LaBella Associates presented their draft findings to the City of Gloversville on their downtown strategy during a public meeting late last month. The presentation included short and long term goals, building reuse plans for four downtown strategic sites, a master redevelopment plan and other recommendations.
The consultant team included LaBella as the prime consultant along with In.Site:Architecture and Creighton Manning Engineering.
The city hired the team in the Spring of 2017 to develop a Downtown Development Strategy to help create opportunities for revitalization and development of both residential and commercial properties. Ideally, revitalization of both types of properties would serve to improve the city’s economy and quality of life while increasing tax revenue.
Ed Flynn, Director of Planning explained that “the downtown development strategy is really a roadmap for the city and for its partners to redevelop downtown in the next 10 to 20 years, but at the same time it’s also information for developers who want to invest in downtown Gloversville.”
The strategy seeks to build off of existing plans including the city’s comprehensive plan and was largely developed using community input gathered through a citywide survey and public meetings that included breakout sessions for group discussion. During the open house, area residents were able to review the strategy and offer any final feedback they had.
The draft plan may also be an asset when applying for grant funding in the future by showing funding agencies a particular project’s individual place in the city’s overall future vision.
Plans call for residential improvements and marketing downtown to online businesses to draw entrepreneurs to the area and create job opportunities. It also recommends establishing a small business fund, attracting a limited service hotel, developing new parking, developing a phased approach that focuses on particular corridors to generate momentum, creating a downtown creek corridor, making downtown pedestrian and bike friendly and obtaining funding for a variety of improvements.
The draft will be presented to common council later this month. Once approved, the strategy will be submitted to the state for comments and approval before it can be used to support state grant applications for 2019’s Consolidated Funding Application cycle. City of Gloversville Councilman-at Large Vincent DeSantis plans to “hit the ground running” to implement the proposed strategies.