Nyack officials are in the process of drafting a document that would outline the village's role and Riverspace's role in carrying out the proposed .
The document is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a preliminary, non-binding deed that sketches out how both groups will work together to move forward with the downtown overhaul. Tentatively, the Superblock project would transform the Riverspace building, nearby parking lots, M&T Bank and other areas on Main Street into a residential, commercial and cultural space.
"The Village has determined that it is in the best interests of [Nyack] to facilitate redevelopment, enhance attractiveness and advance economic interests in its downtown area," the document reads.
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"The purpose [of the MOU] is to put into agreement that Riverspace and the village will contribute significant assets to redeveloping this area," explained Walter Sevastian, Nyack's village attorney.
According to the document—which Riverspace has yet to sign or officially weigh in on—Riverspace would be charged with funding the project's $200,000 pre-development account. This includes securing money for planning, legal and consulting purposes.
Riverspace would also work to obtain the portions of the 3.65 acres that are privately owned—like the Millbrook and M&T properties—and launch a campaign to raise $2,000,000 for the proposed cultural centerpiece.
Nyack would be tasked with the bulk of the work, like developing a budget, seeking state and federal aid, helping fundraise and working alongside developers.
"At the end of the day it's a village project," noted Nyack trustee Steve Knowlton.
Knowlton was also quick to point out the MOU is an early step in the process, and the project is still very much in its nascent stages.
"We can't move on the assumption that there will be redevelopment," he said. "Developers will tell us whether it will work or not… the thrust of this agreement [the MOU] is to get us to that point."
The document notes that if either party fails to meet their requirements, the MOU can be terminated.
Village officials said the draft will be ready to be voted on later this week. In the meantime, Sevastian will work out smaller, semantic kinks in the document, like whether the area will include a "cultural" arts center or "performance" arts center. Trustees are more comfortable with the word "cultural."
"Historically we have struggled with performing arts," said trustee Jen Laird-White. "We should give developers an option, and [cultural] arts are more inclusive."