Urban renewal these days happens in the form of neglect. An unattended leaky roof can wreak havoc. Many of these boarded up buildings are hollow inside due to the roof collapsing years ago. So is the case at 2 Liberty. The roof is gone, and so is the back wall of the 3rd floor. Many would think the next logical step would be to demolish the remaining structure. Developers and visionaries have proven time and time again that there is still value in these buildings. SodaCova Group is rehabilitating 2 & 15 Liberty Street.
SodaCova Group is an entirely minority-owned real estate investment company. They began work in the City of Newburgh out of a desire to give back to the community. The location of 2 Liberty was chosen particularly because of its location at the intersection of two main thoroughfares – Liberty and Renwick. It is away from the waterfront, but SodaCova feels it can help bring traffic west of Water Street and bring revitalization south on Liberty. SodaCova is working with native Newburgher, Josh Mousseau of Domus Port who has worked on rehabilitating buildings in similar states in Newburgh. The roof is scheduled to be installed by the end of the month and hopefully, the building will be completed by the end of the year with a grand opening of the commercial space, yet to be announced.
Across the street, SodaCova is doing work on 15 Liberty. The first floor had an illegal apartment and they are working to restore the commercial retail space. Work on the storefront could begin as early as next week. Plans are to create a gallery space. Stay tuned for that announcement.
Overall, this is very exciting news for the revitalization of southern Liberty Street. Coupled with the rehabilitation of PS 6, the Liberty Street School, this section of Liberty between Benkard and Renwick will slowly start to turn the corner. This goes without mentioning the hard work the Colas family has done at 19 Liberty Street. Bravo to you Nancy and Kermit!