Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI)
About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Public Projects Update
The Village of Saranac Lake was awarded $4.3 million through the DRI to implement seven public projects. The seven projects include the following:
Final construction documents for Berkely Green, William Morris Park, Ward Plumadore Park, Urban Forestry, Riverwalk Extension, Church St. Streetscape, and Woodruff St. East can be viewed here (Google drive folder).
Construction at William Morris Park has begun as of July 5th and will continue through August. The initial excavation work for the foundation and utilities for the bathroom at Berkeley Green will take place starting on July 18th. This initial construction work will close the paking lot adjacent to Berkeley Green (known as Pontiac Parking Lot). The intersection of Main St. and Broadway will start with some light shoulder work to the pedestrian access as part of the creation of a series of linked gateway parks and the Main & Broadway Urban Forestry project. Ward Plumadore Park and the expansion of the Riverwalk will potentially start at the end of summer 2022 or early fall 2022.
Final design for Woodruff St. West is still in progress.
DRI Grant Awards
The specific projects to be funded through the DRI include:
Create a Series of Linked Gateway Parks: Enhance the pedestrian experience and safety with new amenities at Berkeley Green Park, Ward Plumadore Park, and William Morris Park, and complementary streetscape improvements adjacent to each public space. The new network of upgraded corridors and parks will reinforce the northern and central gateways to Saranac Lake and provide accessible and attractive open spaces downtown.
Increase Connectivity between Downtown Destinations: Transform downtown Saranac Lake into a vibrant, walkable community core by increasing connectivity between retail, recreation, and municipal amenities. Four key components are the installation of landscape and safety features on Church Street; redesign of the Dorsey Street parking lot; completion of the Riverwalk; and expansion of the tree canopy along the Broadway and Main retail corridors.
Enhance the Woodruff Street Streetscape: Revamp the Woodruff Street corridor from Broadway to Bloomington Avenue as a walkable destination, facilitating its development as a retail and cultural hub. Improvements will include undergrounding utility lines and installing a two-way bicycle lane, new sidewalks, high-visibility crosswalks, trees, pedestrian-scale lighting, and a complementary decorative feature.
Develop the Saranac Lake Whitewater Park: Develop a whitewater park to bring new aquatic activities to downtown Saranac Lake and build on the Village's status as a recreation destination. The park will be located on village property along the Saranac River north of the Route 3/LaPan Bridge. ($410,616)
Creation of Play ADK: A Children's Museum: Convert a warehouse at 33 Depot Street into a safe, attractive and fascinating children's museum and play center Develop the site of new children's museum/play center into a beautiful park, and improve the warehouse into a safe, attractive and fascinating spatial experience as a giant play-structure which stimulates the imagination and creative spirit of young children and their families. Phase 1 building repairs will include lighting, and safe, convenient access to the warehouse. ($949,378)
Create Saranac Lake's First Downtown Brewery: Expand the Bitters & Bones bar and restaurant to incorporate Saranac Lake's first downtown brewery and beer garden, attracting beer, food, and entertainment enthusiasts and contributing to Saranac Lake's nightlife scene. The project will include the creation of additional space for the brewery functions, a new rooftop deck, facade improvements, and the renovation of two apartments. ($381,500)
Position the Pendragon Theatre as a Cultural and Community Anchor: Transform an underutilized former paint store at 56 Woodruff Street into a state-of-the-art performance facility for the Pendragon Theatre, anchoring the downtown district. This adaptive reuse project will enable the non-profit to accommodate larger audiences, provide opportunities to showcase local art, and serve as the centerpiece of Saranac Lake's vibrant arts community. ($2,500,000)
Rehabilitate the Trudeau Home as the Historic Saranac Lake Museum: Rehabilitate the former home and medical office of Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau, a seminal figure in the development of tuberculosis treatment, to create a multi-use museum campus at State Route 86 to serve as a gateway attraction driving local tourism. The project will create museum space for exhibits, collections storage, a resource room, and arts and cultural events. ($325,000)
Create an Entrepreneurial Business Center (The Carry): Convert an existing commercial space into an entrepreneurial business center, The Carry, to provide emerging businesses with work space, programming, and technical assistance. The Carry will include a flexible and open floor plan, a kitchenette, a conference room, and Wi-Fi access ($400,000)
Establish the Energize Downtown Fund: Establish a fund to provide matching grants for building improvements, site upgrades, commercial buildouts, and rent subsidies at commercial and mixed-use properties in the DRI area. ($600,000)
Strategic Investment Plan
The Vision for downttown Saranac Lake, supported by Goals and Strategies, was developed by the DRI Local Planning Committee (LPC) with public input to guide the Strategic Investment Plan priorities and selection of DRI projects. The Vision captures the community's desire to facilitate the next chapter of Saranac Lake's downtown revitalization journey.
The Local Planning Committee (LPC), with support from municipal staff and input from the public, developed a strategic investment plan that will achieve the vision and goals for revitalization of the downtown. The DRI Strategic Investment Plan will catalyze and build on the momentum for revitalization already underway in the community.
The LPC with input from the community recommended 19 projects for DRI investment within four categories: Public Improvements, New Development and Rehabilitation of Downtown Buildings, Revolving Loan and Grant Fund, and Branding and Marketing. 10 of these projects were selected by the state for DRI funding and the other projects are eligible to pursue funding through other state programs.
Together, these projects will continue the success of this regional downtown destination anchored with cultural and recreational experiences as well as numerous entertainment and restaurant options, supported by creative local entrepreneurs and connected by a network of treelined streets, the Saranac Riverwalk and public spaces that reflect what is unique about downtown Saranac Lake.
For frequently asked questions about the DRI, visit www.ny.gov/dri.
Berkeley Green Park will be closed for work on underground water and sewer for the new public restroom to be located in the adjacent parking lot. Work may start as early as Monday the 22nd, with Tuesday the 23rd and that Wednesday the 24th as potential alternative start dates. The park is anticipated to be closed through the end of business on Friday the 26th.
The Pontiac Parking Lot (lot next to Berkeley Green) is closed for two months as of July 18th. This is due to excavation work for the foundation of the public restroom facility.
Landscaping work at William Morris Park has begun as of July 5th.
Results of the public input collected at the open house event and from the online survey are availble here.
Design & Engineering for the public projects funded through the DRI is now in progress. Click here for an overview of the process.
DRI Awards (grant funded projects)
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