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Riverspace to close and focus on re-development

RiverspaceCanopyRiverspace will go dark and suspend its programming at the end of August.

The “Keep the Doors Open” campaign to raise funds for the upcoming season came up short.  Mangement says it costs more to run programs than just to cover the rent and let the building sit idle.  Instead of programming, Riverspace will now focus on its plan to redevelop the “superblock” with a multi-use project with theatre as its anchor.

The Board and staff have been working hard to secure funding and support for their redevelopment plans.  They have secured support from Congressman Elliot Engel’s office for $7-8 million from the Department of Transportation’s “SAFETEA LU” program.  This grant money would subsidize a parking garage and needs a public entity to be part of the application.  Riverspace is working with Village of Nyack and Town of Orangetown officials to see if they will be co-applicants for the money.

SAFETEA-LU is shorthand for the federal “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act: A Legacy for Users” program. Funding comes from the federal gas tax and must be used for “multi-modal” projects to get people out of their cars and into other forms of tranportation.  A new parking garage and the nearby bus stops meet this criteria.

It’s unclear where many of the regularly scheduled events at Riverspace will be presented after August. ‘€œWednesday Night at the Movies,’€ the popular film series presented by Rivertown Film at Riverspace will move to Nyack Center and other venues. “Riverspace has been a great partner in this series and they are an important asset to Rockland County,” says Matthew Seig, Director of Rivertown Film.  “We are saddened by their recent need to scale back their activity. We hope to work with them again soon,” he said.

See also: Journal News, 7/19

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