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Auburn Local Planning Committee

The Auburn Local Planning Committee listens to downtown project summaries during Tuesday's meeting. The committee has now identified 18 projects that could receive funding from the state. 

AUBURN — After some difficult decision-making, the Auburn Local Planning Committee narrowed its list of downtown-area projects seeking funds through the state-led Downtown Revitalization Initiative. 

By the end of Tuesday's meeting, the LPC identified 18 prioritized projects to be considered for DRI funding. The total costs for projects now sits at just over $13.5 million.

Before Tuesday, all project proposals were categorized into three lists: prioritized projects, pipeline projects and the "parking lot." Prioritized projects have been identified by the LPC as ones that will be suggested to the state. Although they're locally prioritized, some of them might not make Albany's final cut. 

Pipeline projects are ideas that have been labeled as important for Auburn, but in the eyes of the LPC, DRI funding wasn't feasible. Nonetheless, pipeline projects are still put on the state's radar in case extra funding comes about. 

The LPC's parking lot was a list of projects that hadn't been determined as priorities or pipelines yet. After Tuesday, two of the seven parking lot projects were granted prioritized status. The other five were named pipelines, eliminating the parking lot.  

The formerly parked projects, Health Central's proposal to provide health services for women and a proposal to rehabilitate building space at 22 E. Genesee St., will join the rest of the 16 prioritized projects. 

Here's an overview of those other prioritized proposals. 

West End Arts Campus

This project calls for site improvements to the Schweinfurth Art Center and Cayuga Museum properties to create a unified campus that would serve as a west end gateway to downtown. 

Health care in our community

The Metcalf Plaza building, home of East Hill Family Medical, would undergo renovations to create a mixed-use facility serving downtown residents. The project would include facade improvements, first-floor retail, an updated clinical space, a fitness center and 13 new residential units.

Shared public services building

This city-backed project would redevelop a shopping plaza near the corner of Nelson and Seminary streets to house Auburn's fire department, an emergency operations center and an emergency management office.

East Hill Park Neighborhood

This project proposes to redevelop vacant lots to create six new apartment houses grouped around shared outdoor spaces between Fulton and John streets.

State Street Event Plaza

Under this proposal, the former Kalet's department store lot would be converted into a public plaza along the State Street Creative Corridor.

Nick's Ride 4 Friends

Property at 13 Chapel St. would be redeveloped to provide peer-based recovery services, an after-school program and a National Fatherhood Initiative program.

Museum building repair

Of the four projects the Seward House Museum submitted, this project to rehabilitate the museum's carriage house and barn was named the organization's top priority.

Cayuga Culinary Center

Would involve renovating the Plaza of the Arts to create a commercial teaching kitchen, cafe and classrooms for Cayuga Community College's new culinary arts program and community events.

Sun Cafe and performance space at Auburn Public Theater

This project calls for interior and exterior site improvements, creating a performance space, a black box theater, an Auburn Music Hall of Fame, a new Sun Café, new signage and streetscape improvements at the downtown theater.

Small project grant fund

Under this proposal, a grant fund would be available to small-scale projects with a combined positive impact on Auburn's downtown.

Downtown Business Improvement District public art

Murals and sculptures would be designed and installed downtown to create the "Avenue of the Arts."

Willard Chapel rehabilitation

Interior restoration and site improvements to better accessibility and public space at the Willard Memorial Chapel.

99 Genesee St. 

This project would renovate an existing building to create a first-floor retail candy shop and three residential units on upper floors.

2 South St. (Phoenix Building)

Facade improvements and repairs to the building's cornice and window frames are called through this proposal. 

55 Market St. 

This proposal, the only one to offer affordable housing, would restore a building at this address to provide apartment units.

Play Space public art

Public art, interactive sculptures and lighting improvements would be installed to bring the playfulness of ABC Cayuga's Play Space outdoors. 

Next on the LPC's schedule is the fourth DRI public workshop, to be held at the Auburn Hilton Garden Inn. There, the Auburn community will get one more chance to give feedback on prioritized projects. 

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Staff writer Dan Orzechowski can be reached at (315) 282-2239 or dan.orzechowski@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @OrzechowskiDan.

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