Plattsburgh residents get answers about downtown development

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) Residents concerned about development in downtown Plattsburgh got some answers Wednesday.

Our Kelly O'Brien has been closely following the Downtown Redevelopment Initiative and went to the open house at the Crafters and Farmers Market in the city. She saw dozens of people come to get answers straight from the source.

Mayor Colin Read explained the changes coming to the city: a river walk, an art walk and 114 new apartments coming to the largest downtown parking lot.

"To attract the types of individuals that will really want to come to the quality of life that we can now provide," said Read, D-Plattsburgh.

One building has been a topic of debate since first announced.

"They're talking about charging upward of $1,000 a month for a one-bedroom, approximately 700-square-foot apartment. I'm not sure where they're going to find somebody in this area of Plattsburgh that has the money to rent there or why they would want to when they could possibly have a mortgage payment for that cost," said Terry Broderick, who works in the city.

But Prime Companies, the developer on the project, was there to ease nerves. They have changed plans three times since the first design but said that's pretty typical.

"We are trying to incorporate some of the feedback we received early in the process to come up with a successful project that both the city likes, we like and our neighbors like," said Todd Curley of Prime Companies.

Posters covered the farmers market depicting the new parking lots and spaces coming to the area.

"The Plattsburgh Parking Advisory Committee has done an admirable job finding these parking solutions around the city that will be much closer to where people actually need the parking, and at the same time retain the parking for the people who have businesses adjoining this," Read said.

They said they have found the 280-plus spots that will be lost from the Durkee Street Lot but many residents are still concerned, saying parking is essential to downtown life.

"One-way streets, diagonal parking-- that's been tried time and time again in the past and has not worked," Broderick said. "I feel like what Prime Development is proposing, what the city is asking them to do doesn't fit in what's currently downtown."