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Posted by arnine on Thu May 13 18:13:27 2010From my FB MNR News feed:
MTA Metro-North Railroad: Metro-North and the City of Poughkeepsie Look Forward to Planning Transit-Oriented Development at the Train StationMTA Metro-North Railroad's Notes.
Metro-North and the City of Poughkeepsie Look Forward to Planning Transit-Oriented Development at the Train StationShare. Today at 4:32pm
An agreement was signed today (May 13, 2010) by the President of the MTA Metro-North Railroad and the Mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie to move forward in exploring the future development in and around the Poughkeepsie train station.
Metro-North President Howard Permut and Mayor John Tkazyik signed a "memorandum of understanding" (MOU) to explore "smart growth" in the area around the train station with the potential of recreational, residential, and commercial benefits for city residents.
"Over the years, we've had a successful partnership with the City with one goal in mind: to improve the lives, livelihood, economics and rail access for the people of Poughkeepsie," Permut said. "The award-winning parking structure, completed in 2001, literally built on the historical beauty of the city of Poughkeepsie, but also brought easier and better access to the train station and the efficient and environmentally positive transportation our Metro-North trains provide."
"The Poughkeepsie Train Station has been an integral part of the development of the waterfront area over the last century here in the Queen City of the Hudson River Valley. With the support of Dutchess County, Metro-North, the MTA, and waterfront property owners, we will be developing a long-term blueprint for future expansion into the next century," said Mayor John C. Tkazyik.
"We have been working in partnership with the City of Poughkeepsie and Metro-North for many years on a visionary plan for the Poughkeepsie waterfront," said Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus. "We have seen many successes, such as the arrival of the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum, the redevelopment of historic warehouses and manufacturing buildings into retail, housing and offices. Today we are pleased to see the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Plan move forward to bring even more success to this wonderful waterfront area."
MTA Board Member Jim Sedore, representing Dutchess County, said, "This framework agreement will ensure that the Hudson River waterfront and the station environs will grow in a way that will benefit the city of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County as a whole by taking advantage of Metro-North's fine service, the great transportation resource that makes this place so special." Sedore is the long-time chairman of the Metro-North Committee of the MTA Board.
This initiative lays the ground work for the future of the train station, which was designed by the architects of Grand Central Terminal, and its immediate area. The idea is to develop easier and better access to the trains and the riverfront, to add recreational opportunities, to help create business and economic engines, as well as create diverse and attractive residences.
Funds for the first part of this study, an economic analysis expected to begin this summer, are being provided by the New York Department of State through a "Smart Growth" grant. Later in the year, following completion of the economic analysis, Metro-North and the City will develop a conceptual plan for the station area. From there, the city and Metro-North will develop a conceptual plan and then hold public meetings to garner input, suggestions, and ideas.
Initial ideas for developing the station area—commonly called a Transit-Oriented Development, or "TOD" for short—germinated in a meeting with members of the community. These "stakeholders" consisted of residents, business owners, and local government officials who shared their interests, ideas, experiences, and history of what best serves the city of Poughkeepsie—its citizens, business owners, and visitors.
In conjunction with this agreement the Railroad has made enormous capital renovation investments in the station building and is working aggressively to plan and spark an interest in retail and restaurant uses for the soon to be pristine interior of the station.
"The difficult economy that we all face right now is an important motivating factor in our mutual desire to create more and better business opportunities, to build attractive residences, and to provide greater access to the beauty of and recreational possibilities of the Hudson waterfront—something that's free and available to all," Permut said.