Governor Cuomo's office has announced the projects that will be funded with the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant awarded to Oneonta last year. Among the nine winning projects are the Westcott Lot Mixed-Use Development, New Transit Hub and Parking Garage Renovation, Market Street and South Main Street Improvements, Downtown District Signage and Branding and Marketing Downtown Oneonta.

Senator James Seward said Oneonta has a storied history and this transformational initiative has the entire region pointed toward a prosperous future.

The nine winning projects are:

Westcott Lot Mixed-Use Development
Construct a new mixed-use building at 226-236 Main Street. The City will select a developer to construct the new building that will feature 4,000-6,000 sq. ft. of commercial space on Main Street, three levels of housing above, and a level of parking beneath the building. The new building will include approximately 27-30 one and two bedroom dwelling units. The site may also include a small public plaza and linear public pedestrian passageway that connects Main Street to South Main Street.

Fund for Small Business Revolving Loans and Sign Grants
Provide small loans to owners of buildings within the DRI area to renovate existing retail and commercial storefronts and spaces, and improve business signage. Provide gap financing through a revolving loan fund to overcome the cost impediment older structures face to meeting contemporary standards. Uses may include improvements such as interior/exterior renovations, machinery/equipment, working capital, and rent subsidies. Micro-grants would be provided to individual owners for business signage.

Activate Upper Story Housing
Provides grants to owners of existing buildings within the DRI area to renovate upper stories for housing. Many existing residential properties located along Main Street are in need of improvements to attract new tenants, and the cost of renovating these older structures to meet housing demand is not fully covered by the current rental rates of the Oneonta marketplace. This project will allow necessary renovations to occur.

New Transit Hub and Parking Garage Renovation
Renovate an existing public parking garage and add a new transit facility. The parking structure provides three levels of public parking and a bus station for intercity buses. Its current condition and façade are a blight on adjacent properties. Improvements include long-term maintenance and exterior renovations. The project also includes implementation of the new Transit Hub facility on the south side of the parking structure.

Muller Plaza Passage
Establish a public pedestrian passageway between Muller Plaza and Water Street. The passageway will provide an important connection between Oneonta’s most important public space and other points of the City. The connection will allow access to the plaza from the City’s public parking garage, existing shops on Water Street, and ultimately to the new Transit Hub, and Foothills Theater.

Water Street Boardwalk
Establish a public pedestrian passageway between Water Street and Market Street. The passageway, constructed of a boardwalk, will provide an important connection between Oneonta’s most important public space, Muller Plaza, and other points of the City. The connection will allow access between the City’s public parking garage, existing shops on Water Street, to the new transit hub, and Foothills Theater.

Market Street and South Main Street Improvements
Make improvements to existing streets in downtown Oneonta. Renovate Market Street and South Main Street to increase pedestrian activity, provide an urban character consistent with Oneonta’s downtown, and incentivize development of underutilized properties. Work will include numerous pedestrian safety improvements, streetscape enhancements, and infrastructure improvements. Improvements will also be made near the Foothills Theater and gateways at Main and Market streets, as well as James Georgeson Avenue.

Downtown District Signage
Improve the visibility of businesses in Oneonta’s downtown and advertise Oneonta to a broad region. The signage project includes signage design and a location plan, followed by placement of markers along major regional roads and at other regional destinations; new signage and wayfinding downtown; directional signage for groupings of stores; and wayfinding for public parking, public venues, and historic district signage.

Branding and Marketing Downtown Oneonta
Improve the visibility of Oneonta’s downtown and small businesses. The Branding Project will develop a marketing theme for the City, and a network with which to regularly disseminate the marketing materials for the downtown. The project will result in increased retail sales, commercial business opportunities, and improved perception of downtown.