Return home

Main Street projects include improvements to City Hall, Griffo Green

Nicole A. Hawley
Staff writer
email / twitter
Posted 12/23/22

A project aimed to make Erie Boulevard West more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and renovations to City Hall and Griffo Green, are just a few city projects on deck for 2023.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Main Street projects include improvements to City Hall, Griffo Green

Posted

ROME — A project aimed to make Erie Boulevard West more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and renovations to City Hall and Griffo Green, are just a few city projects on deck for 2023.

Main Street city projects

Main Street city projects include renovations to City Hall on North Washington Street, and demolition of the Liberty-James Parking Garage, with a new surface lot built to replace it, with about 135 parking spaces and green space, as well as improvements to Griffo Green.

It’s to the crucial point where something must be done — so is the status of the city’s Liberty-James Parking Garage, engineers told city officials back in May.

Architect Steven Kushner, of Bergmann Architects, Engineers, Planners of Rochester, outlined four options for the city to take when it comes to the future of the downtown garage, built during the city’s urban renewal efforts in the 1970s and is now showing significant wear from its 50-plus years of existence. Among Kushner’s development options: rehabilitation, replacement, removal or a partial build.

But whatever was to be chosen, Kushner told city officials and members of the Common Council at the time that they must act soon, considering the dangerous and deteriorated conditions of the garage.

“Legislation to approve covering supplement costs with ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) for demolition of the garage and renovations at City Hall was authorized several months ago, so we will move forward with the designs, and detailed demolition designs for the garage,” said city Deputy Director of Community & Economic Development Matthew Andrews. “An RFP (Request For Proposal) was submitted for a public parking lot to replace the garage. It was reviewed and Plumley Engineering PC (of Baldwinsville) got the contract for the project.”

He said, “Advanced project plans for the (200-space) parking lot site” are being worked on, “and there will be public engagement sessions throughout the winter time to get us to point so we have a preferred alternative for that site. Bidding will also be held subsequent to the garage being demolished, which is scheduled for spring 2023.”

Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo said the demolition of the former Fort Stanwix Garage down the block, coupled with the future demolition of the Liberty-James Garage, returning areas to surface parking lots to end downtown’s “super blocks,” would allow both areas to be “open and more welcoming to tourists and people who want to do business, or visit a restaurant downtown.”

Proposed City Hall renovations include a 3,441 square-foot addition to the current building, as well as a new entrance-way and community room, with $1.28 million in DRI funding being used toward the project, in addition to ARPA funding. Other sources of funding to include ARPA monies and bonding, would amount to $3.5 million. The total project is estimated at approximately $4.69 million.

Andrews said the goal is to get the City Hall project “out to bid in the first quarter of 2023,” and accepting bids “sometime in February.”

He said, “Construction would be 12 months and run through 2023.”

Mayor Izzo said City Hall and the whole green area will be major projects to get underway next year.

“City Hall is desperately in need of repair after almost 50 years, with the addition of a community room, which will be good for the entire community,” she said. “The room will be open and accessible for community-type meetings and doesn’t require people coming into the building. It’s more functional than the Council Chambers, which is theater-style and difficult to work in, where you may want a space to have plans laid out on tables.”

Griffo Green, “will look very different and be a much more friendly look, like the front yard for Copper City Lofts, which is opening next year and coming along very well,” Izzo added.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here