Amid all the talk of dates and sequencing, some interesting information emerged. Given that "Promenade Hill Park" (a name introduced by Sheena Salvino but never used previously) has been identified as the first project to be pursued, Gossips was curious to know the scope of the proposed "renovation." Was it the maze of hardscape and retaining walls that never existed before urban renewal razed and configured everything west of Front Street? Or was the historic promenade, which hasn't gotten much attention since its Victorian makeover in 1878, also slated for renovation and refurbishment? The RFQ, which falsely claims that Promenade Hill Park is "considered the Country's oldest public park" (hardly true, but it is the first public space set aside expressly for viewing the landscape), doesn't distinguish between the historic promenade and the unfortunate 1970s "plaza" that now serves as the entrance to the promenade.
The Overview in the RFQ announces: "The City is looking for an inspired park design to renovate and refurbish the park that will honor the historic features and create a memorable park experience for visitors of all abilities." Sadly, it is unlikely that there will be money or time to do a historic landscape report on Promenade Hill, something that should precede and inform any plans for renovation.
Another bit of information gleaned from the meeting is that the nearly $4 million for "Complete Streets" improvements ($3,982,550) is considered to be not enough. For this reason, the RFQ for what's being called the "multimodal project" (Complete Streets improvements and the Second Street stairs) will request a master plan and an implementation schedule.
And then there is the Dunn warehouse, for which $1 million in DRI funds had been designated. At a Common Council meeting last month, DePietro said that the Dunn warehouse was second in order of priority. Now it seems to have fallen off the list altogether.
The issue of whether or not the City can use the $500,000 in Restore NY funds to stabilize the building without partnering with a private developer seems to have been resolved. It can. But now it appears that Empire State Development wants to attach that condition to the $1 million in DRI funds allocated for the building. Nothing is ever easy.
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