Revitalizing Downtown Utica

Jan 16, 2012 Read more: WUTR 41

For one group of people, Monday night was all about starting to brainstorm ideas to bring back Downtown Utica at the first Downtown Utica Development Association Meeting.

Read more
Washington

Utica, NY

#21 Apr 18, 2012
Downtown could be revitalized if Uticans changed their negative and pessimistic way of thinking. If more people would be willing to spend money shopping, eating, and living downtown, it could make a comeback. No fairy angel is going to come down from heaven and poof! If we want change, we need to MAKE IT HAPPEN OURSELVES. I, for one, would be excited to spend my time downtown if others were willing to take a chance on it as well.
Sam

Tully, NY

#22 Apr 18, 2012
Utica is a lost cause. Its too late. The opportunity to save it was lost in the 1980's. Its not going to get any better, better run while you still can.

Level 1

Since: Dec 07

Manlius, NY

#23 Apr 19, 2012
Washington wrote:
Downtown could be revitalized if Uticans changed their negative and pessimistic way of thinking. If more people would be willing to spend money shopping, eating, and living downtown, it could make a comeback. No fairy angel is going to come down from heaven and poof! If we want change, we need to MAKE IT HAPPEN OURSELVES. I, for one, would be excited to spend my time downtown if others were willing to take a chance on it as well.
I totally agree - We CAN do it ourselves.
Nagib Obala

Brooklyn, NY

#25 Apr 19, 2012
SML wrote:
I live in downtown utica. I moved here from NYC. This city has so much potential. It's sad to hear locals bash their own city. If more people came down for a saturday night, suppoted local business while having a great time, this city woiluld be the go-to spot.
Why did you move to UTICA? Better paid benefits, or your babies daddy is in OCJ, or both?
Frank

Auburn, NY

#27 Apr 19, 2012
For over forty years now, people have been talking about revitalizing Utica. Forty years is half a lifetime. How much more time and talk will it be before anything good happens here? My feeling is nothing good will happen because there has been so much talk and so many missed opportunities in the past, that I find it impossible to have faith that anything positive will happen in this lifetime or the next. In order to effect change here, we have to get an influx of new leadership from other places that do not have the myopic perspectives of Uticans. I don't see that happening given the fact that Utica is a depressed area with few economic opportunities.
kick kirby

Utica, NY

#28 Apr 19, 2012
well i know one economic boon that would cause an influx of people and money to Utica. hydrofracking. i say, get the oil & gas companies in here and we'll be seeing the green.
Da Law

Ilion, NY

#29 Apr 19, 2012
Washington wrote:
Downtown could be revitalized if Uticans changed their negative and pessimistic way of thinking.
No, that's exactly what we don't need to do.

The biggest boondoggles in the long history of "revitalizing downtown" wouldn't have happened if people had been *more* skeptical of pie in the sky promises. Look at the Boston Store debacle(s). Between 1985 and today over $20 million in public funds was spent trying to "revitalize" that building. Every penny was wasted, but the Friends and Family Plan made out like bandits.

How about the Utica Film Company? That was going to put Utica on the map, yesirreee. After spending close to a million dollars it quietly shut down and close to a quarter of a million dollars of state of the art video gear, lighting, editing bays, and audio equipment just...vanished.

How about the City Center? It actually was a great idea to take an empty building and offer businesses rent there for just a dollar. Sadly, within two months of the rents being jacked up to "market rates" every single business that was there was in the process of declaring bankruptcy or moving out. Mind you, the exorbitant rents didn't seem to take into account that a significant percentage of the commercial space downtown is empty and gathering dust.
If more people would be willing to spend money shopping, eating, and living downtown, it could make a comeback.
If people were willing to do all that downtown would have never gone into decline. Going downtown is a hassle. There's the perennial lack of parking, traffic lights that could make a saint curse God, and population of the homeless, addicted, and mentally ill that's downright scary.

While our suburban shopping centers have their own issues, primarily because of poor traffic design, they're a lot more pleasant than the gauntlet downtown.

And then there's Amazon. No crowds, no traffic, open 24/7, no smelly guys asking me for a dollar, and even with next day shipping charges I still pay less than I would walking into a brick and mortar store.

You want me to go downtown? Then make my trip worthwhile. Until then you're just engaged in wankery.
Asking

Boston, MA

#30 Apr 19, 2012
Through the years we've been treated to a variety of things that were held out as the saviour of downtown. Many have been mentioned and most have a common thread running through them. Public funding and/or tax incentives.The Boston Store (131 Boston Place), Hotel Utica, The City Center....

Do you remember the hoopla about the Stanley Theater? How it would be a gateway to a downtown turnaround? Oneida County pitched in over a million taxpayer dollars. The plan was to renovate and expand the backstage area to attract bigger and better shows. Bigger and better shows would attract more people. More people meant more demand for more things to do downtown.

Now here's what really happened. All of the money went to making the performers and employees more comfortable. Bigger and better shows cost more money. The number of available seats didn't change so that led to higher ticket prices. The parking situation wasn't addressed so people who found that troublesome (especially parking down behind Bank of America in the winter) still had the same problem post renovation. This was sold as the saviour of downtown when in reality it was a design that benefited a very small group of people the least of whom was the consumer. It wasn't long after the renovation that 257 closed and Rite Aid moved out. Downtown can't even hold a Rite Aid. That says something right there.

How about Utica National? If you drive down Columbia Street and look through the windows you'll see that entire side is vacant. What happened there? Were there tax incentives that ran out?
1987 calling

Rome, NY

#31 Apr 19, 2012
Washington wrote:
Downtown could be revitalized if Uticans changed their negative and pessimistic way of thinking. If more people would be willing to spend money shopping, eating, and living downtown, it could make a comeback. No fairy angel is going to come down from heaven and poof! If we want change, we need to MAKE IT HAPPEN OURSELVES. I, for one, would be excited to spend my time downtown if others were willing to take a chance on it as well.
Wrong. "Changing your negative and pessimistic ways" won't suddenly make all your leaders intelligent. It won't stop your so-called public servants from engorging their pensions until you can't pay your taxes or keep jobs. It won't stop the smalltime nobodys that embarass your town by hounding any real tidbit of fame and blowing minor success into international worldwide smash superior success or they insult you.

The only way to revitalize your life and area is to stop mincing words and telling things like they are. Start identifying the total bullshit when you see it and stop the bullshitters in their tracks and embarass them for it. Tell it like it is. If you see someone fkng up then GO TO THEM and get in their face over it. GET INVOLVED not just on topix either.

You can wish for your dreams all you want but you'll end up standing next to apile of shit in the middle of nowhere if you wait around too long or waste your effort and time hoping happy thought with your head stuck in the sand.
1988 wants to add

Rome, NY

#32 Apr 19, 2012
Basically what you have here is a bunch of people born into an enabling culture who have subconsciously given up any standards, and find it more worthwhile to hide their heads in the sand, deny any problems exist, and attack anyone who cracks their delicate precious "not my fault" "I'm the best there is" world-view.

The results speak loudly for themselves. All around. Keep digging that hole mole.

Level 2

Since: Apr 12

Location hidden

#33 Apr 19, 2012
I say you start with a controlled burn.
Rocco

Auburn, NY

#34 Apr 19, 2012
How can we revitalize downtown Utica? I say we start with a bulldozer or two. Tear down any delapidated, vacant building and turn Utica into a suburb of New Hartford. We can save the Stanley and all the other nice buildings, but all the rest need to go. With all the added parking, the next thing would be to build a shopping mall and some modern apartment complexes. We don't need a downtown, we need a place with businesses and shopping and houses, a place for people to live and work.
Drama

Bowling Green, KY

#35 Apr 19, 2012
Oh my god wrote:
Only thing that could help downtown other then Ed Hanna being resurrected is an atomic bomb!
I must admit downtown looked good when that guy was mayor.
Da Vill Age

Los Angeles, CA

#36 Apr 21, 2012
The problem with City Center was that the city was running it. In all my life I will never figure out why city landscapers put ferilizer and mulch around r fake trees in there. Hanna put his political flyers all over the place and scared people out. When APAC realized that their employees were going to the new place for lunch or dinner, they cut the break times in half and opened their own cafeteria. Plus, the city refused to put in any electric meters and just charged every tenant $3500 in rent per month, for 300 square feet. The city screwed the folks there were trying to make a decent go of it, just like they did with everything else that's left in this shathole. The problem with the city is its politics and the folks that move up from downstate. Always has been and always will be.
Skyline

Oneonta, NY

#37 Apr 21, 2012
I love the downtown Utica skyline. So,beautiful. I love the old buildings to,such a contrast to boring box stores. Downtown will come back I would bet on it.
Phil

Tully, NY

#38 Apr 21, 2012
Skyline wrote:
I love the downtown Utica skyline. So,beautiful. I love the old buildings to,such a contrast to boring box stores. Downtown will come back I would bet on it.
What skyline? All I see is the Kennedy Square hi-rise projects and that round gold dome thing. There isn't much to see.

Since: May 14

Clifton Park, NY

#40 May 25, 2014
knowledge is power wrote:
Do any of these people plan on investing in downtown? Or are they trying to minapulate more money into the hands of certain people. I got no problems if only private money is used. No gov't money should be invested so a few could make a profit.
The community will make the investment when necessary so supply meets demands. We don't need the gov't creating another false demand.
Ding ding ding.

Since: May 14

Clifton Park, NY

#41 May 25, 2014
Frank wrote:
For over forty years now, people have been talking about revitalizing Utica. Forty years is half a lifetime. How much more time and talk will it be before anything good happens here? My feeling is nothing good will happen because there has been so much talk and so many missed opportunities in the past, that I find it impossible to have faith that anything positive will happen in this lifetime or the next. In order to effect change here, we have to get an influx of new leadership from other places that do not have the myopic perspectives of Uticans. I don't see that happening given the fact that Utica is a depressed area with few economic opportunities.
Ding ding ding. Another winning response.
Vin

Utica, NY

#42 May 25, 2014
Asking wrote:
Through the years we've been treated to a variety of things that were held out as the saviour of downtown. Many have been mentioned and most have a common thread running through them. Public funding and/or tax incentives.The Boston Store (131 Boston Place), Hotel Utica, The City Center....
Do you remember the hoopla about the Stanley Theater? How it would be a gateway to a downtown turnaround? Oneida County pitched in over a million taxpayer dollars. The plan was to renovate and expand the backstage area to attract bigger and better shows. Bigger and better shows would attract more people. More people meant more demand for more things to do downtown.
Now here's what really happened. All of the money went to making the performers and employees more comfortable. Bigger and better shows cost more money. The number of available seats didn't change so that led to higher ticket prices. The parking situation wasn't addressed so people who found that troublesome (especially parking down behind Bank of America in the winter) still had the same problem post renovation. This was sold as the saviour of downtown when in reality it was a design that benefited a very small group of people the least of whom was the consumer. It wasn't long after the renovation that 257 closed and Rite Aid moved out. Downtown can't even hold a Rite Aid. That says something right there.
How about Utica National? If you drive down Columbia Street and look through the windows you'll see that entire side is vacant. What happened there? Were there tax incentives that ran out?
How about the old YMCA run a corrupt dirtbag and company. Send in codes or shut that dump down. I found a cockroach in my coffee

Since: May 14

Clifton Park, NY

#43 May 25, 2014
Vin wrote:
<quoted text>
How about the old YMCA run a corrupt dirtbag and company. Send in codes or shut that dump down. I found a cockroach in my coffee
A cockroach? Be thankful. That's protein.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Utica Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Judge Julia Brouillette in Family Court (Nov '12) 7 min oriskany st abuse 48
Staff works - Utica, New Hartford 50 min Florida 2
Infinity MMA 52 min Certain Words No Fly 23
Sad Utica Cant Keep SEARS wants a "Super Nano P... 1 hr How depressing 30
What Song Are You Listening To Right Now? (Sep '11) 1 hr KY WELLER 422
TVL Baseball 2 hr UFan 5
Durr Resigns 2 hr annemae 3
Utica Comets Website Gone 3 hr Utica info here 22
Utica getting world wide attention (Jul '12) 3 hr Thanks 32
How Much Does H & R Block charge To Do Your Taxes (Jan '09) Apr 15 duh 623
More from around the web

Utica People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]