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Newark announces plans for $10 million revitalization initiative

by WayneTimes.com
December 19, 2022

Governor Kathy Hochul announced five transformational projects in the Village of Newark as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award. The awards encourage a sense of place where residents and visitors can participate in a range of recreational opportunities, interact with the Erie Canal waterfront, attend local events, and enjoy everyday living.

“We are reinvigorating downtown communities across New York State, creating more accessible and affordable places to live,” Governor Hochul said. “As an Erie County native, I know the impact that funding for these local improvements will have in the Village of Newark, allowing visitors and residents alike to better access recreational opportunities, public spaces, and other amenities.”

With this DRI award, the Village of Newark can leverage the Erie Canal as a vital asset in establishing an active, year-round cultural hub in the Finger Lakes region. Investments in Newark’s downtown repurpose public spaces into vibrant gathering places, provide much needed accommodations and amenities to bolster tourism, offer a diverse mix of housing options to attract new residents, and create a regional recreation and wellness center for all.

The investments are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy and create more opportunities within the Finger Lakes Region. The DRI is led by the Department of State, which provides technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI include:

• Restoring Existing Anchor Buildings

• Creating the Newark Regional Health and Wellness Center - DRI Award: $3,340,000

• Repurpose a large, underutilized site on the Erie Canal into a vibrant center of activity, providing up to 25 new jobs, and a much needed community space for residents. Elements of the project include medical offices, an indoor track and other sports facilities, and a community flex space.

• Repurposing Coventry Commons - DRI Award: $2,000,000

• Convert a 90,000-square foot former manufacturing space into approximately 95 apartments and 5,000-square feet of community space.

• Constructing the Newark Canalside Hotel - DRI Award: $1,985,000

• Construct an approximately 60,000-square foot, 98 room full-service hotel with a banquet and conference center.

• Revitalizing the Canal Port - DRI Award: $1,580,000

• Improve the port with a promenade including an amphitheater, farmers market, kayak/canoe launch, new utilities, and streetscape upgrades.

• Redeveloping the Historic Former Newark Hospital Building - DRI Award $795,000

• Restore the former Newark hospital into mixed-income apartments.

Village of Newark Mayor Jonathan Taylor said, “We are thrilled with today’s announcement of the DRI projects. The State’s funding, combined with the investment of private developers, will generate the largest economic investment in Newark’s history.

These projects will be transformative, catalyzing economic growth not only in the Village, but throughout Wayne County and the entire region. We would like to thank the Governor for her confidence in the Village and for this award which will enable Newark to keep moving forward.”

He added that the Village has been pursuing the community grants for the past five years, since 2017. “It is the most competitive grant they have.” The Village has come close and was a finalist two times before, according to Taylor.

A local program committee worked on the grant for five months and worked with the property owners in developing the projects that included community and regional impacts for the proposals.

“It is pretty involved and pretty intense,” commented the Mayor.

The Village representatives made a half-hour presentation to the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Council that led to the Village attaining the grants.

Assembly member Brian Manktelow said, “I am very pleased to hear of the upcoming projects announced by Governor Hochul for the Village of Newark.

The generous investment from the Downtown Revitalization toward the Erie Canal waterfront and further community resources will be a wonderful addition to local residents and visitors. These funds are important to transform our communities so they continue being accessible and appealing for residents, with walkable downtown features and options for recreational activities, and I look forward to seeing these upgrades take shape.”

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