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SCHENECTADY – The City of Schenectady, Schenectady County, the Capital Region Land Bank, and community leaders broke ground to announce the redevelopment of Orchard Park in Schenectady’s Mont Pleasant neighborhood. The total redevelopment represents a $1.3 million investment and marks a major milestone for revitalization efforts along Crane Street.
The redevelopment of Orchard Park adds .85 acres of additional green space to the neighborhood through the demolition of six vacant and abandoned City-owned buildings surrounding the parkland. 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 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 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.
“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 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.”
“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.
Through extensive community outreach meetings, it was determined that redevelopment of the newly expanded park would include new walkways, playground equipment, picnic tables, new LED lighting, and a pavilion with grills. Additionally, ReTree Schenectady will donate 17 new trees as part of the expanded greenspace.
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. The Land Bank is administered by Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority as part of Schenectady County’s unified economic development team.