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Redevelopment plans taking shape for Plattsburgh waterfront

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 4:07 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - The city of Plattsburgh has for years looked at developing its waterfront and now a plan is in the works.

If you ask residents of the Lake City their thoughts on waterfront development, they’ll tell you that having more options by the water would be a good thing

“it would be wonderful to have more things for families to do,” said Raechel Deso of Plattsburgh. “Draw more people in -- and we have such a huge population up in Montreal that love to come down here. So, if there were more things to do it would be great.”

“I wouldn’t mind seeing year-round activities,” said Paul Forshay of Plattsburgh.

The city is working with the firm Barton and Loguidice, an engineering, planning, environmental, and landscape architecture firm, to come up with a master plan to give better access to the waterfront and the Saranac River. “Hopefully be able to participate in phasing -- it’s a big project,” said the firm’s Bob Murphy.

The project started in November of last year and a survey with 1,100 responses showed that over half the people said they aren’t using the waterfront because there isn’t much to do there. “That’s kind of the approach that we’ve taken throughout this process, is that folks don’t really know the recreation resources that it could be, so that’s what we hope to transform here,” Murphy said.

They have divided the space into five sections - farmers market, harborside boardwalk, waterfront trails, subdivision plans, and the NYSEG Site. They are finding what would work best in each location, like artwork, recreation, and play space for kids. The firm says they also received a lot of input that activities be age-inclusive.

“It’s very important. Everyone from seniors to the youngest little kids needs to be able to access our waterfronts and our parks and it’s amazing the things they are doing around here,” Deso said.

They also say it’s important to make sure the waterfront has better access to and from downtown and are looking to add an environmental learning lab similar to Burlington’s ECHO Center. They hope to have draft plans out by this summer so the city can apply for grants.

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