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Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor describes new guidebook for developers

Plattsburgh development guide cover page
Town of Plattsburgh
Plattsburgh development guide cover page

The Town of Plattsburgh has created a new guide for businesses to help spur their interest in developing in the town. The print and online edition showcases some of the region’s amenities, major businesses and manufacturers, and ease of access to major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and Canada. In the past six weeks two major local manufacturers said they will close; the guide was issued the same day the second company made its announcement. Democratic Supervisor Michael Cashman tells North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley there are ample examples of successful development in the town even still:

We’re a community that’s investing in infrastructure and businesses go to communities that are investing in their infrastructure. The guidebook that we put out for development is really more focused on housing. It’s focused on restaurants, hotels, family-centered entertainment. We’re not looking to be the lead in the area of the manufacturing, aerospace and transportation hubs. The Chamber of Commerce does a wonderful job on that as well as The Development Corporation. What we’re focused on is the town center, the living room of Clinton County, where people come to shop. As I’ve said a number of times, the Route 3 corridor is as busy if not busier than Wolfe Road in Albany. Another example of we are not a slumbery little North Country community. We have a lot going on here and it’s an opportunity for us to continue to develop and expand upon that. And in our guidebook, which people may find very fascinating, was we shared that the median age of Plattsburgh is 38 and 25 percent of the town and city population is between the ages of 20 to 34. Plattsburgh is young and we’re poised for growth. We need to own that and we need to plan for our future and how we do that is continue not to sit on our laurels, but to continue to work diligently every day and secure our future.

How did the idea to draft this guidebook come about?

We continue to look at models of success around the country, around the region. We saw this as a very natural step, as part of the continuation of our work with our Smart Growth plan and the partnership that we had with the Clinton County Board of Realtors. It was done through a public-private partnership with them. And because we have so much growth and opportunity in our town center, which represents about 2,000 acres and there’s at least a thousand acres of prime real estate for development, we knew that this was the time. We needed to continue to move that forward. We’ve seen points of success already. In fact we have at least one new hotel that’s going to be onboarding into that town center. We have over the last two years a new housing development that was there. We have another one on the horizon. We’re in conversations with a number of other businesses. So what we’re doing is working because we’ve adopted the philosophy of ‘Plan the Work, Work the Plan’ and you’ve got to keep doing that every day though. You can’t take a day off.

Have you actually sent out these guidebooks yet to some of the targeted areas?

So what we are doing right now is we want to hear from community members from the Town of Plattsburgh, the adjacent municipalities, the tri-county area, our friends in Vermont, our Canadian neighbors. And we are going to use that data to strategically reach out to a set of companies across a wide range of topical areas. In addition to that though what we’re hoping is that this data can then be shared with the community and it may inspire local developers to say hey maybe I need to do a little bit more market analysis. But we’d like to bring mini-golf, a jump park, you know some type of family-centered entertainment that would fit really well within the North Country needs. You know, every day I hear from people, anecdotally, you know it’d be really great if we had x and it’d be really great if we had y. Well, what we’re doing is we’re actually taking the time and building on the momentum that we’ve had and making sure that we put jet fuel in it so that we can really kind of continue to ride the strong trajectory that we’re on. Recently the Town of Plattsburgh, once again, was rated by Moody’s you know very strong position. So I could go through a laundry list of things that talk about the strength of the Town of Plattsburgh. Now I cannot speak to every municipality in Clinton County and I think what happens often is people hear some bad news and people feel like we’re going in a death spiral. That is not the case. There’s some bad news. It’s impacting real people. But we have to keep our eye on the horizon and work towards a strong and brighter future.

The Developer’s Guide to Plattsburgh was created with support from Empire State Development and the Clinton County Board of Realtors.