HUDSON–The city learned this week that it had won a state government contest and will receive $10 million for development of its waterfront. Hudson is one of only 10 cities in the state that will receive that level of funding.
Hudson was also the first of the cities statewide to be identified as winning the Downtown Redevelopment Initiative. The announcement was made by Governor Andrew Cuomo at a noontime event Tuesday, August 1 at the newly renovated and renamed Henry Hudson Hall on the second floor of the Hudson Opera House. About 200 people attended, many of them Hudson or county officials.
The application for the funding was a joint effort by the Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) in partnership with the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) and included public meetings and planning sessions to gather ideas for what projects might be funded.
Hudson Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton (D), who joined Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-106th) and the governor on the stage, said that the city plans to spend $300,000 of the funding for a “planning process” for what is being called the Bridge District. The area identified as the target of funding, according to HDC documents prepared before the application was completed, stretches westward from Second Street to the waterfront. The area also covers a spur on the south side of the city that includes the large warehouse formerly used by the Kaz manufacturing company.
Sheena Salvino, executive director of HDC, said after the announcement that information on the list of projects under consideration for funding would be available later this week.
The governor’s office did not specify the reason for the governor’s visit when contacting members of the press and others a day ahead of the Hudson Hall event. But any doubts about the reason for the governor’s trip diminished when the guests saw the governor’s podium topped by a sign for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Even so, the governor held back the news, taking time to crack a few jokes and praise the 104 applications the for the funding received by the DRI this year. But when he did get around to saying, “You are a first place winner!” he received one of several standing ovations during his visit. The event lasted less than an hour.
CEDC President and CEO F. Michael Tucker released a statement after the event praising the governor for introducing the DRI program, adding, “CEDC is proud to have partnered with the Hudson Development Corporation, and so many other partners and stakeholders, in developing Hudson’s DRI plan, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to continue partnering on implementing the proposed projects.”
Assemblymember Barrett’s office issued a release saying in part, “This process will transform Hudson into a vital, sustainable and inclusive 21st century economy–a model for the region and the state.”
Among the many significant structures in the downtown area defined are the Basilica performance space and the Amtrak station.
“We’ve been given a great gift today,” Mayor Hamilton said.