By Jack Krivit ’21
As part of a Downtown Revitalization Initiative in the Finger Lakes region, Downtown Geneva was awarded a grant of $10 million dollars in 2016. Currently, the area represents over 200 firms and nearly 1,500 jobs in the central business district alone, already making it a center of major employment. This grant will allow Geneva to transform its historic downtown into a lively destination, offering various retail, dining, cultural and entertainment opportunities to an expanding workforce and members of the three local colleges.
According to Mayor Ron Alcock of Geneva, recommendations for projects was a collaborative effort from a committee of local business owners, residents and public officials. “14 recommended projects were sent to Governor Cuomo for review and acceptance. All recommended projects that were accepted and approved by the governor have the potential to greatly enhance our lakefront and downtown,” says Alcock, “making Geneva ‘The’ destination in the Finger Lakes Area.”
The award has already allowed the City to fast track some already approved projects, including the Marina project, which entails the development of a 100-slip public (non-commercial) marina north of the existing Long Pier, and save the taxpayers of Geneva some money as well.
Some of the several other enhancements to Downtown Geneva will include the revitalization of the Smith Opera House, the design, construction and installation of a downtown gateway sign, lighting, seating, formalized paths and a more viable connection to Seneca Lake, and a 5-point intersection with a raised table.
A major investor and the largest employer in Geneva, Hobart and William Smith Colleges serve as anchor institutions for the revitalization of the town. The entrepreneurial studies program of HWS is a core partner in the city’s Food and Beverage Innovation District concept, and has devoted investment in the Geneva Entrepreneurs Lab.