New York Construction Report staff writer
The City of Utica is investing about $2.5 million in Harbor Point to make the area more accessible.
Funding for upgrades will come from the American Rescue Plan Act and feature both aesthetic and infrastructure improvements. Those improvements include:
- A floating dock system for recreational boating (kayaks, canoes, etc.)
- Railings along the walkways adjacent to the water to make waterside accessible
- Permeable pavers and walkway improvements
- Pedestrian connections to surrounding trails
- several pavilions and shade structures
- enhancement of green spaces to include trees, lawns and bushes
Approval comes after decades of planning, environmental remediation and investment to restore Utica’s historic waterfront. It follows a host of improvements that have already been announced and/or completed.
A consultant team led by Elan Planning, Design & Landscape Architecture, PLLC was hired in 2013 and has been working with the City of Utica and the Utica Harbor Point Local Development Corporation to complete the Harbor Point waterfront plan.
Officials have been executing on that plan ever since. More than $15 million in investments have been made to date including building a road and entranceway, expanding sewer and water lines, demolition of dilapidated buildings and rebuilding the bulkheads and seawalls at the edge of the water.
Last fall the city and Mohawk Valley Gardens (MVG) announced plans to bring a new state-of-the-art restaurant, banquet facility and regional event center at the historic 1933 Building and the adjacent lot. Other recent investments include:
- construction of a Starbucks
- $2 million federal investment in a walking bridge connecting the Harbor to the Adirondack Bank Center and adjacent properties
- $18 million federal funds to improve the “gateway” corridor of North Genesee St.
Utica’s Harbor Point includes more than 100 acres of waterfront land around the City’s historic harbor, between the Mohawk River and Erie Canal.
“Harbor Point will be a destination that will transform the future of the City of Utica. With these investments, people will live, work, visit and play at Harbor Point,” said Mayor Palmieri. “For decades, the bright future of the Harbor has been talked about, but now it’s the present and not the future that is bright.
“Visions Hotels has been an incredible partner in the rebirth of this area and the City of Utica. It’s taken a lot of time, energy and work – but Harbor Point is taking shape and we should all be thrilled.”