It’s being called the Downtown Utica Vision Plan. Global architecture firm NBBJ has been contracted to help prepare a new vision for Downtown Utica. The Community Foundation’s President and CEO Alicia Dicks explains how the plan is going to be implemented.
"The Vision Plan is really capitalizing on all of the growth that’s already happening, and looking to implement further growth in an organized and meaningful way for the future, and this is really the start of a 10 to 20 year plan."
The plan will take into consideration things like bike paths, sidewalks, road construction, as well as future development. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente believes it will change the entire feel of Downtown Utica.
"The visioning of it is how are we tying these together in a much more cohesive way, but also so that when you come on to Downtown on a Saturday it’s not the ghost town that it has been."
Utica Mayor Robert Plamieri sees the importance of the plan and can’t wait to see some action.
"For the first time in a long time you’re looking for places to park. That’s something that we have to look at. These are all venues to make it a little bit more accessible for people to park, know where to park, how to park, and do a better job of marketing that."
The Vision Plan is already underway. Alicia Dicks tells us organizers are currently working on competing for a State Grant much like the one recently awarded to the City of Rome.
"One of the primary action plans is to support the City’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative application for a $10 million project on Genesee Street."
The Downtown Utica Vision Plan does focus much of the attention north of Oneida Square, but it is designed to tie in little gems like the Utica Zoo throughout the entire region.
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