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Restore NY grants deliver financial revitalization

PLATTSBURGH A multi-million development at the site of the former North Country Shopping Center and a housing development on the citys north side will each receive shots in the arm through more than $3 million in Restore New York grants. Empire State Development announced Jan. 15 the Town of Plattsburgh and City of Plattsburgh are both recipients in its latest round of grant funding. The towns money has been earmarked for the development project on State Route 9, which will meet the criteria of the grant by creating economic growth and development, said Town Supervisor Bernard C. Bassett. One of the great benefits of this grant money, is that it accelerates the project, said Supervisor Bassett. It isnt always easy for a community to get a site ready. This type of money can enable this project to really get going. The project as first publicly announced last October by Vermont developers Peter W. Edelmann and Yves E. Bradley will consist of the demolition of the existing shopping center building and construction of 600,000-square-feet of commercial buildings on the 70-acre property for use as retail, drug and market store. A state-of-the-art 12-screen cinema, featuring stadium seating is the first building to be constructed, expected to be complete in time for an opening this summer. Supervisor Bassett said the Restore NY funding will facilitate bringing needed infrastructure to the site such as electrical service, water and sewer laterals, paving preparation and curbing in order to create jobs and stimulate the economic growth the project is expected to provide. An extension of the towns water district across the Interstate to Moffitt Road to accommodate the project could ultimately benefit other residents within that area who currently dont have municipal water service. Developing the site will also raise the taxable value of the property, which will ultimately help ease the tax burden for town taxpayers, Supervisor Bassett said. The property was previously considered more of a liability for the town than an asset, said Mr. Bassett. And bringing water that way can be a significant savings to the community. Its investing in the community. In a statement from Governor Eliot L. Spitzer, the governor emphasized the importance of funding for projects across the state like the Plattsburgh development. The $100 million investment in Restore NY funding demonstrates the states commitment to provide a catalyst for meaningful community development projects throughout New York State, said Gov. Spitzer. This years projects represent the tremendous potential in urban communities, which will spur economic activity and allow our neighborhoods to flourish. Creating resonant communities will provide the foundation for New Yorks Innovation Economy for generations to come. The more we can keep local dollars here, the more we can attract the spendable income of our neighbors to the north, Supervisor Bassett said, referring to the recent surge of Canadians crossing the border to do their shopping. Its advantageous for New York State and the community. In the same announcement from Empire State Development, it was stated $796,000 has been secured for the estimated $7.1 million development of Catherine Gardens. The 31-unit affordable housing development will be developed at the site of the former Mount Assumption Institute on North Catherine Street. According to a project description, the project will consist of redevelopment of the 1925 building. The more recent library as well as the older, decaying and obsolete mansion that was used as a dormitory and cafeteria, will be demolished. In their place, three townhouse style buildings, each with four three-bedroom apartments 12 units in all will be built fronting on Brinkerhoff Street. This project, which will be located on the Seton Catholic property in the center city, was a priority of mine since becoming mayor, said Mayor Donald M. Kasprzak. Mayor Kasprzak added he has been fully supportive of the project and is very pleased the property will be utilized in association with the adjoining Senior Citizens Council of Clinton County.

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