MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – In their continued effort to revitalize the economy in Mount Vernon, city officials have outlined a three-pronged economic development plan that would help redevelop the area.
The city has identified three locations –- downtown, Mount Vernon west and South Fourth Avenue –- as focus areas for revitalization and have detailed a plan for each location.
Initiatives have been detailed for each location, with the city prepared to offer retailers incentive packages to bring their business to Mount Vernon.
The city is hopeful that this strategy can be as effective as their 2003 Sandford Boulevard development plan, which created more than 1,000 jobs and is currently a crowded commercial corridor.
Sam Peterson, a longtime resident, said that he hoped the city’s commitment to economic development would attract more retailers to come to Mount Vernon.
“We’re located in the middle of everything, whether it’s Connecticut or the city, we need to become a destination for people, whether they’re coming to live or to shop,” he said. “We need to keep bringing in the chains and attract some real big business.”
The Mount Vernon Downtown Revitalization Initiative seeks to create a “24-hour environment where residents and visitors can enjoy entertainment, historic and architecturally significant locations in a walkable environment,” according to the Department of Planning and Community Development. There would be several aesthetic improvements in the area and would be centered around the train station.
The density of retailers surrounding the train station would increase, and the initiative would unify the Gramatan Avenue and Fourth Avenue shopping districts. The city is presently working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on developing the 28 acres around the train station.
City officials also plan to make the city more resident-friendly with the Mount Vernon West Rezoning Initiative. The proposal would include more high density, mixed-use buildings and a “restaurant row” along West Street.
South Fourth Avenue, which was once a thriving commercial district, is now a blighted area that is a black eye for the community. The Mount Vernon Third Street and Fourth Avenue Renewal Initiative would include the development of several high-rise, mixed-use structures, a public parking garage and intergenerational, affordable housing units.
The city has also proposed several eco-friendly and cost efficient improvements to public infrastructure. These include solar powered trash receptacles, street paving and energy friendly streetlights.
“Something has to be done, this used to be a great place to live, and sometimes it doesn’t feel that way anymore,” Seventh Avenue resident Ann Jenkins, 44, said. “We need to get some new blood and business in town.”
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