Left to Right: Hudson Valley Regional Director Susan Spear, the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; Marissa Brett, Executive Director for Economic Development, The Westchester County Association; Kathleen Talbot, Councilwoman, City of Peekskill; Steve Rosenberg, Senior Vice President, Scenic Hudson; Mary Foster, Mayor of the City of Peekskill; Anthony Ruggiero, City Manager, City of Peekskill; John Testa, Westchester County Legislator, District 1.
After more than 15 years of planning, development, and securing funds, the City of Peekskill and Scenic Hudson officially broke ground Wednesday on the $3.6 million Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing, a now-vacant site adjacent to Riverfront Green Park and the city’s bustling Metro-North Railroad station. Officials say that Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing is destined to become a jewel in the city’s robust system of riverfront parks, which attract tens of thousands of visitors annually.
“Today signifies a major milestone for Peekskill and the beginning of a multi-year, multi-phase waterfront revitalization. Historically, Peekskill’s riverfront was alive with industrial and commercial activity, and now we have the opportunity to bring it back to life for residents and visitors with tourism and new business. This park helps the city fulfill its promise of making Peekskill a great place to live, work, visit, and enjoy,” said Mary F. Foster, mayor, City of Peekskill.
Mayor Foster also thanked Scenic Hudson, Empire State Development, and New York State’s Department of State, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and Department of Environmental Conservation, for their support in developing Peekskill Landing.
Waterfront parks not only contribute powerfully to the region’s $4.3-billion tourism industry, but also promote a quality of life that attracts businesses to the region, said Scenic Hudson Senior Vice President, Steve Rosenberg.
“Scenic Hudson’s mission focuses on creating new places where people can connect with the Hudson River and enjoy all it has to offer. This is especially important in our Hudson River cities, where the greatest numbers of people are located. That’s why Scenic Hudson purchased the property from a developer in 1998 so it could be transformed from a neglected former industrial site into a public park that also provides economic benefits. Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing promises to be a wonderful asset for city residents and visitors,” said Mr. Rosenberg.
Peekskill officials have worked with New York State officials since 1998 to secure funding to get the waterfront redevelopment project off the ground. In 2010, extensive cleanup and shoreline stabilization was completed on Peekskill Landing with a $1.1 million grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Funding sources for the upcoming park construction include Empire State Development, New York’s economic development agency, which contributed $2.2 million; the New York State Department of State, $450,000; the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, $400,000; and the City of Peekskill, $583,000.
“The State’s investment in Peekskill is part of our mission to bolster the tourism industry and create jobs and economic growth in the Hudson Valley,” said Aimee Vargas, Mid-Hudson Regional Director, Empire State Development. “The revitalization of Peekskill’s waterfront, through the development of Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing, will improve the quality of life for the Peekskill community, attract more visitors to the area, and highlight the importance of parks and recreational facilities as economic engines in New York State.”
The project plan for Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing calls for the construction of a boardwalk along the City’s legendary Hudson River shoreline, a pedestrian footbridge, docks for kayaks and small watercraft, a gazebo and trellis, and multi-use trailways for jogging, biking, walking, and other outdoor activities. Amenities—like the installation of utilities and lighting, signage and trash receptacles, sculpture and extensive landscaping—are also included in the plan. All of these amenities dovetail with the city’s plan of expanding its vibrant waterfront district with additional restaurants, pubs, and businesses, as well as a host of recreational activities and watersports.
“We invite the public to come to our riverfront by boat, bike, car, foot, or by rail, and see all that Peekskill’s riverfront has to offer. Take in the spectacular view, partake in a multitude of activities, shop in our shops, dine in our many restaurants and pubs, and visit the downtown. Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing will help make our outstanding riverfront even better,” said Mayor Foster.