The part of Hudson from the river's edge to Second Street has been defined as the target neighborhood for the DRI. Guiding the development of Hudson's DRI application is a list of priority projects that would be pursued if the $10 million were to be awarded to Hudson. On Monday night, Sheena Salvino, executive director of Hudson Development Corporation (HDC), presented a second version of the list of priority projects and sought responses to each item from the members of the community gathered at the meeting. That list appears below. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
The first five items seemed to get tacit approval from the audience, although there were some questions and suggestions, but when the discussion got to "LB Warehouse," Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward), who now chairs the Common Council Economic Development Committee, asked: "Do you want to invest in private property?" He went on to assert, "Investing in private property is not something we should do with public money." Mike Tucker, president of Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) explained that a project like installing solar panels on the vast roof of the LB building could be a project financed by a 80/20 split, with the building owner paying 80 percent of the cost and the public match being 20 percent.
Tucker urged the community to "find some balance," asking, "What can we use the building for that would create jobs?" He noted that the investments the City would make in the building were meant to incentivize someone in the private sector to continue the redevelopment of the building for adaptive reuse.
Kathleen Foley, who is working as a consultant on the application, introduced the catchphrase "resident relevant and visitor viable" to talk about the future use of the Dunn building. "The state folks are very interested in seeing progress on that site," she told the group. "It's up to the city to decide what they want."
It was suggested that the Dunn warehouse and the public pier project (the penultimate item on the list) might be collapsed "as a whole waterfront park re-conception" to create "a more comprehensive picture."
When the meeting had gone on for an hour and a half, Salvino indicated that the information gathering phase of the process would have to end tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7, in order to give the team putting together the application time to do that before June 14 at 4 p.m., when the application must be submitted.
To learn more about the goals of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and the application process, click here. Until the end of the day tomorrow, ideas and comments can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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