Thursday, August 9, 2012

Money Well Spent?

Redeveloping decaying waterfronts is a good idea, as many municipalities with decaying waterfronts (Poughkeepsie, Beacon) are beginning to discover. A nice waterfront -- with shops, restaurants, and touristy things -- is a good way to attract visitors who come and spend money.

But I can't help but wonder if the City of Kingston isn't going to be throwing state money away on the promenade which will be part of the Hudson Landing development:
The Common Council has voted to increase by $400,000 the size of a state grant being sought by the city to help fund the construction of a promenade along the Hudson River.

The council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to increase the grant request from $2.5 million to $2.9 million. (Aldermen Nate Horowitz, R-Ward 3, and Bill Carey, D-Ward 5, were absent.)

The promenade would be about a mile long and would sit along the edge of the riverfront property where AVR Acquisition Corp. of Yonkers plans to build a housing development called Hudson Landing.

The developer has agreed to match the $2.9 million.
The site location, which is somewhat far from the Rondout, means that it's unlikely people will see it as an attraction. And with only a couple of small commercial zones, shopping isn't likely to be a big draw.

The way I see it, the promenade will be of benefit almost solely to those people who purchase a property there. And if these folks want a promenade, more power to them. What I don't understand is why I should have to pay for something that is likely to be a net loss when it comes to tax revenue, and will generate essentially no meaningful commercial activity (after the initial real estate rush).

Am I missing something here? Someone please set me straight if so.

UPDATE: Take a look at this interactive map of the project.

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