AMSTERDAM — Residents are being asked to provide feedback on 11 redevelopment projects proposed in Amsterdam’s latest land and water use plans.
“It will really help us figure out if the identified projects are valuable to residents, if we missed anything and gauge if we’re on the right track,” said Amanda Bearcroft, director of Amsterdam’s Community and Economic Development Department, on Friday.
The proposed projects can be viewed online anytime or in-person at mobile engagement booths that will be set up at several sites over the coming days. Residents can provide feedback on the plans through an online survey or in writing.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible and to be conscious of people’s time to give us feedback we need,” Bearcroft said. “Not everyone can attend standard night meetings.”
The redevelopment projects were conceptualized during the drafting of the city’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) plan outlining priorities for areas surrounding the Mohawk River and Chuctanunda Creek.
The city received a $50,000 grant from the state Department of State to develop the LWRP plan and hired the Laberge Group last year to lead the process. Initial work focused on inventorying and analyzing sites throughout the city.
Public input sessions were held earlier this year to identify priority sites and inform potential projects. The final plan will be used to guide growth and development around the city’s waterways.
The 11 projects proposed for inclusion in the plan would reestablish access to the city’s waterways, enable new programs, activate unused areas, redevelop industrial sites and promote economic development.
Among the projects is the proposed redevelopment of the long abandoned strip mall between Forest Avenue and 4th Avenue at the Five Corners intersection. The development would combine commercial and retail uses across eight buildings of varying sizes.
Restaurants, a small grocery store and a pharmacy are suggested for the site to appeal to neighborhood residents and beyond. Streetscape improvements are also proposed that would convert the confusing and dangerous Five Corners intersection into a roundabout.
Steps are already being taken to try to clean up the long vacant property, Bearcroft noted. Montgomery County used a portion of a $300,000 federal grant to complete environmental assessments at the site and the city is seeking a $2 million state grant to demolish the abandoned strip mall.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into looking at that site in particular and what that will look like,” Bearcroft said of the proposal.
Nearby another project proposes to convert the site of a former paper mill at 58-62 Forest Ave. into a mixed-use development with three buildings featuring residential and commercial spaces. New residents would support establishing businesses at that site and the Five Corners.
The project would also extend the Chuctanunda Creek Trail between Flat Rock Park and the Five Corners property. Two new crossings would be established over the dam at Flat Rock Park and from Forest Avenue to Milton Avenue.
Another project proposes the former Department of Public Works at 2 Park Drive at the eastern entrance to the city be redeveloped into a mid-size commercial site. The nearby intersection of Main Street and Route 5 would be redesigned to improve safety and aesthetics.
Pedestrian access would also be established connecting the site to the state Department of Environmental Conservation boat launch and fishing area on Quist Road.
The city plans to begin pursuing all of the outlined projects once the LWRP plan is finalized next year, according to Bearcroft. Some of the projects could be undertaken by the city alone, while others would require partnerships with private developers to advance.
“We need to have all of these things outlined in a plan to even propose moving forward with anything,” Bearcroft said.
The completed plan will be submitted to the state Department of State for final approval, which will make identified projects eligible for grants. Bearcroft said the city will begin applying for project funding next year.
“Anything that is identified we’re going to actively look at how we can make it happen,” Bearcroft said. “We want all of these projects to move forward.”
Outlined projects can be viewed and the public survey completed online at https://forms.gle/1mkPHckpCfQsmYeJA.
Mobile engagement booths where residents can view plans in-person and complete written surveys will be hosted at the following sites during normal business hours:
- Creative Connections Clubhouse at 303 Main St. beginning Monday through Wednesday.
- For students and staff only: Amsterdam High School beginning Thursday through Nov. 22
- Amsterdam Housing Authority at 52 Division St. beginning Nov. 23 through Nov. 24
Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.