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Former Nestle site in Fulton gets significant investment from NY’s $10 million downtown initiative

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul with Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels.

After a delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Fulton now knows which projects will move forward with funding from the $10 million of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the city won in 2019. A significant investment is being made to the corridor of the former Nestle site.

The Nestle chocolate factory closed in 2003. But three projects are getting more than $4 million to revitalize the area. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul came to Fulton to make the announcement. She said now is the time for transition and reimagining.

“Sometimes these buildings haunt you for a long time and torment you, when you think about the great past that is no longer there,” Hochul said. “Well, no longer is that the case.”

One-point-five million dollars will go towards a mixed-use development of residential units, office space, a restaurant and Nestle museum. Nearly $1 million will be spent to build a new manufacturing facility for start-up companies.

“So let’s keep people working there too, not just talk about what it used to be,” Hochul said. “Let’s get new jobs right there now so you can live and work and visit a museum, all on one campus.”

Credit Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media
WRVO Public Media
The waterfront area in downtown Fulton.

Two million dollars is going towards Oswego Health’s Fulton campus to bring more medical services. There’s funding to improve businesses downtown and the arts. One-point-seven million dollars in investments will be made to the waterfront area and marina along the Oswego River. Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels said people want to spend more time in and around the water.

“If we can bring the arts and culture and water and bring that all together, we think we’re going to have a real opportunity to attract people to the city,” Michaels said.

There is also funding to construct multi-use trails, update the library and improve internet service.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.