Poughkeepsie, New York

city-owned surface parking lots and, potentially, creating bio-swales and natural water retention systems in those lots.” Of particular note: The entire Hudson Valley re- gion has been supported for 40 years by Architec- ture-Engineering-Planning firm Clark Patterson Lee (CPL) through vital infrastructure improve- ments, healthcare, K-12 and municipal design, as well as grant writing assistance. Most recently, CPL expanded their Eastern New York market by acquiring the Poughkeepsie-based engineering firm Morris Associates, cementing their footprint from Albany down to Westchester County. “We thrive on meaningful projects that make a tangi- ble difference for communities,” commented CPL Principal Tim Moot. BVM: What are the plans for downtown revital- ization? Hesse: “Poughkeepsie was a former manufac- turing powerhouse that saw a lot of disinvest- ment after World War II. The downtown was the region’s commercial corridor –Poughkeepsie was well known for its department stores, but over the years they declined, and the malls absorbed a lot of the business. Eventually all those stores disappeared in a hollowing out of the downtown.” Quinn: “It left us with some really good bones, in terms of beautiful architecture. But there are challenges.We did a study that showed our downtown had the highest concentration of building vacancy. That, plus the fact that the downtown is meant to serve our entire commu- nity, told us that this was the place to focus our POUGHKEEPSIE, NEWYORK PREFERRED VENDOR n Clark Patterson Lee (CPL) www.CPLteam.com CPL is a 400+ person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm specializing in Healthcare, Transportation, Municipal and Academic design. With fifteen offices across four states, our passion is to give back to the communities where we live and work, creating transformative projects that improve the quality of life. energies. It’s the heart of the city. The new economy of smaller-scale, light industry and maker businesses re- quires updated zoning that allows for mixed use inside a single building, as well as inside of a district, so that’s what we tried to do with the code - focus on how a build- ing encourages people to walk and shop and live in the downtown.We now have a lot of interesting enterprises in the core including a violin maker, a cobbler who does custom soles, a few brewer- ies, and a grower of indoor micro-greens.” Hesse: “There are a number of restaurants that are chef- owned by Culinary Institute grads. And the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory– a for- mer manufacturing facility on main street –was repur- posed to feature an open commercial kitchen that food entrepreneurs can rent. There are 24 chefs, right now, using it as an incubator before they move on to a full-on restau- rant. Hudson River Housing owns the building. They are a great community partner involved in affordable hous- ing, youth employment, and small business development. We’re fortunate to have many dedicated, community-focused organi- zations in all industries and sectors. It’s amazing.” BVM: What lies ahead for the future of Poughkeepsie? Hesse: “The most important thing local governments can do to be good environmental stewards and support sustainability is to encourage development within existing urban centers and fight the suburban sprawl.We’re trying to make Poughkeepsie liveable, walk- able, bike-friendly, and easy for people to invest here, start a busi- ness here, and live here.”