Glens Falls rolls out plans for downtown revitalization

August 15, 2019 06:46 PM

GLENS FALLS - With a nod to its annual balloon fest, Glens Falls often calls itself "a city on the rise."

"Got a lot of momentum going, " said Mayor Dan Hall. "We have a lot of good quality of life."


One of the striking things about Glens Falls is that its main drag, Glen Street, seems to be thriving, while just one short block away  South Street appears desolate.

There are empty storefronts, abandoned buildings, overgrown parking lots.

However, the city has a plan to change that. Thanks to the $10 million downtown revitalization grant from the state in 2016, three buildings are coming down to make way for a bright and airy new market.

They're calling it the Market Square at South Street, a year-round farmers market and space for events.

"We're really hoping it's the catalyst and people say, 'Wow this is really nice, I should put my business across the street,'" said Hall.

At the north end of South Street, it's a much different story. Fresh ADK, a cafe offering organic and vegan items, is one of a handful businesses near the corner of South and Glen that are thriving and eager for the planned improvements.

"It'd be really cool to get Glens Falls to be a true walking city where you can go from one point to another and you're using your feet instead of a car," said Bill Kerr, manager of Fresh ADK and a resident of South Street.

There were other projects the state grant paid for including relocating SUNY Adirondack's culinary program downtown, but it's the new market that has people bullish on a street once known only for its bars.

"It's not your father or grandfather's South Street, it will be a new generation on South Street," said Ed Bartholomew, president of Economic Development Corporation, Warren County.

Demolition is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks and they hope to open the market in the spring of 2021.


Mark Mulholland

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