Before & After: 159-167 Washington Street


We are taking another look at the apartment buildings on Washington Street to see a final side by side comparison of the massive changes that have happened since they were rehabilitated. These buildings were in perpetual disrepair over the past 10+ years. For the past 3-4 years I have observed them they were vacant and covered in graffiti. In 2016 work began to completely overhaul the five buildings and now in 2017 all the units have been rented out except one. The sidewalks have been repaired with new tree plantings, applying City Planning streetscape standards and the interiors are modern with have historical characteristics.

As a corridor to Washington’s HQ, the changes here make this section of Washington Street a more inviting and pleasant block for residents and pedestrians alike. Undoubtedly projects of this scale require a lot of patience and money, but the results display the value of these buildings in the historic district.






2 Comment

  • I think this is an idea that is long over do, and give the folks who are renovating these buildings that the city has taken over and left to rot a lot of credit. My problem with this is simple and also complex. I have lived in the Newburgh area most of my life. I am a single parent who raised 2 children here. I have a good job, and have been employed for most of my adult life. With that said I am still considered one of the working poor. I can’t afford to live in the town I grew up in, the town my parents bought a home and raised 5 children. Since 9/11 there has been an influx of people from NYC and surrounding areas who look at these properties as a bargain. Wages in this area have not kept up with the financial demands for properties, even with the grants. You have to meet income requirements in order to qualify. I work for the County and can only afford to live in low income housing due to the explosion of increased property value in Newburgh. So where do the people who work here, and have lived here all there lives go? This is home……or was. I understand the cost of refurbishing these properties. I also understand the prices they were sold for, as well as the grants provide to refurbish them. Everyone has to make a profit, I understand that as well. In the beginning of this post- I did say this is a complex issue as well. Is this simply gentrification? History repeating itself, the “working poor” are pushed out for the more affluent? If this was your home, your city, where you work, how would you feel about being out priced- not being able to participate in the “rebirth” of your home town? It is very frustrating for the local people born and raised here- paid taxes all their lives to this city. I have not been able to find an answer or solution to this issue. If anyone has one, I would loved to hear it. Unfortunately, I am not the only person who is effected, or feels this way. I would be very interested in hearing from others. Thank you

    • Looking for clues while walking past the signs. You mentioned grants and alluded to subsidies to make housing “affordable”. Mission accomplished, Newburgh has managed to provide housing for a disproportionately large low income population for decades. However, did not these same subsidies put a floor on housing costs and, in fact, afford the increased costs despite the actual demand indicating otherwise…”wages in this area have not kept up”. What should have been abetting a changing economy, “affordable housing” became Newburgh’s economy. The simple became complex, charged with costly regulations, administrations and enforcements. It’s a closed-loop system where in EVERY Newburgher paid and it ran until it didn’t because bridges, roads and sewer lines aren’t illusionary. Gentrification is reality filling that vacuum. Sometimes there aren’t “solutions”, just acts. “Frustrating”, take consolation…
      fwiw, The average ’17 assessed value for a residential house in Newburgh is $108K and the average City only tax collected is $2,100. item 2, 11:30 in