Twelve projects in the City of Peekskill were named last week as part of a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) award the city received in 2019 from New York State.
The announcement was made by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who in 2016 launched the DRI to help municipalities across the state accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment.
“The Downtown Revitalization Initiative continues to work with and empower local communities to reimagine their cities to create a brighter future for present and future generations,” Cuomo stated. “By investing in the infrastructure, we can help attract even more new businesses, residents and visitors to these areas.”
The specific projects to be funded through the Peekskill DRI include:
- Redeveloping 41 N Division Street as a Mixed-Use Building Housing the Peekskill Arts Center, Multi-media Production Spaces, and Apartments – $1,638,752;
- Transforming the Kiley Youth Center as a New Location of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester – $1.5 million;
- Revitalizing the Paramount Theater – $1 million: Renovations to the building façade and marquee, improved interior spaces for audience and artists, expanded hospitality programs, and upgraded equipment and utilities. Interior upgrades include lighting and sound equipment, stage rigging, accessible seating, flexible seating, and box office renovations;
- Creation of a Downtown Revitalization Fund ($700,000) to help small businesses in the DRI area make capital improvements. Eligible activities include façade improvements, small business creation and expansion, solar installations, and adaptation to social distancing guidelines;
- Transforming Downtown Peekskill with Public Art – $500,000;
- Implementing Public Wi-Fi in Lepore and Pugsley Parks and Low-Cost Internet Service for Bohlmann Towers and Barham Senior Houses – $380,000;
- Creating a Downtown Civic Hub and Improve the Downtown Public Realm on South Division St.- $1,626,000;
- Improving Connections for Pedestrians and Cyclists between the Waterfront and Downtown – $1,102,000;
- Creating a Marketing and Branding Strategy with Wayfinding Signage – $500,000;
- Enhancing Pugsley Park as a Downtown Attraction – $313,248;
- Enhancing Monument Park, a Gateway into Downtown Peekskill – $260,000;
- Reconstructing Fleischmann Pier and Improve Charles Point Park as a Premier Waterfront Destination – $180,000.
Peekskill developed a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize its downtown with $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant. Local Planning Committees made up of municipal representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders led the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners.
“New York State is making a big bet on the great City of Peekskill, because they know we have the people, the vision, and the community engagement necessary, to keep the city moving ever upward,” said Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey, who delivered his last State of the City Address last week.
“Make no mistake: the state isn’t providing $10 million in funding by accident. They see strong, visionary leadership that is balancing growth and affordability, while remaining true to the creativity and diversity that brought us to this point. I couldn’t be more proud of the people of this city and all we have accomplished together,” Rainey added.
The Peekskill Business Improvement District (BID) raised funds to produce a video that accompanied the award-winning grant application to the state. BID Executive Director Bill Powers provided guidance and contributed to the writing of the grant, and the BID’s Board of Director’s President Brian Fassett served on the DRI review committee.
“We are very excited to see the DRI grant projects move forward,” Powers stated. “The $10 million will help link the downtown with the waterfront, enhance the creativity and visibility of our artist community, re-shape our central business district, provide much-needed help for small businesses, and create a marketing campaign to encourage visitors to discover everything Peekskill has to offer.”