The City of Newburgh and RUPCO celebrated the completion of the East End II project on Wednesday, September 6 with a ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony surrounded by supporters, community partners and friends. East End II includes new housing units and the repurposing of the former United Methodist Church into Highpoint campus, a community space for Newburgh residents.
RUPCO’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Connor welcomed supporters, friends, community members and partners to the Highpoint campus on Wednesday to mark the completion of the project. “We love Newburgh. We love the buildings, we love the people we love, its access to the river. There’s some things going on here that are really superb, and the fabric of historic buildings are so important,” he said.
The East End I project was completed in 2018 by RUPCO who had partnered with the Newburgh Community Land Bank at the time. The East End I project encompassed 57 DuBois, 38 DuBois, 54 DuBois, 19 S. Miller, 21 S. Miller, 46 S. Miller, 48 S. Miller, 195 First, 187 First, 183 First, 39 Johnston, 29 Lander, 46 Lander, 48 Lander and 50 Lander.
With the completion of that phase, RUPCO and the land bank came together once again to plan new housing opportunities for the community. This time around, a new community center space was included in the housing plan which thus led to a partnership with Melanie Collins, Executive Director of LYNC. LYNC is recognized as a local nonprofit that fosters and focuses community development and engagement in Newburgh.
East End II was noted as RUPCO’s largest project to date. RUPCO reported that $36 million went towards the development of 24 buildings within a seven block radius in the city. Sixty-one units were constructed and have since been filled with tenants. Within Highpoint today, the Newburgh Youthbuild program, a pre-apprenticeship program, will operate and provide local Newburgh youth and young adults education opportunities to pursue careers and commercial spaces for local business to operate while there.
Dana Charres, owner of Hudson Valley Cheesecake will be operating out of Highpoint and she also is a resident of East End II. The Youthbuild program recently celebrated their first cohort of graduates on August 31 and are now preparing for the next group of students.
In addition to the many supporters of RUPCO and their work, O’Connor recognized Eliza Bozenski, Chairperson of the RUPCO Board of Directors, RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes & Community Renewal, Erik Kulleseid Commissioner of NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson of New York District 104, Joanie Straussman Brandon, Northeast Regional Vice-President of NeighborWorks America, Melanie Collins, Executive Director of LYNC and Sue Weed Program Director of Newburgh Youthbuild.