NYPA Press Release

NYS Canal Corporation and Madison County Announce RFQ for Development of Transformative "Pocket Neighborhood" Along the Old Erie Canal


Media Contact: Shane Mahar – 518-433-6734 – shane.mahar@nypa.gov

County Awarded $1.5M in 2018 as Winner of the Reimagine the Canals Competition

ALBANY, NY — The New York State Canal Corporation has released a joint Request for Qualifications with Madison County, seeking a developer to help implement a transformative “Pocket Neighborhood” project along the Old Erie Canal in Canastota, 30 miles east of Syracuse in Central New York. Madison County’s vision to build a unique pocket neighborhood that incorporates a blend of housing, mixed-use commercial space, and recreational opportunities was originally selected in October 2018 as a winner of the Reimagine the Canals competition. This project will further the ongoing revitalization of a community along the Old Erie Canal through the construction of a small residential neighborhood that leverages shared spaces and the Empire State Trail as a focal point for outdoor recreation and 21st century living.

“At a time when communities across New York State are seeking innovative ways to spur their economies and promote growth, this project offers us the opportunity to once again make the Old Erie Canal a force for prosperity and development,” said Brian U. Stratton, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation. “The ‘Pocket Neighborhood’ proposal perfectly captures the spirit of the Reimagine the Canals initiative, from preserving the heritage of the Canal to promoting its long-term sustainability, and we are excited to find a partner that can help bring this vision to life for Madison County.”

“Our county has a long and proud history of leveraging the canal as an economic engine, and the pocket neighborhood project will serve as the first of many new approaches to using this storied piece of New York’s history and infrastructure to support our local communities,” said Jamie Kowalczk, Assistant Director, Madison County Planning Department. “The Canal offers our communities a tremendous and unique blend of opportunities for outdoor recreation and quality-of-life amenities, and giving more New Yorkers the chance to share in those benefits in innovative new developments will serve as a model for other canalside cities to follow.”

The “Pocket Neighborhood” project will redevelop 2.5 acres of land in Canastota, located steps from the amenities of downtown and with 252 feet of Old Erie Canal frontage. The project envisions a blend of housing, mixed-use and recreational space, centered around a common area that connects seamlessly with the unique amenities along the Old Erie Canal. This initial development is designed to inspire similar projects in other communities along the canal corridor, stabilizing populations and driving economic activity in attractive canalside municipalities.

Madison County’s proposal was the first-place winner of the Reimagine the Canals competition in 2018 and will receive $1.5 million in state funding to support the redevelopment of the Canastota site. County officials completed all necessary environmental assessments and site reviews, and created renderings, concepts, and site layout designs, along with critical research that will assist the selected developer in the construction of the project. Interested developers may find the RFQ here, and all Qualifications will be due by July 21, 2020. To learn more about this project, visit: https://www.canalsidecanastota.com/rfq.


About the New York State Canal Corporation

New York’s Canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities.

The New York State Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the New York Power Authority.

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