Massena to use state millions to fix buildings, create “riverwalk”

Downtown Massena file photo.
Downtown Massena file photo.(WWNY)
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 12:46 PM EST
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MASSENA, New York (WWNY) - We know more today about how the village of Massena will spend $10 million it’s getting from the state.

The money will go to fix up several buildings, create a “riverwalk,” and improve the village’s streets.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the projects in a press release. Massena was awarded the $10 million a year ago.

More than $3.6 million will be spent on a riverwalk and kayak launch. Much of the money, $1.9 million, will go into turning the former Massena School of Business into the entrance to the riverwalk.

(A riverwalk is what it sounds like - a walkway along the banks of a river, in this case, the Grasse. They can be popular tourist attractions.)

The second biggest project, $2.9 million - will go toward improving the streets, “including street lighting, sidewalks, street trees, under-bridge lighting, pedestrian connections, and benches,” according to the press release.

Then there are the building repairs and renovations.

More than $1.6 million will go to the JJ Newberry building, to “repair an historic building: incorporate apartments, flexible retail space, and office space, as well as a rooftop deck, and replace the existing façade.”

More than $600,000 will go to 37 Water Street to “renovate an abandoned building for light manufacturing and regional commercial sales of ice cream, yogurt, and cheeses, as well as a retail creamery store front and second floor apartments.”

There is also money to renovate 94-96 Main Street, and 48 Main Street.

“The anticipated public and private investments from the DRI (state money) will transform the downtown neighborhood into a vibrant center that offers a high quality of life and acts as a magnet for redevelopment, business, job creation, and economic and housing diversity.,” Massena mayor Gregory Paquin said in a statement.

“This is a process that will not happen overnight, and I ask for the patience of the Greater Massena Community.”