To The Editor:
The announcement of a proposed Dunkin Donuts at 275 W. First St., Oswego, astounded me.
Not for the reasons so many are giving – that of the need for a third such commercial venue in Oswego and the effect on our local small businesses on the same street – but because of the slap in the face it is to the Oswego YMCA.
The DRI proposal submitted for funding included wonderful plans for revitalizing the same corner.
The idea was to enhance the YMCA Armory grounds as a “landmark gateway into downtown.”
“This project will create an aesthetically attractive southwest gateway into downtown Oswego and transform an underused area into a usable outdoor space for programs. It meets the project selection criteria by making improvements to public outdoor spaces and leveraging social and arts programming at the YMCA.” (Here is the link to the proposal itself: https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/Oswego_DRI.pdf.)
Oswego YMCA is extremely underappreciated.
It struggles in an area of high poverty.
It has a building on the National Register of Historic Places; this limits what can be done to refurbish the structure, which clearly is “historic” in many senses.
Yet, dedicated people try to make this work and the potential for help with funds from the DRI was at the top of a wish list.
Unfortunately, the “landmark gateway” the YMCA grounds could have been was not to be.
Instead, the area of beautification is now proposed for a commercial enterprise – the third Oswego Dunkin Donuts.
This could come with a parking lot and a drive-through.
Please take a drive-by of this location: What do you think that this proposal, if accepted, would do to the YMCA?
Kiss good-bye to the idea of a green space for outdoor activities.
Wave good-bye to the future of an enhanced parking area.
Anticipate daily traffic snafus on what is already one of the busiest corners in Oswego.
Downtown walkability – well, no, not around this location with the proposed development.
I would ask that the proposal for a Dunkin Donuts not be approved for 275 W. First St.
Perhaps an alternate location in this same entry corridor would be on the corner of East First and Utica, across from the urgent care and dental centers.
This would require obtaining the current buildings on that corner, not especially welcoming or a landmark gateway.
It would seem ideal considering the flow into Oswego on Route 481.
I am not opposed to the commercial development in any way, merely its current proposed location.
Oswego must make every effort to encourage people to live here and visit here.
It must also consider the local businesses impacted by development.
Most of all in this instance, it needs to consider the impact on the Oswego YMCA Armory, which is an asset to our community in so many ways.