Copper City Commons project gets go-ahead from city board

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Work on revamping the downtown area of Rome continues, despite widespread economic slowdowns and shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At a city Board of Estimate and Contract meeting this week, the board gave the go-ahead to put the Copper City Commons Pedestrian Improvement Project out to bid. 

Bids will be opened on July 23.

This project is part of an ongoing boost to the downtown sector, indicates Matthew Andrews, the deputy director of community and economic development.

“... Reconstruction areas will include the north side of West Dominick Street and the south side of Gigliotti Avenue from the Capitol Theatre complex to George Street,” Andrews said in a statement. “Through the project’s placemaking improvements, pedestrian and downtown amenity upgrades include construction of viable outdoor programming and seating areas, handicapped accessibility upgrades, sidewalk slope improvements, shade tree plantings, and landscaping enhancements,” he added.

Andrews said the plan would be a second phase of the George Street Parking Garage project.

The first phase saw the demolition of an aging parking garage and creation of a surface level parking lot, which is made possible through an assistance agreement with New York State Empire State Development Corporation and as part of Rome’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative Strategic Investment Plan.

Plans such as this are created using public input on projects culled through an ongoing basis.  

“Through the Erie Boulevard Brownfield Opportunity Area, the community was able to weigh in and assist in the selection of hardscape and other public realm materials that will give visitors a memorable sense of place while experiencing Rome’s downtown. You can see some of those materials installed in and around the newly constructed (Centro) bus hub on Liberty Street. The materials aim to pay respect to the history of the past, architecture of contemporary downtown, and progress into the future,” Andrews notes.

Noting that there is more to development projects than beautification, Andrews adds, “This bid also presents an opportunity to serve as a local economic stimulus for the construction and supply sectors.”

“Now more than ever we are seeing that viable outdoor space is vital to the health, welfare, and wellbeing of individuals and businesses alike,” he said.

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