floors.
Transform the Kiley Youth Center as a New Location of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester—$1,500,000: Renovate the Kiley Youth Center as a new location for the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester. Upgrades include interior/exterior improvements, utilities, and structural repairs providing offices, an art room, computer labs, and cafeteria.
Revitalize the Paramount Theater—$1,000,000: Renovations to the building facade and marquee, improved interior spaces for audience and artists, expanded hospitality programs, and upgraded equipment and utilities. Interior upgrades include lighting and sound equipment, stage rigging, accessible seating, flexible seating, and box office renovations.
Downtown Revitalization Fund—$700,000: Creation of a fund to help small businesses in the DRI area make capital improvements. Eligible activities include facade improvements, small business creation and expansion, solar installations, and adaptation to social distancing guidelines.
Transform Downtown Peekskill with Public Art—$500,000: Series of public art installations throughout Downtown Peekskill through a locally administered selection process involving long-time arts organizations in the city. The joint venture includes three proposals, Enlighten Peekskill, Making Connections and the Five Arches Mural.
Implement Public Wi-Fi in Lepore and Pugsley Parks and Low-Cost Internet Service for Bohlmann Towers and Barham Senior Houses—$380,000: Create a mesh Wi-Fi network to offer low-cost Internet to residents of Bohlmann Towers and Barham House Apartments, free access to a local resource gateway, and free Wi-Fi access along the Main St. Corridor including Lepore and Pugsley parks.
Create a Downtown Civic Hub and Improve the Downtown Public Realm—$1,626,000: Create the Peekskill Plaza on South Division Street by converting two lanes to a pedestrian civic space, redesign Gazebo Plaza as the civic heart of Peekskill, improve streetscapes to enhance pedestrian safety and beautify downtown Peekskill.
Improve Connections for Pedestrians and Cyclists between the Waterfront and Downtown—$1,102,000: Strengthen the connection between the waterfront and the downtown core by improving connectivity and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists on Railroad Avenue, South Water Street, Central Avenue, and South Street. Components include bike lanes, curb extensions, crosswalks, bioswales, bike racks, LED info signage, street trees and pedestrian signals.
Create a Marketing and Branding Strategy with Wayfinding Signage—$500,000: Develop a brand for Peekskill that describes the city’s history and culture, create a marketing strategy to communicate the city’s brand and attract new residents, businesses, and visitors, and implement components of the marketing strategy with wayfinding signage.
Enhance Pugsley Park as a Downtown Attraction—$313,248: Improvements to Pugsley Park including creation of new plazas and seating areas, pedestrian-scaled lighting; small-scale play equipment to attract children, trash cans, bike parking, plantings of trees, shrubs, and flowers and infrastructure to support power hook-ups and watering.
Enhance Monument Park, a Gateway into Downtown Peekskill—$260,000: Monument Park would be enhanced by lighting and maintenance improvements to improve the quality of the public space for daily use by residents. The project proposal calls for funding for lighting, landscaping, and LED informational sign at the bus stop.
Reconstruct Fleischmann Pier and Improve Charles Point Park as a Premier Waterfront Destination—$180,000: Reconstruction of Fleischmann Pier to create a new pier that will support tour boats. The project would provide funding for a second phase improvement to include floating docks for smaller vessels and transient boaters, improvements to Charles Point Park, and expanded parking area building.
Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey said, “New York State is making a big bet on the great City of Peekskill, because they know we have the people, the vision, and the community engagement necessary, to keep the city moving ever upward. Make no mistake: the state isn’t providing $10 million in funding by accident. They see strong, visionary leadership that is balancing growth and affordability, while remaining true to the creativity and diversity that brought us to this point. I couldn’t be more proud of the people of this city and all we have accomplished together”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer added, “I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for making the City of Peekskill a priority as part of his $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award. The funding, which will include the creation of mixed-use housing, improvements to the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester, revitalization of the Paramount Theater, signage improvements to the waterfront and downtown area, and a series of public art installations, will ultimately help to build a stronger local economy and a more vibrant Peekskill community. Investing in these DRI projects will promote additional redevelopment, and establish Peekskill as a desirable small city in which to live, work and raise a family.”
In the first four years of the DRI, the state has committed $400 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity.