William Street investments add color and light to Downtown pedestrian space

June 16, 2022

Significant investments made to the William Street pedestrian walkway was celebrated today with a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a grand opening event.

Updates to William Street – located one block west of S Pearl Street between Beaver & Howard Streets, and adjacent to the MVP Arena – include new overhead lighting, colorful street furniture, and an expansive 150-foot-long sidewalk mural by local artist Eugene O’Neill. 


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This Downtown Albany Business Improvement District project was funded through a grant from National Grid’s Urban Center/Commercial District Revitalization Program. This program is designed to assist metro centers in National Grid’s Upstate New York service territory achieve revitalization goals, increase property tax bases, and promote “smart growth” and sustainable investment in central business districts and commercial corridors. The Urban Center/Commercial District Revitalization program provides matching grants of up to $250,000 to local municipalities, development corporations, universities, and medical complexes undertaking major neighborhood revitalization projects.

The goal of the Downtown Albany BID’s Urban Center/Commercial District Revitalization Program award was to create a vibrant pedestrian corridor between the MVP Arena and the Albany Capital Center that invokes a welcoming atmosphere, provides visual interest, and attracts visitors. The project connects the area’s two largest entertainment venues in a way that makes visitors feel safe and comfortable to explore, while activating underutilized alleyways for residents, small businesses, and conventioneers.
Through a partnership with Albany County and the Albany Convention Center Authority, the BID was able to leverage the investments in lighting and streetscape occurring at both facilities – the MVP Arena’s LED screens, exterior lighting, additional light poles and new sidewalks, and the Albany Capital Center’s digital sign, landscaping, exterior lighting, and new light poles – resulting in a $250,000 grant.

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