I am always in awe anytime I see old photos of the grand old Newburgh so many people talk about. Looking at old photos you can see they were certainly right. You can see a bustling city with a lot of life and movement. You can also see a walkable Newburgh were everything you could have possibly needed was probably available at every corner shop around. Today, there are so many empty lots in Newburgh it’s kind of hard to imagine such a busy mini metropolis. But it really did exist, and now there is the opportunity to transform yet another empty space as it once was above. So, some of you have heard the buzz that a brand new project is in the making on an empty lot in Newburgh. Well, it’s true, but it has a lot of finishing touches left before it can be approved and construction can begin. For now let’s talk about the things we do know.
Coppola Associates is planning a huge project on Broadway and Liberty Street. This is an exciting pivotal project for the City of Newburgh in this economy. This could drastically change the area in many different ways. The project would be located on the South East Corner of Broadway. It’s a 5 story building, with commercial store fronts along the first floor. The architecture of the building will compliment the historic landscape of neighboring buildings, as well as echo the architecture of the building that once stood there for about 100 years before as you can see in the original photo above. They will also be using green building efforts in the construction. Parking will be included in the project as you can see in the rendering. It suggests that perhaps there will be an underground or rear parking lot. However, the parking situation is something that will probably be tweaked with time.
Two and three bedroom apartments (1100-1400 sq ft each) are also included in the plan with about half of them being affordable housing. They are targeting people from different career backgrounds and demographics. They are also targeting the growing senior population, who will be able to remain active in the communities in which they have lived, but without the burden of maintaining houses, removing snow, mowing lawns, etc. They feel that affordable housing will give seniors this option.
It’s going to take time to get all of the approvals for this project because there will be a lot of planning involved. Parking is already a tight situation in Newburgh. So, the City will have to come up with public transportation and parking ideas to accommodate the growing Newburgh population. Remember, Newburgh used to have trolley and bus system. This made it easy for people to live and work in Newburgh with out a car. Also, affordable housing isn’t in the master plan of the City council, but as Coppola Associates mentioned to me, the renderings will change over time. That might come as a result of compromising on different levels and not just on design. Time will only tell.
It is extremely positive that Newburgh has someone willing to construct a project that could drastically change the neighborhood. When word got out about a possible new project in Newburgh two people said, “it helps us envision a better Newburgh,” and “any progress is good news.” Local established businesses would greatly benefit from added traffic from new residents. Also, the new commercial space could motivate business owners and entrepreneurs to fill up the new and existing store fronts of the area. This section of Newburgh could become walkable again. Overall, compromises will have to be made and brainstorming done. This is just another positive drop in the bucket for the restoration of Newburgh. We’ll be watching closely.
*Thank you Coppola Associates for providing the renderings.
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