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Supporting a Downtown Revitalization

Nothing enlivens a city more than the presence of its community members and visitors. Downtown housing, commercial, food, retail, education and entertainment venues are positioned to greatly benefit from the influx of more than 3,500 MVHS employees and medical staff at the new integrated health campus.

GUEST VIEW: Community Foundation will step up and lead

Utica Observer-Dispatch, August 20, 2017

After decades of decline and uncertainty, our region’s long-awaited economic revival has begun. The evidence can be found across Oneida and Herkimer counties, especially in Downtown Utica’s recent and continuing revitalization, summarized in the O-D’s August 13 editorial, “Downtown destination.”

As the community foundation for Herkimer and Oneida counties, our mission is to build our area’s collective wealth, holding it in trust for future generations, and investing it to support not-for-profit projects and initiatives that make people’s lives better. Although we are a private organization, we uphold a kind of public trust, on behalf of our many donors, to engage and advocate in our community; to encourage dialogue between and among community partners; and to provide leadership, when appropriate, on issues that demand it.

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A downtown hospital helps support the ongoing efforts to revitalize downtown Utica, and support the exciting energy at Baggs Square, Harbor Point and Varick Street.

The downtown location also aligns with state initiatives and goals, such as the New York State Empire Development Corporation. It is a unique opportunity to provide access to a stateoftheart healthcare facility, while also spurring economic development and playing a pivotal role in enhancing the downtown revitalization efforts.

In addition, the development of the new health campus will have a number of positive impacts on the surrounding area, including:

  • Existing infrastructure upgrades (water, sewer, gas and electric) that will provide for future development.
  • Linking existing and planned bike and pedestrian routes throughout downtown and the Harbor Point District via the health campus.
  • Future healthcare and development opportunities to anticipate needs in education, research and applied sciences.
  • An improved transportation network, including easy access from multiple directions.
  • Parking co-utilization for the health campus, the Utica Memorial Auditorium, central business district and adjacent businesses based on the time of day. Hospitals may have a high demand for parking during the weekday but lower demand in evenings and weekends when public events are most often held.