Earlier this year, City of Poughkeepsie officials
approved Innovation District zoning for downtown, creating a more streamlined
process to get projects approved.
Last week, the city’s plan was recognized at the
Westchester County Association/Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp’s 3rd
Annual Real Estate Summit in Tarrytown.
The city won
the award for “Best Practice in Zoning,” and it was accepted by Mayor Rob
Rolison, Planning Director Natalie Quinn and Community Development Coordinator
Paul Hesse. More than 300 real estate and planning professionals attended the
May 14 event held at the Westchester Marriott Hotel.
grateful for the honor,” said Mayor Rolison. “Getting the district approved
took years of community planning, public outreach and studies to get it right,
and we believe we did. The Common Council also should be recognized for
approving the plan.”
The innovation district has created four designated
zones — the “historic core,” the “civic corridor,” the “urban village” and the
“creative edge.” They are contained within the arterials, spread over several
blocks, from Market Street to Hamilton Street going west to east, and Mill
Street to Church Street going north to south.
The district is designed to attract new development
and enhance walking spaces. It is one of the biggest reworkings to the core
area since the city reopened a pivotal portion of Main Street to traffic nearly
20 years ago.
In partnership with
Pace University’s Land Use Law Center, the Westchester County Association and
Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. have been working on a “Redevelopment
Policy Playbook” since 2017. This is aimed at helping communities streamline
and improve their planning, zoning and approval processes and to serve as an
ongoing resource. This partnership views the city’s Poughkeepsie Innovation
District as a “prime example” of best practices and will include information
about in that Playbook.
The City of Poughkeepsie has launched a community development plan with a goal of improving the business climate spreading over several blocks within the City’s downtown area, including its historic Main Street. As part of the City’s ongoing revitalization efforts, the Poughkeepsie Innovation District and associated rezoning focuses on a narrow geographic area in order to increase its potential for success.
With the Poughkeepsie Innovation District
addressing a significant portion of the area’s core commercial district,
Rhinebeck Bank has officially announced their support of this initiative by establishing a $3,000,000 Loan Fund. Rhinebeck Bank will
provide business loans through their commercial express loan product, as well
as other financing for equipment, vehicle purchases, leasehold improvements,
and commercial real estate transactions under preferred pricing structures and
terms to the prospective borrowers.
Bank will waive bank fees for these loans and provide a below market rate for
the loans, generally at .75% above a treasury rate index, resulting in a 5 year
fixed rate at approximately 3.25% based on current rates.
This is not Rhinebeck Bank’s first time
supporting community development plans. In 2016, the Bank established a
$3,000,000 loan fund for the Newburgh Creative Neighborhood initiative, closing
or committing $2,500,000 in business loans to date for the area. The Bank has
also partnered with the City of Poughkeepsie to attract and encourage
involvement from businesses and residents in its downtown area as a founding
sponsor of “First Fridays,” a popular and growing initiative.
Michael J. Quinn, President & CEO of Rhinebeck Bank said:
“improving cities in the Hudson Valley cannot be left to government
alone. Rhinebeck Bank is proud to collaborate with the City and all of its
stakeholders at such an exciting time in the City’s history. Our intent is to
be one part of the effort to restore vibrancy and support smart growth in the City’s
downtown core. Funding is a major factor in community growth and we’re proud to
provide a key source for future business expansion in the city. If you’re a
business in the Poughkeepsie Innovation District and need funding, please call
us to explore possible financing opportunities.
Our loan officers are available to provide advice and expertise to help
applicants put together their loan application and supporting documentation
necessary to be considered for approval under this program.”
over 158 years, Rhinebeck Bank has been an integral part of the area’s economic
growth and a driving force for commerce along the Hudson River. Rhinebeck Bank
takes pride in being personally involved in local businesses, communities and
charitable organizations. Their ability to be responsive to the needs of their
customers and community has led their continued growth. For more information
about Rhinebeck Bank or any of their products or services, please visit www.RhinebeckBank.com.
At a special meeting called by Mayor Rob Rolison on Monday, the Common Council approved an update to the city’s zoning code to establish the Poughkeepsie Innovation District. The Poughkeepsie Innovation District (PID) aims to transform the core commercial section of the city’s downtown into a vibrant economic center anchored by increased residential population and a creative economy. Monday’s adoption marks the culmination of a multiyear endeavor by the City, which was ably assisted by the Pace Land Use Law Center and Kevin Dwarka Land Use and Economic Consulting, as well as Dutchess County and numerous other stakeholders.
on “place making,” the elimination of vacant property, as well as inclusion and
diversity, the PID policy framework and zoning code update represent a major
step forward towards restoring Poughkeepsie’s downtown as the region’s
preeminent commercial district. The proposed zoning adds flexibility in terms
of uses that are allowed on a property and focuses on how building form can
positively impact the pedestrian environment. This flexibility, along with a
streamlined land use approval process, will make it easier for property owners
to activate their buildings and fill vacant storefronts, ensuring a high
concentration of commercial and cultural activity in a quality urban setting.
Rolison said, “We’re grateful to the Council members that supported the PID. We
continue to see interest and investment in Poughkeepsie’s downtown, and this
new policy and zoning is going to further encourage thoughtful development and vibrancy
in the heart of our city.”
Matt McNamara (D-8th Ward) said, “Carefully designed, smart updates to the
City’s zoning code are a breath of fresh air in the musty library of city
ordinances. This will prove to be an important legislative achievement that has
a very positive impact, both in terms of the revitalization of our downtown
core, and in terms of local job creation. I congratulate our Planning and
Economic Development team for the fine work on this initiative, including all
the public outreach and community interaction that went into making our new
Innovation District a reality.”
Director Natalie Quinn said, “The adoption of the
Poughkeepsie Innovation District zoning ordinance is only one step, albeit a
critical one, towards the realization of a successful, vibrant and inclusive
downtown. Now that the zoning foundation is in place we can begin to
build upon it.”
On September 6th, City of Poughkeepsie planning staff made a presentation to the Common Council regarding the proposed Innovation District policy and zoning. An archived webcast of the presentation is available for viewing here, and the slideshow is available for download here.
Comments and questions regarding the proposed Poughkeepsie Innovation District can be emailed to [email protected]