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The New York Department of State and the City of Jamestown Announce the Completion of the Riverwalk Illumination Project as Part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative

Nov 10, 2022

Project Enhances the Downtown Riverwalk Experience with Brilliant Colors 

Illumination Creates a Unique and Vibrant Riverfront Attraction in Downtown Jamestown 

Key Catalytic Project is Part of the $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative

The New York Department of State and the City of Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist today announced the completion of the Riverwalk Illumination Project in downtown Jamestown. To celebrate the occasion, the City “flipped the switch” with a gathering at Panzarella Park to commemorate the completion of this long-awaited lighting project. Residents and visitors celebrated the brilliant color washed views of the lit-up Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Coal Silo, Washington Street Bridge piers and abutments, and the Main Street Bridge arches over the Chadakoin River.

"The Downtown Revitalization Initiative continues to lead the way for the revitalization of New York’s communities like the City of Jamestown,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “Thanks to the Governor’s continued support, downtown Jamestown will benefit from the Riverwalk Illumination Project for years to come. This is a great attraction for residents and visitors alike, helping the city connect its downtown to its waterfront. Jamestown continues to build upon the Strategic Investment Plan created through the DRI, which is the engine propelling the City’s redevelopment. The plan has identified new opportunities for investment and smart growth into the future.”

The Riverwalk Illumination Project uses lighting designed to create a unique and vibrant riverfront attraction in downtown Jamestown to improve visual aesthetics along the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk, enhance the pedestrian experience at night, compliment the National Comedy Center and Downtown Central Business District, and to activate the waterfront as an evening destination. Final design for the lighting was completed over the spring and summer, with installation over the fall.

“I am so excited to debut our new Riverwalk Lighting Project, the result of years of hard work from City staff, New York State, and so many others in our community,” said the Mayor of the City of Jamestown Eddie Sundquist. This project will bring so much more life and excitement to our riverfront areas, which continue to see development and interest that is re-inventing Jamestown.”

“Congratulations to the City of Jamestown on the completion of the spectacular Riverwalk Illumination Project. This innovative lighting feature is the latest in a series of enhancements that are transforming the Riverwalk and surrounding area into a wonderful destination for residents and visitors and positioning it for further economic development,” said Senator George Borrello. “I congratulate Mayor Sundquist and the City Council for the vision and effort that brought this project to life and extend my thanks to the Governor and our partners at the state level for their essential funding and support.”

New York State Assemblyman Andy Goodell said, “The City of Jamestown is beautified by the Riverwalk, providing enhanced enjoyment for residents and visitors. Illuminating the Riverwalk will further enhance this area. Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible.”

The Riverwalk Illumination Project is the most significant component of the “Enhance the Riverwalk Experience” program, which was part of the state’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) award for transformative projects in downtown Jamestown. A renewed commitment by the city and numerous public and private partners to revitalize Jamestown has resulted in key investments downtown, including improvements to the National Comedy Center and other cultural institutions, redevelopment of historic structures, streetscape enhancements, business development, and more. These initiatives have primed the downtown for a range of new investment and the DRI has helped create a truly inclusive, year-round downtown for both current and future residents and visitors. With over 100 buildings comprising a core 30-block area, downtown Jamestown has the second largest development footprint of any downtown in Western New York.

About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative

In 2016, New York State launched a major new initiative —the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Through this initiative, the State moved to aggressively accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhoods to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all 10 regions of the state. The initiative represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation.

Through five rounds of the DRI program, New York State has committed $600 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity. Participating communities are nominated by the state's 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown's potential for transformation, and each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community's vision for revitalization.

The initiative is headed by New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development and New York State Homes and Community Renewal.