Harbor Point project enters next phase

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UTICA — The Utica Harbor Point project is now ready to enter its next phase of development to help usher in the transformation of the city.

Upon the project’s completion, Utica Harbor Point will become a tourist destination and community hub with a promenade, local restaurants, an amphitheater, sports and recreation fields, commercial and residential buildings and space for parking.

In order to make that vision a reality, the city had to acquire ownership of the historic 1933 Building from the New York State Canal Corporation, which officials said was a major step in the future development of the Utica Harbor. With the ownership now in hand, the Utica Harbor Point Development Corporation can now begin preliminary discussions with interested developers.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton said the Harbor Point project will continue the legacy of the Erie Canal and transform the city.

“For nearly 200 years the Erie Canal has been an economic driver throughout the Mohawk Valley, and the Utica Harbor has connected the city of Utica to this historic waterway for generations,” Stratton said.

“Today’s final transfer of the 1933 Building is part of the city’s dynamic vision to transform the harbor into a waterfront destination that will let residents and visitors alike experience the very best Utica has to offer. It’s just one more example of how America’s most iconic waterway, the Erie Canal, continues to support our canal side communities as it nears its third century of operation,” he added.

Demolition of two structures at the canal site is set to begin on Monday while the 1933 Building will be preserved — and eventually renovated — for multipurpose commercial use.

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri noted the project has been a long time coming and that it will soon help stimulate the local economy.

“Today is a day that a lot of people have said it’ll never happen; Utica is Utica, we talked about it, we heard it,” Palmieri said. “Shovels will be in the ground, demolition will be taking over and this will be an attraction not just for Utica but this will be a destination for the greater Utica area.”

Palmieri also said that there will be further announcements and updates on the harbor in the near future.

For more information, visit: uticaharborpoint.org

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