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Waterfront Heritage committee pitches development ideas for Amsterdam

Establishing a row of ethnically diverse restaurants, increased marketing and networking efforts, and new parking areas and telecommunications infrastructure were all ideas presented by the Waterfront Heritage Area committee at a meeting held last night at Lynch Middle School. The ideas are part of a preliminary study for redevelopment along Amsterdam’s waterfront area which the committee is looking to fund under NY State’s Brownfield Opportunity Act.

Director of Economic and Community Development Robert von Hasseln said that the Waterfront Heritage Area is essentially a continuation of the previous “Viaponte” study that was initially focused on the South Side. The new study expands the area to cover both the South Side and areas on the northern side of the Mohawk River including the city’s downtown area on Main St. The effort is one two BOA studies underway, the other being the Northeast-East End study which covers areas east of the waterfront area.

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Director of Economic And Community Development Director Robert von Hasseln

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Area and sites part of the BOA study

Von Hasseln said the ultimate goal of the three phase process is to have the area declared by NY State as a Brownfield Opportunity Area, which would provide significant tax breaks to businesses in that area. Von Hasslen also said he hopes to bring together ideas for the waterfront area and the East End under a revised version of the city’s comprehensive plan.

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Lisa Nagle of Elan Planning, Design, Landscape Architecture PLLC

Lisa Nagle of Elan Planning and Design of Saratoga Springs, NY, said that her firm has worked with a several communities in NY State including Amsterdam with the BOA process. Nagle said that the BOA was one of the best programs for redevelopment because the grants available only require 10% matching funds from the municipality. Nagle outlined a series of six “stations” in the room where the public could review the initial ideas and offer their own input. Nagle said that the committee plans on holding another public meeting in February.

The following photos document the individual workstations and the initial ideas presented at the meeting. Click on any image to enlarge it and scroll through the various slides.

Editor’s note: Turnout at this event was light and some comments were made at the meeting in regards to common council input on the project. I plan on addressing some of these issues in an upcoming editorial.

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About Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of AnthemWebsites.com LLC which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.

4 Responses to Waterfront Heritage committee pitches development ideas for Amsterdam

  1. Dan Weaver says:

    Turnout was indeed light. I counted less than 10 people, other than members of the committee and media. The meeting was announced on Sam Zurlo’s show and in the Gazette. The mayor posted it on facebook. I posted it on the downtown fb page and it was seen by over 900 people. Many other people shared it on facebook. I had thought with all the talk over the years about the Chalmers site and the more recent talk about relocating the train station, that more people would show up. There will be a second public meeting. I hope more people show up and give their input at the second public meeting, rather than give it on talk shows after the fact.

  2. Rick Morrison says:

    Did any of the members of the Amsterdam Common Council attend the meeting? They are adamant in their stance that the Economic and Community Development Department in the City is doing nothing. Why can’t the political leaders of the city step away from this adversarial role they have chosen to help the area move forward ? Surely they must have some ideas or plans about the future.