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Ogdensburg waterfront development targets three areas

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OGDENSBURG — The city is “a complete city,” “a gem of the area.”

That was the assessment of Michael B. Taylor, president of the Connecticut-based Vita Nuova consulting firm, as he laid out his plan Thursday to redevelop the city’s waterfront at two meetings at the Dobisky Center.

Vita Nuova is advising the city on a Brownfields Opportunity Area study that proposes residential and commercial development of a 330-acre section of St. Lawrence River shoreline over the next 10 to 15 years.

With the right combination of grants and private funding, and regulatory and environmental approval, Mr. Taylor said, it can be done.

“There is a significant market around you,” he said.

The three waterfront sites and their conceptual, proposed uses include:

n Former Diamond International/Shade Roller property: Assisted living, rental and condominium housing.

n The Marina District: Boat sales and repair businesses, restaurants and a boat launch by the Richard G. Lockwood Center.

n Former Augsbury Oil Co. tank farm, Riverside Avenue: Detached housing, restaurants, small retail shops and waterfront park.

Response to the plan was positive, with other ideas thrown in.

“I would like to see a walking space along the river,” said Martha Valley, 709 Elizabeth St.

John F. Hocking is an Ottawa resident who summers in Ogdensburg at 1848 Ford St. He is partial to the Augsbury site proposal.

“It’s selfish, but we’re more interested in the part that’s closest to us,” Mr. Hocking said. “To us, it makes the city more central.”

Terry W. Ryan, 6501 Route 37, likes the Diamond International/Shade Roller property for its deep river frontage.

“You can make it a place where larger boats, tour boats, can come in,” he said.

The entire Vita Nuova report can be viewed online at www.ogdensburgwaterfront.com.

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