The Schenectady 2020 Vision Plan is a guide for the City's immediate and long-range protection, enhancement, and development. River Street designed the Plan to reinforce Schenectady as a vibrant urban community. The plan was prepared during a two year planning process, initiated after the City Administration and Council recognized that the City's fiscal challenges were forcing choices that should be informed by careful forward-looking planning.
The Schenectady Vision Plan 2020 consists of a number of documents including a detailed community profile, eight neighborhood plans, a downtown plan, a policy-oriented city-wide plan, and soon, a new zoning ordinance. In addition to the development of the neighborhood plans, River Street identified three "Catalyst Projects" which included a full feasibility analysis, market analysis and preliminary site plan. As part of the Catalyst Project, River Street is analyzing the need for senior market rate housing and student housing in the Little Italy neighborhood; a transit-oriented development plan for the State Street corridor; and a major neighborhood development project for Mont Pleasant. The Schenectady Zoning Ordinance update focused on protecting a diverse array of neighborhoods with distinct character, challenges and opportunities and utilizing zoning to stabilize vulnerable neighborhoods; establishing new waterfront districts that establish a wide variety of compatible uses that integrate more public access and high quality site development; and downtown development standards that supports character and scale of the City's urban downtown and enhances the public realm and place-making.
Working as a partner to IBI Group, River Street also helped to develop a plan for the Transit Gateway on lower State Street in Schenectady, New York. The plan creates linkages between the downtown core and the Route 5 Corridor through the Hamilton Hill and Vale neighborhoods and beyond. River Street Planning prepared housing and commercial market analysis to determine appropriate mix and mass of infill growth to support the TOD neighborhood redevelopment plan. In addition River Street led a team to develop a transit oriented development study targeting the City's Hamilton Hill and Vale neighborhoods and seeks to encourage a safe, walkable neighborhood with excellent community resources and a dense and vibrant urban neighborhood. In addition to inventory and analysis, River Street evaluated a number of catalyst projects including a mixed-use development initiative know as Hamilton Hill Plaza and the feasibility of attracting an inner city grocery store to the area. The key focus of the plan is to encourage suitable density and mix of uses to support transit and build on the significant investment in Bus Rapid Transit along the corridor between Albany and Schenectady – one of the busiest transit corridors in the region. River Street was assisted on this project by the Chazen Companies and Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates.