Anyone who lives, works or just passes through Oswego’s downtown can notice that big changes are coming to the area. The former Alexander Lumber yard off Washington Street (Route 34) and some adjoining properties have been fenced off in anticipation of the construction of The Reserve at Hudson Crossing, a mixed-use development that will include retail shops, restaurants, 280 apartments and about 448 parking spaces. Meanwhile, across Washington Street and east up the hill, a Mexican restaurant is planned for construction on the site of the former Oswego Chamber of Commerce office. Right around the corner on Main Street, a three-story retail and office building is planned for construction on the site of the old village hall at 113 Main St., just north of the landmark Dairy Hut.
With an estimated construction cost of $64 million, The Reserve project alone is the largest mixed-use development yet undertaken in the village, let alone the downtown area. All of the development will prove tranformational for the downtown area and the village as a whole. If all goes according to plan, the downtown should become much more of a destination in another few years for folks seeking to dine out and shop in unique local retail stores. It should also be more attractive, with new buildings either filling vacant spaces or replacing existing, aging structures.
All of the changes coming to the downtown area are the source of much community speculation. That’s why we commend the village for hosting a one-of-a-kind public open house on the downtown projects from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at East View Academy at 4209 Route 71.
It’s hard for some of us to believe, but it has been almost 20 years since the village hosted a similar informational open house meeting before a major reconstruction and streetscape improvement project on Main Street between Van Buren and Jefferson streets. That meeting provided an opportunity for downtown business owners and residents to question and learn about the pending construction. Next Wednesday’s session will provide a similar opportunity, but we believe should prove exceedingly more interesting, especially for the general public. Instead of talking almost exclusively about rebuilding streets and replacing aging water lines as village officials did 20 years ago, current officials will be on hand to discuss above-ground projects such as new restaurants, retail shops and, yes, even more public parking. We encourage anyone interested in the downtown to attend and bring their questions with them.