Empty Lot on Broadway Invites New Development


This sign went up a few weeks ago at the corner of Broadway and Johnston Street right next to the empty Mid-Broadway lot. The fence is new and stops people walking through it as was once a popular habit.  I called the number and they said there are no specific plans to develop the site, rather it is an invitation for development. This lot and the Mid-Broadway lot are very important to the future evolution of Newburgh’s widest street. Some people would like to see the Mid-Broadway lot stay as a green park, others still favor a supermarket. What kind of development would you like to see happen to this new adjacent lot? With so many vacant buildings on Broadway needing development it might be a while before anything happens here.

14 Comment

  • Where’s the permit for the fence and ARC approval? No one’s watching the store as usual. Where our codes chief Vatter? He has so much free time not doing the job he was hired to do, yet he has plenty of time to be the chair of the Land Bank board.

    • Where was Vatter when that building on Johnston street collapsed 2 weeks ago?
      I would post a link to the story but the commenting system on this blog is saying it’s spam.
      That was City owned property too.

    • Michael, the ARC reported that chain link fence to the Chief of Codes shortly after it was erected back in mid-July. He replied that the property manager came to him with a request from the property owner. I quote: “They were having a problem with garbage ,trash, dog feces and people using the property at night as a Porto-San and as a shortcut between Broadway and Johnston Street. Approximately seven years ago this department started letting owners put up temporary fences to help them keep their properties clean until they could commence their work. This is one of those cases. The fence may stay up for a year. After that he must ask for an extension in which case he would be referred to the ARC for a more permanent solution.”

      • I think it is great that the fence went up to keep the property cleaner and less of a health hazard.
        A planned green space or a development on the site would be good. Until then, the fence is a good common sense temporary solution.

        • +1 A related subject came up at a recent City Council meeting regarding a vacant city owned property. If someone gets hurt on a vacant property, regardless of ownership, the public would be looking for heads. A fence in this case is a practical, proactive and cost effective means to avoid injury and litigation that the public would other wise bear cost of.
          Let’s not again play ‘after the fact’ on this subject. “Watch for Falling Brick” signs aren’t going to cut it and the injury lawyers are drooling at the mouth.
          1:14:30 in…

          • Great, so let’s just chain link fence every lot! If the city can’t afford it, RAISE TAXES to pay for it as apparently it’s “a practical, proactive and cost effective means to avoid injury and litigation that the public would other wise bear cost of.” Money well spent I say. And then the city should require all open lots to chained off too, or the city would do it and charge the owners. Hannah, this lot was a green space. What do you mean by “planned”? It’s been like this since the buildings were razed. What’s different now. And why isn’t Cornerstone or the people who own the lots on the corner of Liberty and Broadway fencing those lots? It’s exactly the same situation. What about the Heights where someone could fall off the cliff! That needs to be fenced off too. And the knoll to our waterfront. Dog doo health risk emergency! Have you ever walked that hill? Amazing that people are defending a chain link fence in our historic district. No pride, no creativity. More of the same “let’s make this place look like a slum” mentality.

        • Not all lots are the same. Safe Harbors does its best to maintain the lot on Bway and Liberty, and the bluff is kept clean by the neighbors.

  • Indeed! A CHAIN LINK FENCE on the Main Street of a town? Who does THAT?

    Well a secured lot is good for one thing—paid parking. Who remembers Sylvia’s in Harlem when people felt endangered to go there to eat so the restaurant had a secured lot across the street with armed security guards? That went on for years and years even after Harlem became quite OK in regard to shootings and muggings.

    It worked very well. People came to eat soul food there from far and wide. The parking was free if you ate at Sylvia’s I think. All I know is that people who otherwise would NEVER have gone to that area, did go because of the high security FEELING they got from that parking lot.

  • What are your suggestions Michael G. to deal with the vacant lots as they pertain to both city and private owners? The locals obviously did not, do not, share in your appreciation of the historic district’s aesthetics nor green space. I said nothing of raising taxes (your words) as I have been suggesting the ‘City reallocate its expenses, 7% allocated to infrastructure is ridiculous. Nor did I recommend we “chain link fence every lot”. I do walk these streets and I’ve seen improvement with regards to vacant properties being cleaned up. Yes there are hold outs and members of the cabal that seem to be coated in teflon. I’ve lived next to one for four years despite my numerous communications to members of the ‘City. Yes, I too received a “petty” notice…too small of #’s on my mailbox. Yet I remain diligent in the upkeep of my property because, despite your broad assumption, I have “pride”. It’s about mindset and no amount of money can change it, especially when it’s given away to the extent of perpetuating a ‘free chit army’.
    I’m looking forward to your ‘creative’ suggestions.

    • No, you didn’t but if it’s so cost effective as you state, why not? Somehow what’s allowable or prudent is fungible depending on wildcard comparable situations. My contention is that putting up more fences does nothing but degrade the look of the city- that’s already challenged with decrepit properties. Vacant lots should be kept up by the owners- no excuse that they can’t afford to- how hard can it be to plant grass, pick up garbage, watch their own property? If they can’t, they have no right to own it when they are affecting their neighbors. It is a self-created hardship. Making it worse by fencing it off doesn’t help anything. Now the garbage won’t blow around, it’ll be stuck in the fence, it’s less accessible to maintain and would probably attract dumping. The liability issue is a load of crap. As long as we have public sidewalks and streets there is no more liability for having open spaces. And if the city could be liable for problems on private property, then the vulnerable properties should be cited until they are maintained- or taken back -and/or charged fees to pay for extra insurance.

      • I hear what your saying and I’m fully aware of what is fungible, remember I live next door to a vacant property and play the role of good steward to an extent. Trash bags remain at the end of the driveway dating back to the previous election with a campaign sign pitched in them from someone who now serves on the ‘new and improved’ ethics board, talk about irony. The ‘enforcers’, well, they have been “looking into it” for years and still they have the brass to make an attempt to raise my property assessment. It’s bs Michael G.. There are no laws… only guidelines where-in claims of responsibility extend only to the point of self worth. The essentially responsible peeps will not lower themselves, however, we’d rather high tail it ‘outta here before erecting barrier fences. The ‘City is fully aware of that and is hoping that things will ‘self heal’. Vacant ‘City owned property, pfff, they will not be taken down en masse. Demolish 700 buildings
        without an immediate rebuild and the school district is left with no claim for tax revenues. Good luck with that. So what’s the plan? What better way to remove blight, rebuild and have the taxpayers pay for it than to reach a point where buildings actually start collapsing, forcing a cry for change. However, as direct taxing is bad voodoo in the current economic environment, an outside coalition of ‘experts’ is formed and funded with the recycled tax payer dollars that was previously used to bail out the first abettors. Tag a politically correct agenda to it labeled
        ‘revitalization’ with a promise of “blah, blah, blah…” and your good to go. In the interim, the enforcement of codes/maintenance will be minimal with attendance to infrastructure limited to quick fixes serving to keep the owners in place and maintain the tax base as they can’t head for the exits because there aren’t any willing buyers at any price given the state of affairs.
        It’s a 21st century version of urban renewal. Broken window economics…brilliant…not.
        Peace out.

      • I doubt the fence will be intact for very long. Someone will cut it open so that people can again use the short cut. Then it will be repaired then cut again… At somepoint who ever foots the bill for the repair will give up and the fence will slowly decay and really look like crap.

  • It obviously needs to be developed into a strip club.