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Upper Union Street’s $4M renovation complete

Leaders tout unified street design enhancements at ribbon cutting

Business owners and officials gathered for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the streetscape project on Upper Union Street in Schenectady.

Business owners and officials gathered for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the streetscape project on Upper Union Street in Schenectady. Photo by John Purcell.

— The project completion also falls around the recent 10th anniversary of the formation of the Upper Street Union BID.

“Having this final phase completed is the icing on our 10th anniversary cake,” Nell Burrows, executive director for BID, said in a statement. “The new streetscape certainly makes Upper Union Street a more attractive place to shop and do business. It also provides improved safety for pedestrians, drivers and merchants.”

Ray Gillen, chairman of Metroplex and commissioner of Economic Development and Planning for the county, said every phase of the project was completed on time and in the budgeted amount. The three phases were meant to lessen the disruption for businesses and customers, he said. Each phase focused on a different section of the street. The project tackled one phase each year and was started three summers ago.

The initial planning to get the design right, said DiCocco, along with general construction issues and maintenance were the more challenging aspects of the project. All the same, he said any challenge provided another opportunity to work with the business owners and contractors to find a solution.

“This has been a long process and at times a challenging one,” DiCocco said. “The value of the investment can be seen in the business growth that we have within our business members and the desire of new business to set up in our vacant store fronts.”

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