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DUNKIRK: City can’t give up on solid proposal

Dunkirk’s loss is North Tonawanda’s gain.

On Monday, state Gov. Kathy Hochul noted the Buffalo’s Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood and the City of North Tonawanda were winners of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. That being said, there were plenty of reasons to be impressed by proposal put forward by the city of Dunkirk. As noted in an article by M.J. Stafford last week, it is an aggressive plan that aims to build up the waterfront.

Some of the proposals include:

¯ A Hispanic Heritage Marketplace would “inject an energy and economic vitality into the heart of downtown and be a signature investment that greatly enhances a sense of place and community.” The site would include a vendor market, a restaurant or cafe, art installations, murals, retailers and both indoor and outdoor event space. There might also be festivals, art exhibits and holiday events there.

¯ A waterfront recreation and events center “has the potential to be a major as well as transformative project for the city of Dunkirk and surrounding communities.” This center is expected to be an economic growth driver. It’s hoped it would bring considerable traffic to downtown and give a boost to local retailers. The facility would accommodate sports, fitness, events and family focused recreation. It would boast an indoor field and running track, basketball court, fitness center and event space.

¯ Renovation and upgrades at the Clarion Marina Hotel & Conference Center.

¯ A new Jamestown Community College campus on Central Avenue, on the former site of the Masonic Lodge building. It would have space for retail on the first floor and classrooms and workforce development operations on upper floors.

With Monday’s announcement, city leaders have time to go back to the drawing board and refine this plan that is well worth the effort.

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