Projects Announced For $10M Downtown Revitalization

Projects Announced For $10M Downtown Revitalization

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Fourteen projects made the cut to share the $10 million awarded to improve Watertown's downtown. 

The projects that will be funded under what's called the Downtown Revitalization Initiative or DRI were announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday afternoon.

The largest amounts were $2.2 million for a performing arts center at the Masonic Temple, $1.5 million to make Franklin, Court, and Coffeen streets better for pedestrian traffic, $1.2 million to restore the facades of the Commerce, Lamon, and Solar buildings on Franklin Street, and $1.2 million to create a TechSpace for Jefferson Community College.

A statement from the governor notes that JCC also received $4 million from the State University of New York to use for the TechSpace.

One of the other notable projects funded was improvements to the Paddock Arcade. A total of $558,000 was allocated -- $435,000 for improvements to the public space and $123,000 to create apartments on the upper floors.

"The Paddock Arcade has been a cornerstone of downtown for a long, long time and I think the state and local people in the process understand that it's a 167 years old and there are a lot of improvements that need to made," said Don Coon, who's managing partner for 200 Washington Street Associates, which owns the arcade.

Notable proposals not on the list include a parking garage behind Key Bank, an aquatic center for the YMCA, and additional protection for the Roswell P. Flower statue in the middle of Washington Street.

Here's a brief rundown of other projects sharing the $10 million.

- $825,000 to create a co-working innovation center in the Lincoln Building.

- $506,000 for modernizing the Jefferson Historical Society museum.

- $375,000 to improve the Strauss Memorial Walkway between Public Square and the J.B. Wise parking lot.

- $55,000 to improve the park surrounding the Public Square fountain.

- $600,000 for a fund for grants and revolving loans for small downtown businesses.

- $320,000 for signs and branding for downtown.

- $155,000 for coordinated public art installations.

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