Earlier this summer, Governor Cuomo traveled to Geneva to announce that the City had won a competition among other Finger Lakes communities for $10 million in state funding to support revitalization efforts in downtown Geneva.
Since the announcement, community members, City staff, State agency representatives, and consultants from around the country have been working to develop an investment plan for the funds that will enhance Geneva as a regional destination and downtown as an economic engine.
The State has developed a website to serve as a resource for stakeholders, with information on the program in general, the City’s application, the Local Planning Committee, and community engagement. The website also has a feedback form for stakeholders to provide comments on potential projects and other aspects of the initiative.
The City has secured a storefront, located at 425 Exchange Street, to engage with residents in a face-to-face format. The storefront held its first hours in late October, and is now open each Tuesday from noon to 7 p.m. through December 13th. It will reopen after the first of the year, with the schedule to be published soon.
Our first community engagement workshop was held in late October, with the goal of meeting with stakeholders in a range of formats. Stakeholder meetings were held, property visits were conducted, and focus groups worked on program elements including economic opportunity, connectivity, private investment, and public realm opportunities. The workshop culminated with a public design meeting, at which residents and other stakeholders were asked to get around the table and mark up maps of downtown with investment opportunities. At the close of the week, the Local Planning Committee heard initial results of all stakeholder feedback.
The next workshop will be held in mid-December to begin refining stakeholder suggestions in an effort to begin drafting an investment plan. In January, we’ll convene again to review the draft plan. Final submission to the Governor is due at the close of February. Final dates, locations, and a workshop schedule will be released soon.
Stay up to date on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative here at 47 Castle Street, and at the State’s website. Get involved and help shape this groundbreaking effort!