PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The revitalization of Peekskill's waterfront continued on Friday, Sept. 12.
The city celebrated the opening of Historic Peekskill Landing Park, at the Hudson River. The $3.6 million park is a partnership between the city and Scenic Hudson.
"Today signifies a major milestone for Peekskill and the first phase of a multi-year, multi-phase waterfront revitalization," Mayor Frank Catalina said.
For many years, the park was a vacant industrial site. Scenic Hudson and the city hope people use the space for kayaking, jogging, walking and other outdoor activities.
"Waterfront parks help drive the Hudson Valley's $4.7 billion tourism industry and also help promote a quality of life that brings and business to the region," Scenic Hudson Senior Vice-President Steve Rosenberg said.
The project has been in the works for more than 15 years, when Scenic Hudson bought the property in 1998. Extensive cleanup and shoreline stabilization occurred in 2010 thanks to a $1.1 million grant from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The park also received an $8 million grant from then-Governor George Pataki in 2006.
"This has been a long time coming," former Peekskill mayor and now County Legislator John Testa said. "This is a great addition to the riverwalk. This is going to bring people into Peekskill. This is the most beautiful view in the Hudson Valley."
Testa expects the park to be a boost to the Lincoln Depot Museum, which opens in October.
"There are now lots of reasons to come to Peekskill," Testa said.
Catalina said he would like to see more added to the park like picnic tables, benches and barbecue pits.
"When they said this would be a passive park, they weren't kidding," Catalina said. "But we can change that."
The mayor said the public-private partnership between the city and Scenic Hudson has paid dividends.
"You don't see these too often," Catalina said. "The state and the country needs to have more public-private partnerships."