IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — Local officials gathered Tuesday at Irondequoit Town Hall to announce new plans to develop seven acres of community green space at the site formerly occupied by the town’s Department of Public Works Building.
That DPW building was destroyed by a fire on Christmas Eve in 2016. The building, along with all the equipment inside, was destroyed. In October of 2019, construction was complete for the town’s new public works building.
For Tuesday’s announcement, Irondequoit Town Supervisor Dave Seeley was joined Congressman Joe Morelle, Monroe County Executive, and former Irondequoit Supervisor, Adam Bello, Assemblywoman Sarah Clark and other local officials.
Seeley said “fate forced our hand with this project,” but added that officials had envisioned what would become of the parcel since the 2016 fire.
Seeley said the site will be transformed into a community green space that will “benefit the community for decades.”
“We will turn it into a community park, a true modern park, which we lack in Irondequoit,” Seeley said. “It’s my hope and expectation that at some point next year we will completely transform this industrial site into an amenity that will benefit the community for decades and give us a complete town hall campus.”
The supervisor said the town would be seeking community input for specific project details, but said it was his hope that the development would be completed by next year.
“This is a blank canvas for us, and we’re excited about it,” Seeley said.
Specific plans for the site are not yet determined, as the supervisor said the town will seek community input going forward, but he says the town has budgeted $2 million for development on a public green space for families to enjoy.
“We’ll be incorporating sustainable features into the project,” Seeley said. “In part, using money that we generated through a community solar campaign. Every resident that signed up for that community solar campaign to do solar at their house, a little bit was put aside in a fund that we allocated to sustainable amenities.”
“This is really where the community will come together, collectively, and make decisions about what they want to see collectively,” Morelle said.
“I’m also delighted to see this is a community-driven process,” Bello said. “It’s going to be built through public input, that’s how the public library was built. The community center was driven by the community too.”
Seeley says whatever this parcel ultimately becomes, it will be the latest in a string of successful projects in the town in recent years.
“One of the thing I’m proud of and happy about it is the reality that we recognize the investments that we make, and we’ll have exponential returns for the generations,” Seeley said. “It really started with the town library in 2014, the ball park complex in 2016, about a mile down the road in Camp Eastman, four new athletic parks which we finished in 2018. We’ve made investment throughout our community and that’s really exciting.”
“It’s really an exciting day for the people who are blessed to call Irondequoit home, and I am among those folks,” Rep. Morelle said.
“This is the heart of Irondequoit,” Assemblywoman Clark said. “The heart of the town, the community loves the public library, the farmers market, and the potential to grow this campus.”
This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide updates as they become available.