12/27/18 7:30am

Hard to believe it but it’s true, Newburgh Restoration turned 10 years old this December. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine it would go on this long. This past year has been a challenging one. I had a baby, started a new job, and really just struggled to find time for me and the blog.

People often talk about the waves of people that come in and out of Newburgh. There is a lot of change happening in the city at the moment. The city manager, comptroller, and director of planning and development have all gone. The director of the Land Bank will also be leaving in January. Many of the community boards have vacancies and new members filling spaces. Caffe Macchiato is closing but a new restaurant is coming to the space and Jenny’s Floral Design also closed her doors, but Kaitlyn’s Creations Florist has taken her place. You can choose to see that change however you like, sometimes they are unfortunate and sad circumstances, but change can be good and it allows people with new energy and perspectives to carry the torch of those who have chosen to move on.

For the first time in ten years, almost every storefront on Liberty Street between Broadway and Spring Street is occupied. Seven new businesses opened on Liberty Street this year, two of them being in storefronts that were boarded up and never had retail. (Lodger, Cream Vintage, Field Trip, Velocipede Museum, Newburgh Flour Shop, M. Lewis Boutique, Liberty Street Vintage). It has been an amazing experience to sit in the window of the Newburgh Flour Shop and watch people buy a pastry, then head to Field Trip and then pop over to one of the new vintage shops. I myself got to host the most fabulous private dinner at Lodger, what a treat! Finally, there are reasons for people to stay and linger. Momentum is moving south with a new hair salon and cheesecake shop slated to open in 2019. Lower Broadway got it’s first antique and architectural salvage shop, Hudson Valley House Parts, and anchor building 110-112 Broadway will finally undergo renovations. We also all anticipate the opening of the new Cajun restaurant with outdoor seating coming to 96 Broadway. That building has been an eyesore for over a decade. It is also rumored the Mid-Broadway lot has a new owner.

For 2019 Ann Street will also have new businesses, Hendley and Co, an interior design shop. And the old ADS warehouse will have a distillery tasting room as well as pop-up and community art space. Other notable openings have been Orchard Valley CrossFit, the much-anticipated opening of the Shelter House Cafe, the Holland Tunnel Art Gallery, and The Newburgh Pottery. This was also the year of many film productions happening in the city. I don’t have the statistics but it definitely felt like an increase.

Perhaps my proudest moment of all was the shopping crawl myself, Newburgh Mercantile and APG Pilates did this past Shop Small Saturday. We estimate over 300 people turned out for the event, and some businesses saw an increase in sales as high as 80% than a regular Saturday. It was a moment that proved people want to be in the city, there is energy and life here.

Businesses still struggle to survive in Newburgh. The past year was hard overall on the Hudson Valley. Beacon has many empty storefronts and businesses are closing due to high overhead costs. Newburgh has to figure out how to retain the businesses we already have. Retail is hard. If you love what is happening in the city, make it a goal to do your shopping locally. People make a place. Without people (business owners, workers, customers, tourists, families, even pets!) the streets are just an empty place.

Thanks as always for your interest in Newburgh and for reading Newburgh Restoration. Below is my annual link round-up of positive things that have happened downtown. If I have missed anything, add the links in the comments.

10/10/18 7:30am

NYC or Newburgh? If you were at the corner of Liberty and Washington Street yesterday you might have been confused. New movie, A Scottish Play, was being filmed at Caffe Macchiato as it had an “NYC cafe vibe”. They’ll be filming in and around Newburgh for the next month.

05/09/18 7:30am

Have you ever had an idea for an awesome project in Newburgh that just needed a small boost in funds to make a reality? Now it might be possible with the newly founded Awesome Foundation.  A Newburgh chapter has been launched and they are accepting applications from the community each month.

Awesome Newburgh seeks to boost and promote the city and to catalyze more community projects. Preferred projects are those that are open to the public and projects that forge (new) collaborations in Newburgh.

Each month, applicants have a chance to win $1,000 towards a project. The application deadline is the first Monday of the month. Board members meet later that week to review the previous month’s submissions and choose a winner. To learn more about submitting a project, read these guidelines.

If you have a question about the application process, seek additional help, or want to get involved, email newburgh@awesomefoundation.org Follow them on Instagram to see awarded projects.
12/14/17 4:32pm

“On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Awards were announced and Safe Harbors of the Hudson is delighted to have received a $500,000 grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. This historic preservation grant will allow for the continued restoration of the Ritz Theater and its development into a center for performance, innovation, education and engagement in downtown Newburgh.

This award follows a $500,000 New York Main Street Stabilization grant awarded in late 2016 from New York State Homes and Community Renewal for the replacement of the Ritz Theater roof. The roof design has been completed and work on the structure is scheduled to begin in March 2018 with completion by late summer.

A new roof will stabilize the theater and pave the way for the next phase of the restoration which will include the removal of a late addition second story; the re-establishment of the original audience chamber and proscenium; and restoration of the original stage house.

Safe Harbors would like to thank the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and our stalwart supporters for investing in a strong, healthy and vibrant Newburgh!”

-Press release from Safe Harbors of the Hudson