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UTICA, N.Y. — After years of planning, the Utica Harbor Point Development Corporation (UHPDC) and City of Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri marked the beginning of a $6.7 million project to replace the harbor walls (bulkheads) at Harbor Point in Utica.


The existing bulkheads, originally constructed in 1915, were in disrepair and their replacement represents the latest step in the work of the Utica Harbor Point Redevelopment Plan, which was finalized in 2014. This UHPDC project was awarded a $6 million grant through Governor Cuomo’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) by the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council in November. 


“The Utica Harbor Point Redevelopment Project complements many of the other exciting redevelopment projects around the City of Utica,” said City of Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri. “We’re looking forward to the day when the Harbor will serve as a year-round attraction and catalyst for continued economic development in Utica.”


The new bulkheads will provide a safe and stable structure for waterside activities. Floating docks are envisioned in the future to allow boats to visit the harbor after its redevelopment. 


“Our vision is to redevelop the area to create an economically sustainable multi-use development that will become a premier waterfront destination in the City of Utica,” said UHPDC President Vincent J. Gilroy, Jr. “We’re looking to turn this gem into a space where residents and visitors alike can find entertainment, retail, live/work space, and more.”


Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Waterfront activation, including this economically sustainable, multi-use development in Utica, reflects the strategic support the Upstate Revitalization Initiative has provided for long-term growth in New York’s city centers.”


The new bulkheads are expected to be in place by June, but site restoration activities may extend through the summer.


“This important project will help ensure that the redevelopment of the Utica Harbor can serve as a catalyst for economic growth in the region and attract more New Yorkers to experience the Canal System and experience why downtown Utica is a great place to live, work and play,” said New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton.


In 2013, the City of Utica began a planning and design process to redevelop the City’s inner harbor. Led by the Utica Harbor Point Development Corporation, in collaboration with City staff, private property owners, state agencies and City residents, a Harbor Point Master Plan was developed. The plan calls for creating a mixed-use destination attraction for Utica that enhances the existing water’s edge with public and private investments. In 2017, the Barge Canal was designated as National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, which can help promote Utica Harbor as a heritage tourism destination. The Harbor Master Plan includes the preservation and reuse of two buildings on the site constructed in 1917 and 1933.


For more information or to review project documents, visit www.uticaharborpoint.org.