Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI)
About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Since being named the Round 3 DRI winner in 2018, a committee comprised of community leaders developed strategies and identified priority projects that will transform the downtown. Those strategies emphasize urban design, connectivity, prosperity, livability and destination development.
Ten transformational projects for downtown Saranac Lake were announced by Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul in July of 2019. These strategic investments in Downtown Saranac Lake will augment the village’s strengths: proximity to the Adirondack Mountains and recreation attractions, a vibrant arts and culture community, and a mix of small businesses in its walkable downtown. The specific projects to be funded through the DRI include:
Creation of a series of linked gateway parks that 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.
Increasing connectivity between downtown destinations through the installation of landscape and safety features on Church Street and expansion of the tree canopy along the Broadway and Main Street retail corridors.
Revamping the Woodruff Street corridor from Broadway to Bloomingdale Avenue as a walkable destination, facilitating its development as a retail and cultural hub. Improvements will include undergrounding utility lines and installing a bicycle lane, new sidewalks, high-visibility crosswalks, trees, pedestrian-scale lighting, and a complementary decorative feature.
Development of a whitewater park to bring new aquatic activities to downtown Saranac Lake and build on the village’s status as a recreation destination.
Creation of Play ADK: A Children’s Museum by converting a warehouse at 33 Depot Street into a safe, attractive and fascinating children’s museum and play center to stimulate the imagination and creative spirit of young children and their families.
Creation of Saranac Lake’s first downtown brewery by expanding the Bitters and Bones bar and restaurant to incorporate a brewery and beer garden.
Transformation of 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.
Rehabilitation of the former home and medical office of Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau to create a multi-use museum campus.
Creation of an entrepreneurial business center (The Carry) to provide emerging businesses with work space, programming, and technical assistance.
Establishment of the Energize Downtown Fund to provide matching grants for building improvements, site upgrades, commercial buildouts, and rent subsidies at commercial and mixed-use properties within downtown.
Strategic Investment Plan
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.
A variety of state partners are assisting the Village in this DRI effort including the Governor’s Office, Empire State Development, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, the Department of State, the Department of Labor, and other state agencies as appropriate.
For frequently asked questions about the DRI, visit www.ny.gov/dri.
The Village has started Design & Engineering for the public projects funded through the DRI. Click here for an overview of the process.
DRI Awards were announced by Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul in July 2019. See the Awards Booklet for project descriptions.
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