City of Rensselaer submits Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant application

The City of Rensselaer is reinventing itself as a bustling waterfront, multi-modal, and sustainable “Rensselaer Transit Village Downtown”

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (June 7, 2018) — The City of Rensselaer submitted its application for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant program. The DRI program will invest $100 million into 10 additional downtown neighborhoods across New York State. Rensselaer hopes to be selected in order to further existing trends of new development and investment by utilizing the funding to invest in downtown Rensselaer and waterfront areas.

The area poised for development consists of a significant swath of both private and city-owned Hudson Riverfront; several privately-owned vacant and underutilized properties now being considered for cleanup and new mixed uses, and the Broadway Corridor running north-south in the middle of the target area, anchoring proud working class neighborhoods to the east along with the Train Station, and providing opportunities for retail development to connect with our revitalizing riverfront.

Rensselaer is already at the center of an employment triangle, bound by major companies and institutions in or around the city including Regeneron, the University at Albany’s Health Sciences Campus, AMRI, and the RPI Technology Park.

“The city is investing in itself, and we are seeing a high rate of private investment as a direct result of improvements we are making. We have the train station right here, and lots of people pass through our city. We want to make downtown Rensselaer not a place people pass through, but a destination for recreation. With the DRI grant that we hope to receive, we will continue our investment and take advantage of our city’s prime waterfront location,” said Rensselaer Mayor Daniel J. Dwyer.

“Rensselaer’s location is ideal for development. It has easy access to 787, the Hudson River, and close proximity to other cities in the Capital Region. This riverfront development will breathe new life into the city. Rensselaer has an abundance of historical legacy and city pride, and we hope to continue to make this an ideal place to live, work, and raise a family. Opportunities for recreation like the waterfront development are a perfect way to do just that,” said Charles Moore, director of planning and building for the City of Rensselaer.

“Receiving this DRI grant would ensure that Rensselaer has the means to continue investing and improving itself as a city. Both private and public projects have already created jobs and boosted the local economy, and this is just the beginning,” said Rich Mooney, president of the Rensselaer Common Council.

With the city’s population projected to grow 20 percent in ten years, these improvements will bring vibrancy to the City of Rensselaer. The waterfront as a geographic location offers a scenic atmosphere for recreation, dining, and more. Waterfront recreation is within walking distance of affordable single and multi-family neighborhoods, new housing developments are being constructed for families, retirees, and professionals, a growing jobs base is present on both sides of the Hudson, and a mixed-use “Main Street” corridor is developing along Broadway. The city hopes that by securing this grant, it will spur private investment into the waterfront and surrounding area. This investment will bring new residents and businesses, move more goods and services throughout the Capital Region, and bring visitors and employers to our resurgent Rensselaer.

Rensselaer is seeing many private projects adjacent to and within the designated DRI area. There is the DeLaet’s Landing proposal, which includes a diverse mix of residential, commercial/high-tech office and retail uses on a vacant industrial parcel next to the River. The Kiliaen’s landing project, which will include $60M mixed-use waterfront, is estimated to create up to 450 permanent new jobs. The Belltop apartments, Casale apartments, Falls Edge apartments, and the Stoneleigh apartments are all bringing millions of dollars in residential development and investment in and around the DRI area. These private projects are creating jobs and boosting the local economy to ensure that Rensselaer continues to thrive.

Supporting these private projects are many public projects engineered by the city to make Rensselaer a more accessible and enjoyable place to live. The Albany-Rensselaer train station expansion is currently underway and will significantly increase ridership and bring more visitors to downtown Rensselaer. The city has invested $50 million in improving infrastructure, especially improvements to Broadway including all new water, sewers, gas, sidewalks, pedestrian lighting and a vehicle and pedestrian bridge over the rail lines. There are several other projects underway and up for review that will improve the city.

To learn more about Rensselaer’s DRI plan, visit rensselaerny.gov.

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About the City of Rensselaer

Situated on the Banks of the Hudson, the City of Rensselaer is a small city with a rich history and a wide potential for future growth. With direct access to locations like New York City, Boston, and Montreal, the city is at a crossroads of industry and innovation. Its proximity to the Hudson River Waterfront and breathtaking views of Albany lends itself to an experience that combines metropolitan living with a close-knit sense of community. The 9,400 residents in Rensselaer are increasing every day, with the population growing 21 percent from 2000 to 2010. Rensselaer has cemented its historical legacy as one of the Capital Region’s most important centers of trade and commerce for over 375 years, beginning as a railroad town and transitioning into a modern, professional, and accessible Transit Village. RensselaerNY.gov.

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