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Group aims to revitalize arts area


Beekman Street is where many of the Spa City’s artists ply their skills, though many emptied out in the recent recession. Now, the Beekman Street Association is working to foster the area’s redevelopment. Photo Submitted.

Beekman Street is where many of the Spa City’s artists ply their skills, though many emptied out in the recent recession. Now, the Beekman Street Association is working to foster the area’s redevelopment. Photo Submitted.

— The association is now throwing its efforts into making a proposal to the City of Saratoga Springs that would set a definite direction for the district’s growth.

Firstly, the association wants to see the finishing of “the structural parts of the street” near West Circular Street, where sidewalks are broken up. If the proposal were to go through, the sidewalks would be repaired and street lamps would be installed to finish off the district.

“It will tie us all together. We have two blocks and then thisorphan down at the other end,” Amyot said.

There are big picture plans for the future under development, too.

Jon Haynes is a planner with Phinney Design in Lawrence. He has been working with the association to develop modifications to the existingNUCD-1 zoning district, where Beekman Street is located.

“The intent is to encourage continued growth and development of the arts district and streamline the approval process for select preferred uses, to further encourage artists and businesses that might otherwise be discouraged by a lengthy and expensive approval processes,” said Haynes.

He added they also are working to develop an expansion plan for the district, with the “intent to tie the district in to public areas, including Broadway and Franklin Square.”

“The Broadway and Franklin square expansion is intended to create a pedestrian corridor/connection to Broadway and downtown. After developing the revised map and regulations, the association presented the draft to the neighbors within the affected area. We gathered neighbor feedback from this presentation, and included a number of the neighbors on the association’s zoning committee. We then worked together to adjust the draft to address the neighbors comments and concerns,” he wrote in an email.

Haynes and members of the association hope to do more neighborhood outreach and plan on presenting a development proposal to the City Council this fall.

The association advertises to ballet and track audiences, and has seen some traffic from those venues pass through the street.

“It’s been a high energy contribution that kind of got everybody else spiked again. … When new people come in, they bring new life and revitalizes the rest of us,” said Amyot.

Amyot crafts her art at 79 Beekman Street along with a number of other artists at The Artist’s Studios.

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