Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of a $26.2 million mixed-income, mixed-use housing development in downtown Oswego. Harbor View Square features 75 apartments and over 10,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space. The development replaced an underutilized city-owned Brownfield site located at the convergence of the Oswego River and Lake Ontario. Harbor View Square connects Oswego's downtown to its waterfront and is a priority project of the city of Oswego's Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
"My administration is confronting the housing crisis head on through the creation of high-quality affordable housing developments that improve the lives of residents and lead to more vibrant communities," Governor Hochul said. "This $26 million mixed-use development will enhance quality of life for the entire community, build a stronger economic future for Oswego, and help the City reach its full potential as a spectacular waterfront community."
"Harbor View Square will provide struggling New Yorkers with a place to call home in downtown Oswego," said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. "As one of New York's DRI projects, this mixed-use affordable housing development will help connect the Oswego community to it waterfront and improve downtown by giving new life to a previously underutilized property."
Harbor View Square complements Governor Hochul's statewide plan to make housing more affordable, equitable, and stable. In the 2022-23 State Budget, the Governor successfully secured a new $25 billion, five-year, comprehensive housing plan that will increase housing supply by creating or preserving 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.
Encompassing an entire city block, Harbor View Square consists of a five-story building with 57 apartments and 18 two-story townhomes. Forty-eight apartments are affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income. Eighteen apartments are affordable to households earning up to 90 percent of the AMI. Nine apartments are rented at the market rate. Within the development, there are 11 fully accessible, fully adapted apartments for individuals with a physical disability or traumatic brain injury.
Residential amenities include a fitness center, rooftop terrace, resident lounge, bike room, and conference room. Harbor View Square is within walking distance of Lake Ontario's shorefront, downtown attractions, retail, and restaurants.
The development's location at 68 West First Street is the former home of Flexo Wire, a nationwide wire manufacturer and distributor. The long-vacant property underwent remediation and cleanup under New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program prior to construction. The developer for this project is Housing Visions.
State financing for Harbor View Square included federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $8.5 million in equity and $9.8 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The site was successfully remediated through the Department of Environmental Conservation's Brownfield Cleanup Program which is expected to result in $4.7 million in tax credits upon the project's completion. The development was awarded $1.5 million from Empire State Development's Restore NY program and the Department of State awarded $740,000 from Oswego's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, with the award administered by HCR. Additional financing was provided by the Leviticus Fund.
The City of Oswego was awarded $10 million in 2016 through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, a statewide strategy to boost local economies and create vibrant urban centers where people want to live and work. Harbor View Square addresses several goals identified in Oswego's DRI plan, including creating new residential opportunities and strengthening the vibrancy of downtown, and connecting downtown Oswego to its waterfront. To build on the success of the DRI statewide, earlier today Governor Hochul announced $100 million in funding for NY Forward, a new program aimed at rejuvenating smaller and rural communities, and Round 6 of the DRI.
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Harbor View Square is a truly transformative development for Oswego's growing and increasingly lively downtown. By replacing a long-vacant manufacturing site with 75 new homes and retail space, we are creating new opportunities for residents to enjoy all that Oswego has to offer. Downtown Oswego's upward trajectory relies on smart developments like this one that provide quality homes and make the city a more diverse, affordable, and beautiful place to live."
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "Oswego's commitment to providing new and attractive housing opportunities in an equitable and affordable way is on full display with this transformative Downtown Revitalization Initiative project. Harbor View Square replaces a blighted, formerly contaminated industrial building with a vibrant new mixed-income and mixed-use development just a stone's throw from the city's cherished waterfront. With the completion of this and several other projects, the Oswego DRI has created a scenic, compact and walkable downtown to serve people of all incomes and backgrounds."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight, said, "Through the Governor's Downtown Revitalization and Restore NY initiatives, downtowns are truly becoming the thriving, connected hubs and hearts of their communities. Transforming this once blighted brownfield into the beautiful Harbor View Square mixed-use facility will move Oswego closer to its vision of a walkable downtown where people want to live, work and play."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Basil Seggos said, "New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program continues to be one of the tools DEC uses to advance redevelopment of abandoned properties in communities across the state. This development at Harbor View Square, is a powerful example in how underutilized dormant properties can be returned to the community, benefitting local economies and the environment at the same time. I commend everyone involved in making this project a success."
Ben Lockwood, President and CEO of Housing Visions, said, "Housing Visions is pleased to partner with the Oswego Community and New York State. Harbor View Square returned a polluted, underutilized parcel on Lake Ontario into productive use with high quality, mixed-income, mixed-use housing. We are proud to be part of Oswego's successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative and look forward to the continued growth and success of the community to serve all people."
State Senator Patty Ritchie said, "I am pleased to see the completion of the Harbor View Square project, an important effort that has helped take an underutilized site in the city of Oswego and transform it into a place where people will live, as well as visit to shop in new commercial space. In addition, as a Downtown Revitalization Initiative project, it will help continue the renaissance of Oswego's downtown, and strengthen the link between that area and the beautiful Lake Ontario waterfront. I am excited to witness the difference the new Harbor View Square will make in the city and thank the state for its investment in this project."
Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said, "Thanks to its prime location and top-tier amenities, the completion of Harbor View Square will be a tremendous boon for both the City of Oswego and its residents. The project was truly a collaborative effort blending federal and state funding with the vision and expertise of local officials and stakeholders. I look forward to watching this innovative, mixed-use development grow and thrive just blocks from the stunning Lake Ontario waterfront."
Oswego Mayor William J. Barlow said, "I applaud Housing Visions on completing and opening the new Harbor View Square property. It was a pleasure working with Housing Visions as this project was a key component to our downtown revitalization work by developing an underutilized brownfield site and introducing high quality and affordable housing units to the Oswego market. The community is extremely proud of the final product and we are proud to have included Harbor View Square in our portfolio of new, downtown developments."
Accelerating CNY Rising
Today's announcement complements "CNY Rising," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Now, the region is accelerating CNY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.
About Downtown Revitalization Initiative
The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), led by the Department of State, represents an unprecedented and innovative "plan-then-act" strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation. This approach results in vibrant, compact, walkable and diverse downtowns that are a key ingredient to helping New York State rebuild its economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to achieving the State's bold climate goals by promoting the use of public transit and reducing dependence on private vehicles. The DRI also supports the State's Health Across All Policies/Age-Friendly NY initiative by creating walkable/bikable communities, developing more opportunities for outside recreation and expanding access to fresh, local, nutritious food.
Since its inception in 2016, the DRI has committed $600 million to projects in 59 downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, economic opportunity and housing diversity. Participating communities are nominated by the state's 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown's potential for transformation. Each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community's vision for revitalization and leverage additional private and public investments. More information on the DRI is available here.