Wednesday, August 28, 2019

DRI Update

The DRI Committee met yesterday, and information was shared about all of the City's four DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) projects: (1) Promenade Hill; (2) BRIDGE District Connectivity; (3) Fishing Village--a.k.a. "the Shacks"; (4) Dunn warehouse.

For the first project, Promenade Hill, the firm that will oversee the restoration of the historic promenade and the redesign of the entrance plaza has been chosen. It is Starr Whitehouse, the firm that, in its presentation to the committee, talked about "sensitivity to place" and respecting the "original design intent" and, rather than talking about Promenade Hill as an underutilized space, acknowledged that people went to Promenade Hill just to watch the sunset.

Photo: David Voorhees
At the meeting yesterday, the committee also opened the submissions received in response to its second RFP--for the "Connectivity Project," which combines Complete Streets improvements in the BRIDGE District with streetscape enhancements on Cross Street and replacing the Second Street stairs. Nine proposals were received, from the following firms:
  1. Arterial
  2. NV5
  3. Weintraub Diaz
  4. Nelligan White Architects
  5. Tighe & Bond
  6. Barton & Loguidice
  7. Alta Planning + Design
  8. South Col Engineering 
  9. MJ Engineering and Land Surveying
The committee--Rick Rector (mayor), Tom DePietro (Council president), Heather Campbell (treasurer), Andy Howard (city attorney), Rob Perry (DPW superintendent), Walter Chatham (Planning Board chair)--will do its initial evaluation and identify the top three firms by September 10. Those three firms will be invited to make presentations to the committee on September 24. It has not yet been decided if the public will be permitted to sit in on those presentations.

At the next DRI Committee meeting, on September 10, it will be determined, based on the evaluations, which of the nine firms made the cut. The committee will also be talking about the remaining two projects--the Shacks and the Dunn warehouse--with representatives from the State Historic Preservation Office. Who will be coming from SHPO is not clear. It may be Bill Krattinger; it may be Weston Davey; it may be both or someone else altogether. The conversation about the two projects is likely to involve site visits--at least one to the Shacks, once known as the Furgary Boat Club.

On the topic of the Dunn warehouse, it has been determined that Empire State Development wants DRI funds used to leverage private investment, so the $1 million in DRI money designated for the Dunn warehouse cannot be used unless the City partners with a private developer. It has finally been determined, however, that the $500,000 Restore New York grant, awarded to the City for the Dunn warehouse in January 2018, can be used to stabilize the building. Warning that the building may not make it through another winter, Rector said emphatically, "Let's get it fixed first with the half million."


  1. Thanks and congratulations to the DRI committee for their own historico-aesthetic sensitivity in choosing Starr Whitehouse for the Promenade.

  2. Should be interesting to hear how the State Historic Preservation Office will justify ending the continuous HISTORICAL USE of the fisherman's Wharf at North Dock.

    1. What a strange idea, that SHPO has any part in "ending" anything. In fact, SHPO is the very office which officially recognized the same historic use which prevented the City from tearing the shacks down four years ago.

      Your beef is with the owner of the upland and the underwater land, the City of Hudson, and its temporary interruption of the historic use of the shacks.

      If you want to do something useful, then help point out the City's hypocrisy in allowing a private enterprise to operate from the City-owned dock in the waterfront park.