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Auburn DRI meeting Dec. 18, 2018

Auburn Local Planning Committee members review Downtown Revitalization Initiative project proposals at a meeting in December. 

At its latest meeting on Tuesday, Auburn's Local Planning Committee reassessed a list of projects seeking funding through the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Although a total of 16 projects were named priorities by the committee, the rest of the projects remain eligible for funding.  

During previous meetings, members of the public and the planning committee took part in an exercise where each participant distributed 10 million in "DRI bucks" to projects they felt were worthy of funding. The results from this activity were announced Tuesday before the committee established a new list of priority projects. In some cases, projects that were not among the highest receivers of "DRI bucks" during the exercise have nonetheless made the committee's narrowed-down list of priority projects.

Although this new list is subject to change, it helped shrink the committee's workload. Before the meeting, 29 projects amounting to a total of $21.8 million were up for consideration. By the end of the meeting, 16 projects amounting to $13 million to $15 million were prioritized. By March, the planning committee will submit a list of projects to the state. In the early summer, the state will then announce $10 million worth of projects that will ultimately move forward.

Here's an overview of each of the 16 recently prioritized project 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 strip mall 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. 


Inside the projects up for Auburn's $10M grant:

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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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