The City of Plattsburgh retained the team of Camoin Associates and The Chazen Companies for assistance in completing a feasibility study for the Durkee Street development area. Durkee Street is located in Plattsburgh’s downtown district and is one of the last publicly owned sites available for development in the city.
Through data analysis and interviews with local and regional officials, business owners and other stakeholders, Camoin found that the Durkee Street site was well positioned to attract development potential. Its location on the Saranac River provides opportunities to interact with the city’s natural resources and historical elements; competitive real estate price points in the city render the location attractive to outside investors; and the site’s connectivity to the rest of Plattsburgh’s urban core is a unique chance to develop a project that provides a strong sense of place. However, the site is not without challenges - maintaining parking for the region’s car centric culture is a concern, while the downtown has to continue to promote itself as “open for business” 7 days a week to draw in local residents and tourists. Camoin’s analysis was crucial for the City to move forward in discussions with potential development partners.
- Stakeholder interviews
- Economic Base Analysis
- Real Estate Analysis
- Community outreach at public events
The Durkee Street site was the focus of the City’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative application submitted in the Summer 2016 – and the future looks bright for the city and for the site, as Plattsburgh was awarded $10 million as the DRI’s North Country winner. The market analysis we completed for the property was submitted as part of the City’s application and showed the review committee that there is latent potential just waiting to be tapped in this market.
May 2017 Update
After an extensive community engagement period and intense vetting of potential projects, Plattsburgh's 10 winning Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) projects were announced in May 2017. Several recommendations from the Camoin/Chazen market analysis made the cut, including:
- The redevelopment of the Durkee Street parking lot into a mixed-use space that offers residential and commercial activity that showcases the historic nature of the city.
- A food incubator, including commercial kitchen equipment, that will draw on the local expertise of the North Country Food Co-Op.
- A shared commercial kitchen space that will support the city's emerging "foodie" culture, and offer a space for professionals to cook, process, and package food or bakery products.
Additional projects include enhancing the riverfront's amenities, improving the downtown's streetscape environment, a complete marketing, branding, and signage strategy, and funds for capital improvements to the historic Strand Center theater with the goal of drawing in an additional 15,000 annual visitors to the venue.