AMSTERDAM -- State officials are expected to announce Wednesday that the city of Amsterdam is the winner of the third edition of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Council's $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
A source who represents a participant in the contest – the cities of Amsterdam, Gloversville, Utica and Cooperstown were all vying for the prize – told The Daily Gazette Tuesday, on condition of anonymity, that contest participants had been informed that Amsterdam is this year's winner. In the first two years of the contest, the cities of Oneonta and Rome were the winners for the Mohawk Valley.
Amsterdam Mayor Michael Villa issued a news release Tuesday announcing a press conference for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the lobby of City Hall. The news release states the mayor is closing all City Hall offices for business at 3 p.m.; the offices will reopen for business at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
Villa did not respond to questions about the press conference on Tuesday.
Haley Viccaro, director of communications for Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, confirmed that Hochul will be at the press conference in Amsterdam. Viccaro said she could, "neither confirm nor deny" that Amsterdam was the winner of the $10 million contest.
Montgomery County officials, including County Executive Matt Ossenfort and Montgomery County Economic Development Director Ken Rose, did not respond to requests for interviews Wednesday.
Amsterdam's 44-page Downtown Revitalization Initiative plan includes many proposed projects, including four "anchor" projects:
• North Anchor: The Amsterdam Free Library – This project will create a new "Makerspace," including a 3D printer, a laser cutter and a screen print machine to be utilized as a business incubator and teaching classroom.
• South Anchor: The Chalmers Mill Lofts project features a mixed-use housing development. It will have four stories of workforce and middle-income housing close to nearby job centers. It will include a boardwalk along the river to link trails in the city and will also include an outdoor community space and market. In addition, it will house a 300-seat event banquet facility.
• East Anchor: The Community and Recreation Center project will be a joint effort between the city, county, and Centro Civico, a community organization that provides cultural resources and services. It will be a complex with multiple buildings and outdoor space for arts, education and recreation. In one building, there will be a computer lab, an art gallery, a shared kitchen and space for a variety of community activities. A separate building will house a full-size track, basketball courts and turf for a multitude of sporting events and activities. The project site is already home to a new playground, outdoor basketball court, skate park and Centro Civico.
• West Anchor: The Multi-Modal Center project will relocate the Amtrak station that is outside the downtown area to establish a multi-modal facility in the center of the city. The project provides space for rail, bus, car-share services, taxis and bicycle facilities, as well as potential for mixed-use retail and office space.
In the application, Villa explained how the city could benefit from the $10 million grant.
"I am fully aware that a single project cannot revitalize a downtown," he wrote. "That is why I am confident and encouraged by the interest, actions and partnerships that continue to form from both public and private-sector investments with the future of our city in mind."