Schenectady’s Orchard Park redevelopment project breaks ground

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Ground has been broken on Orchard Park, a $1.3 million redevelopment project in Schenectady’s Mont Pleasant neighborhood. This is said to mark a major milestone for revitalization efforts along Crane Street.

“We are proud to break ground today on the highly anticipated redevelopment of Orchard Park,”
Mayor Gary McCarthy said. “This investment has been a years-long effort that will provide
the community with a vastly improved gathering space and neighborhood resource for
individuals and families to enjoy.”

The City of Schenectady, Schenectady County, the Capital Region Land Bank, and community leaders are collaborating for the redevelopment project, adding .85 acres of additional green space to the neighborhood through the demolition of six vacant and abandoned City-owned buildings surrounding the parkland.

“The Legislature created the Schenectady County Parks & Greenspace Initiative to support
projects that improve recreational opportunities and enhance our community,” said Schenectady
County Legislator Richard Patierne. “This project will drastically improve Orchard Park, making it an even better place for kids and families to enjoy. We are proud to partner with the City of Schenectady and the Capital Region Land Bank to transform these blighted spaces into a large and more welcoming community park.”

Officials say the City and the Capital Region Land Bank invested a combined $572,254 to demolish 1035 and 1039 Second Avenue, as well as 702, 706, 710, and 720 Crane Street. The demolitions reportedly expanded the park while creating new entranceways to improve access, visibility, and public safety as recommended by the neighborhood in the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

“The Land Bank is proud to partner with the City and the County on this comprehensive
revitalization initiative along Crane Street in the Mont Pleasant neighborhood. Taking down
these previously City-owned blighted and vacant structures expands greenspace and improves
quality of life in the neighborhood,” said Richard Ruzzo, Chairman of the Capital Region
Land Bank and a member of the Schenectady County Legislature.

The City received a $354,735 grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and Schenectady County will invest an additional $100,000 to redevelop the park, according to officials.

The project was reportedly discussed through outreach meetings, and it was determined that the redevelopment of the newly expanded park would include the following:

  • New walkways
  • Playground equipment
  • Picnic tables
  • New LED lighting
  • A pavilion with grills
  • 17 new trees donated by ReTree Schenectady

Officials say the newly redeveloped Orchard Park is one of several ongoing revitalization efforts led by the City, County, and Land Bank in the Mont Pleasant neighborhood, including the new Schenectady County Mont Pleasant Library and the new Schenectady Boys & Girls Club.

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