When Andrew Cuomo, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), took the podium yesterday at the grand opening of The Boatyard Grill in Ithaca, he extolled the successes that resulted from early investment in the City.
Cuomo visited the City to honor the ten-year project that was undertaken to revitalize a key economic sector of Ithaca. He referred to the land, known as Inlet Island — located on the City’s west side — as a brownfield that had turned into a gold mine.
“Cuomo made it a point to try to help New York State,” said Prof. Emeritus Stuart Stein, city and regional planning, a member of the Tompkins County Board of Representatives. “I think it was fitting for him to have been there to cut the ribbon.”
As Cuomo cultivated entrepreneurial expansion from afar in Washington, he also developed a close working relationship with Ithaca Mayor Alan J. Cohen ’81. While Cohen and the three owners of The Boatyard Grill co-hosted the event yesterday, it was Cohen’s office that arranged to bring Cuomo.
The mid-day event praised the restaurant’s opening as a landmark in a development initiative that involved local, county and federal stewardship. However, it was largely the cooperation between Cohen and Cuomo that drove progress on Inlet Island — once used to house a Coast Guard facility and a marina that stored boats not in use in the Cayuga and Seneca Canal.
“It is no understatement for me to say