City Accepting Proposals to Develop Waterfront

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 1.16.54 PM

An article came out this past Saturday in the THR that the City of Newburgh will start accepting proposals again for waterfront development. Back in 2007 Leyland Alliance presented renderings for a new downtown on the waterfront with commercial and residential uses but then the recession hit and all the plans fell through. Leyland even had the mac daddy of urban planning and co-founder of the New Urbanism movement, Adrés Duany, present at a charette. It will be interesting to see what other firms will submit proposals for the waterfront or if Duany will resurface again.

The Newburgh waterfront used to be the downtown of the city with more than 50 acres of land that was razed during urban renewal. The clearing of this land literally choked off western Newburgh from the waterfront as you can see in the photo above. Developing this land would connect Broadway down to the water and would put hundreds of properties back on to tax rolls. The decimation of Newburgh’s waterfront is not a special case; it happened to many other Hudson Valley cities and towns. However, Newburgh has been far behind compared to other cities in waterfront advancement. Newburghers are pretty jaded from the many empty promises. To see a project actually be completed would be history in the making. Maybe it will actually happen this time? What do you think?

– Image from Google Maps

13 Comment

  • DON’T SELL WATERFRONT PROPERTY!!! Lease it instead.

  • Stop showing preference to just one group of people.

  • Fix Broadway!!!!!!

  • How about instead of spending ore money on an establishment that already brings in quite a bit of revenue (I worked down there 2 yrs I know what they gross in total at some of those places) why not put it towards programs for the youth. It’s funny how all the money goes back to the rich while the poor have nothing to look forward to.

  • I’d like to see it built back exactly as it was before

  • how about they actually fix the same obstacles that prevented the latter. Sewer collector first then worry about development. The old problems don’t magically go away.

    • Giovanni, why would expect them to be rational? Why not fix crime, education, and the poverty rate while we are at it?

      ANY redeployment of the waterfront is likely to be something of the past… Commercial redevelopment is likely going to bastardize the tradition and beauty the area provides and I doubt it will provide any real economic benefit. (especially if you factor in the debt that will be incurred)

  • I don’t live in Newburgh, so I can’t speak to it’s past and the loss of what was there. If I were a developer I’d definitely look to the locals for input and promote something that really centered on the community, helped generate income and created a “destination” space for visitors. Ideally it would be great if it was limited on it’s impact to the incredible views and the environment itself. Avoid any and all “strip mall” ideas.

  • I don’t feel as if the expanse of green is ‘choking’ off the waterfront. And I don’t think more waterfront development without properly cleaning up and caring for what is already here is the smart way to use our currently limited resources. Not sure how this will ‘put hundreds of properties back on tax rolls’ ..We’ve already GOT hundreds of properties. How about a sustainable solution, that conserves resources, instead of looking for the next ‘big’ thing? How about we clean up the filthy streets and restore some of the housing we already have…

    It was impressive and exciting when we heard about the Leyland proposal…but when it fell through..I began to wonder whether we had actually been saved for something a little bit different, and perhaps a little bit better, a little bit slower, a little bit more thoughtful, and more home-grown…

  • I agree with Bonnie. My wife and I drove through Newburgh on the way home on Sunday. We tried to go to the brewery but it was too late. We then drove up liberty and thought, ” this is nice, we see the potential that people are talking about”. Then we made a left on Broadway. Three blocks down on the right the police we busting in a door at the motel! the stores looked sad.

    I also agree with Hannah. Why pin hopes on big developers?

  • We did projects in Newburgh at the end of the 1990’s and start of the new Milleium. The Water front resturants and Montgomery Views are incredible assets in Newburgh. But then, politics and lack of understanding of history and how to get it done got in the way.

    The water front project that people talk of that garnered such excitement was a repeat of what was done inthe 1970s after urban renewal put the land in the hands of a single large developer. The economy choked and the project lay domant and then died. As the saying goes, if the definition of insanity is to repeat the same series of actions and expect different results, then Newburgh is insane.

    So rather than establish competitions for the parcels left one at a time, a single “developer” was chosen to develop it all. The economy choked and the project lay dormant and then died.

    So now what. If Newburgh wants to grow, the one thing the water front sites at the end of Broadway should NOT be is housing. Housing does not provide for a epanding tax base; housing costs more to maintain with regard to property taxes than it pays. The average is for every $1.00 in taxes paid for residential use, $1.30 is spent in services. For every $1.00 paid in taxes for commerical use; $.80 is used in services.

    Clearly the remaining urban renewal land should be targeted for commercial development. It will pay for the police, fire & DPW services Newburgh needs; it will bring jobs, particularly if it is a mix use of retail and tourism related uses. It will bring jobs if it is office that use the services in Newburgh..

    Any residential use targeted for the end of Broadway is a mistake. This is the bank account for Newburghs future. DONT WASTE it.

    • Drew, your points are well taken. I think I’d like to see a deeper analysis of the financial benefits to the city from the commercial development already in place at the waterfront. Those are huge commercial spaces and draw huge numbers of locals and tourists.

      It would be critical to see how many locals are employed and how much revenue, if any, those businesses generate for Newburgh relative to what it costs the city. I think we need too look at that closely, before we build anything, residential or commercial, so that any plans are not, as you mention, a repeat of a past mistake.

      In principal, as you say, commercial development sounds good on the dollar. The reality is, Newburgh has many restored and newly-developed commercial spaces in areas very near this lot. The focus on economic development on lower Broadway and Liberty corridor, where the space already exists, in my mind, is the way to go. Incentives and funds to entice entrepreneurs, marketing and hands-on support to help fill fledgling commercial spaces such as the Atlas Industries building will attract new residents and grow local, stabilizing relationships in the process.

      I think it will cost us much less in the short term than large commercial projects, and will also grow the very priceless neighborly feelings that, deep down, is what we in Newburgh are reaching for…We will never build anything right until we work on the foundation. But the potential is there, and it is possible.

  • The main trouble with the city of Newburgh has been it’s lack of respect for the historic aspects of the city. The blacktopping of Liberty St’s brick is a perfect example. If anything, they should use the Kingston Rondout’s brick row house construction that fits in beautifully with the historic district. It could be both housing and business.