Albany Waterfront

  The City of Albany is located on the western edge of the Hudson River in the Lower Hudson Watershed, a tidal estuary which makes up approximately 40% of the Hudson/Mohawk River Basin--one of the largest drainage areas on the eastern seaboard, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Hudson River (and its tributaries) are major natural features that have shaped Albany's identity and urban footprint throughout its history.  Albany is privileged to have approximately 4.5 miles of waterfront, most of which is designated for recreational and entertainment activities... Erastus Corning Riverfront Preserve in North Albany, the Corning Riverfront Park in Downtown, and Island Creek Park in the South End… as well as, touring attractions such as, Dutch Apple Cruises and the Historic USS Slater

And not to overlook this major economic driver in the South End--the Port of Albany offers significant employment and financial benefit to the Capital Region and New York State overall, generating millions of dollars in investments each year through cargo shipments, supplies and other commodities.

Though the entire eastern border of Albany is distinguished by the Hudson River, utilizing the waterfront still remains a challenge for the City.  Albany’s access points have been extensively altered by private development, and are limited due to major highway and railway infrastructure barriers, built in general response to twentieth century suburban migration and a decline in the use of the Erie Canal.

However, the City's focus to (re)connect with the waterfront and implement strategies outlined in Albany 2030, continues to be a major priority.  Access improvements and signage have been incorporated in the completed transportation updates at the Corning Riverfront Park (see the Corning Preserve Master Plan), and the Albany Skyway--a project to transform an underutilized highway ramp into an elevated park--is soon to move forward with an innovative multi-use concept that will bring pedestrians and cyclists from multiple neighborhoods to and from the waterfront.

The City values the Hudson River for its influential force behind Albany's historic development, cultural expression and economic prosperity.  The Hudson is a natural environment that provides visitors and residents alike with a prime resource for recreation, for scenic beauty, and for a sense of place in the State of New York.  Therefore, the City will continue to look for opportunities to move forward with improvements that further develop commercial and recreational outlets, protect water quality and habitat environments, and create waterfront access and community connections to this amazing destination.

 

Matt Wade Photography

Section: 

Local Waterfront Revitalization

  The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) is a land- and water-use plan for the City of Albany’s Hudson River waterfront.  The LWRP was originally adopted in 1991 in partnership between the NYS Division of Coastal Resources (under the NYS Coastal Management Program) and the City of Albany, establishing policies and implementation techniques that balance (re)development, preservation and enhancement of natural and recreation areas along the City's waterfront.  The LWRP also provides a framework for ensuring consistency between local, State and Federal policies and decisions.

Though several projects from the LWRP have already been implemented, the plan is in need of updating in accordance with priorities outlined in Albany 2030.  LWRP projects successfully completed:

  • Landscaping Lower Patroon Island Nature Preserve
  • Rehabilitation of Corning Preserve Comfort Station
  • Island Creek Waterfront Park
  • Hudson River Pedestrian Walkway from Downtown to Waterfront
  • Continuation of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail


Updates to the LWRP will address new issues, such as changes in climate and flooding patterns, underutilized Brownfields properties and access challenges.

Key Issues

Current review of the LWRP and analysis of existing data has identified certain key issues to overcome in improving waterfront and downtown connections.   

  • Access to the waterfront via all modes is constricted by physical barriers and confusing street patterns.
  • Vacant and underutilized properties provide opportunities, but also environmental and financial constraints to redevelopment.
  • Commercial services (refreshments, equipment rental, retail) are limited by a lease agreement with the State and Albany Port Commission.
  • Waterfront facilities (parking lots, sidewalks, boathouse) are in disrepair and reflect a poor image.
  • Improved marketing and promotion of waterfront events, activities, and businesses is needed.
  • Projected impacts of climate change (Hudson River rise and increased flooding) on waterfront development and infrastructure.


Calendar of Events 
Several steps are required to update the LWRP.  Public meetings have already taken place to discuss the LWRP and gather community input (December, 11, 2012 and February 25, 2013). 
The updated LWRP is scheduled to be completed the Spring 2014. Provide your comments about the LWRP on our facebook or twitter (#AlbanyWaterfront) or post a comment below.

Download the meeting presentations and maps of the waterfront below.

LWRP Waterfront Advisory Committee
City of Albany
Albany Port District Commission
Albany County
Albany County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
Albany Rowing Center
USS Slater Museum
Riverfront Bar & Grill
Downtown Albany BID
NYS Canals Recreationway Commission

See Draft Proposed Projects

Section: 

The Corning Preserve

The Corning Preserve is a 15-acre landscaped waterfront, park, entertainment venue and natural habitat area, supporting native species of animals and plants along the Hudson River in Downtown Albany.

The Corning Preserve is a major destination for urban and passive recreation, enjoyed by local residents and regional visitors alike. The Corning Preserve is the City's most direct outlet to the waterfront, offering opportunities for a variety of activity...