Change is coming to the Mohawk Valley in the form of revitalizing downtown Utica.
On Thursday, the Community Foundation of Oneida and Herkimer Counties announced a connectivity game plan for the future.
This unofficial game plan is focused embracing the downtown Utica area from Bagg’s Square and the Bleecker Street corridor on the east, to the Brewery District on the west; from Harbor Point on the north to Oneida Square and the arts district to the south.
“This vision plan is how do we take all this fantastic growth in downtown Utica and canalize it for the future,” said Alicia Dicks, CEO of the Community Foundation. “And you can't do that with these little nodes of growth that don't speak to each other to make a very walkable cohesive experience."
The Community Foundation, in partnership with the City of Utica, Oneida County, Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, Mohawk Valley EDGE and the Genesis Group are currently all the figures contributing to the urban design plan for the downtown area.
Oneida County Executive, Anthony Picente also onboard with the plan, knowing there is still much hard work ahead.
“It's going to take some work but some real out of the box thinking,” said Picente. “This downtown has to be strong enough and has to be able to push it out into the suburbs of Oneida County."
Utica’s Mayor Robert Palmieri echoing the same.
“There are so many good things that we are looking at in our downtown corridor which is the heart of the city of Utica,” said Palmieri.
Global architecture firm NBBJ is spearheading the urban design plans.