City schedules next public session on downtown initiative

Published Dec 12, 2017 at 4:00pm

The city’s next public information meeting on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at the REACH center, 209 W. Dominick St. The meeting will cover aspects of the city’s projects to be funded at least in part through the state’s $10 million grant.

The city and project consultant Bergmann Associates will hold the meeting to build on the first public engagement, which was held on Dec. 5.

The meeting will include a brief presentation featuring information on the proposed priority and pipeline projects.

Following the presentation will be an interactive workshop to encourage public input that will be used to help prioritize the projects. 

There will be two more Local Planning Committee meetings held on Jan. 16 and Feb. 20 at the same time and location, which are also open to the public.

A final workshop will be held in February. In addition to the public meetings, the public is invited to visit the DRI storefront also located at 209 W. Dominick St. on the third Tuesday of every month from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

An online survey and comment form, project updates and connected planning project documents can be found at

The projects are proposed for the next three years. They are:

  • Liberty-George Parking Garage transformation (2019), demolition of the parking structure and, in collaboration with a private developer, construction of mixed income apartments and public parking. Cost: $14 million, about $2.1 million of which would be from DRI.
  • Capitol Theatre (2019). The theater’s Master Plan includes enclosing an access corridor to reconnect the three structures, fitting out of a black box theater and a backstage access management plan to enhance meeting and event space. Cost: $8.7 million, of which $2.5 million would likely come from DRI.
  • City Green and City Hall Enhancement (2018). Cost: $3 million, of which $1.6 million in DRI money is earmarked.
  • Liberty-James Parking Garage upgrades (2018). Installation of automated access and pay station to accommodate 24-hour access and façade improvements. Cost: $250,000, $200,000 of which would be from DRI.
  • West Dominick Infill Development site work (2018). Engineering and archaeological field work to facilitate infill development of mixed use development with Erie Boulevard-level parking. The target area includes three main underutilized lots. Cost: $250,000, $200,000 of which would be from DRI.
  • City Center Apartments. The privately-owned building on the south side of the 200 block of West Dominick Street known for its massive mural would be the site of upper floor apartment units and a first floor meeting space. Cost: $2.5 million. The amount of DRI funds that would go to this project has yet to be estimated.
  • Arts-based Innovation Hot Spot at the REACH Center (2018). Cost: $500,000, $200,000 of which would be from DRI.
  • Streetscape improvements and trail connectivity at Erie Boulevard and James Street and at Erie and George Street (2018-19). Crosswalks, traffic calming, gateway features, trail connections, signals to increase commerce across Erie Boulevard and connect downtown more effectively to underserved residential neighborhoods. Cost: $400,000, $100,000 of which would be from DRI.
  • Centro hub (2019-20). Centro has already moved out of the Liberty-George parking garage to the train station, and there will be more work for the new headquarters. Cost: $2 million, with about $500,000 coming from DRI.
  • Zion Church historic preservation and community center (2018-19). Rome Main Street Alliance is partnering with the church to develop the vestry building and former school into a centralized service hub for non-profits with a focus on community outreach and interface. Cost: $1 million, with about $300,000 coming from DRI.

The project committee includes: Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo, Second Ward Councilor John B. Mortise, Third Ward Councilor Kimberly A. Rogers, Sixth Ward Councilor Riccardo D. Dursi, Police Chief Kevin C. Beach, Centro Chief Executive Officer Richard Lee, Fort Stanwix Superintendent Frank Barrows, Historical Society Executive Director Megan Postol, Rome Main Streets Alliance Executive Director Michael Brown, Capitol Executive Director Art Pierce, Diane Shoemaker of the REACH Center, The Foundation Development & Community Investment Coordinator Morgan Mielnicki, Jim DiBella of DiBella’s Fancy Fruits and Matt Varughese, developer for Old City Hall.