A major development for the Heights neighborhood has begun with the rehabilitation of 2 Courtney Avenue! This house has been in very poor condition for many years. Finally, a new owner has come along who is preservation minded. As you can see in the photo below, the house has been stripped of many historical details. The cupola was a large detail that was removed, and thankfully it is being replaced.
Neighbors are over the moon.
“After 10 years, I’m thankful for the new roof on this amazing house next door, and the sweet sound of construction.”
“This is such a huge renovation for the block.”
“I am so excited for this! That whole area is so beautiful and this is one of the best houses! So much character.”
Image via page 86 in Newburgh (Images of America: New York), by Kevin Barrett
This week the aluminum siding was taken down, revealing the original shingles that are still intact over 100 years later! Restoring these homes in Newburgh is no walk in the park. They require expertise and help from historic tax credits that make the cost more affordable.
Another boarded up storefront on Liberty Street is being opened up for retail. Up until recently, 109 Liberty Street had been a church, blocking off two large sidewalk storefront spaces. It contributed to the empty feeling that blank street walls create in public places. There is no glass in the windows yet, but the difference in striking!
The owners of the Motorcyclepedia Museum on Lake Street have purchased this building with plans to create a museum dedicated to bicycles called The Velocipede Museum, scheduled to open April 2018. One storefront will be used for the museum, and the other for a bicycle-related business.
In New York City you can usually see a sign like the one pictured above. It usually provides a rendering, contact information, and an estimated date of completion. It seems we will now start seeing them in the City of Newburgh. On Council member, Karen Mejia’s Facebook page she announced that she has been pushing for the signs to be placed on new projects to update the public.
The Newburgh Landing Dock is closed and the timeline is pending funding. At the last city council meeting a resolution was discussed to authorize the City Manager to apply for and accept if awarded, a New York State Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program Grant through the 2017 Consolidated Funding Application in an amount not to exceed $270,000.00. It would have a fifteen percent match for the final design and permitting for the reconstruction of the Newburgh Landing Dock.
The storefront at 15 Liberty Street has finally shed its former life as an apartment, now looking like a proper storefront waiting for a fresh coat of paint. The eventual plan is to create a coffee shop. Peeking inside you can see the preparations of a counter top and artwork on the wall. This work is being done by the SodaCova Group who is also working on 2 Liberty. You won’t see rapid change overnight on South Liberty, but this is complementing other projects such as the Liberty Street School, Simple Gifts & Goodies, and other properties along this corridor.
A little over two weeks ago SodaCova Group announced that we would be seeing a new roof over at 2 Liberty Street. The installation work has begun. They have also begun securing the east wall to rebuild the missing brick wall. It is very encouraging to see this building on the brink of demolishing being rehabilitated.
The storefront will eventually be restored as commercial space and the upper floors will become apartments. A grand opening is planned when the work has been completed. Stay tuned for updates.
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!