Updated 02/06/2013 05:14 PM
New building ownership aids in Kingston Police Department relocation
Relocating the Kingston Police Department’s headquarters is looking more and more like reality, thanks to a building donation from the Bank of America. YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has details on the transformation plan to aid in the revitalization of the city’s midtown district.
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KINGSTON, N.Y. -- “There’s really nothing around here. No businesses, no work. It’s really dead on Broadway. There's nothing’s in midtown at all to bring the people in,” said Elizabeth Michael, owner of Sophia’s Kitchen.
Elizabeth Michael says customers have been on the decline at her restaurant for the last three years, but Sophia's Kitchen could soon be seeing a boom in business. The city now has the title to the vacant Bank of America building across the street and plans are in the works to turn it into the new Kingston Police Department.
“It will bring more people around, more people more traffic. They’ll see the restaurant, they’ll come in,” said Michael.
It’s an imperative move according to city officials. It’s part of a larger plan to revitalize midtown, rehab homes, get them back on the tax rolls and ensure neighborhoods are stabilizing block by block.
More than 50 percent of calls that police respond to are right here in the midtown district. The mayor says by putting the station here, it will literally be in the center of the city, helping to establish high visibility while making it the perfect location to address safety concerns.
“It would be a very, very good presence to continue to address quality of life issues in that part of the city and create a vibe and an energy and an interest in the Broadway corridor,” said City of Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo.
And over the next several months, Gallo says he'll be working to make that happen. Something business owners like Elizabeth can look forward to.
“They’ll be happy about it. I know we are,” said Michael.
Gallo says he’s working to seek grant money for renovation costs, which could be close to $1.6 million. He says he's also looking into alternative options for the current police headquarters in downtown Kingston, such as a police bureau or an additional courtroom. According to him, the plan won't affect taxpayers.