Mayor Madden Announces Return of ‘Summer Square’ Program to Downtown Troy for 2020 Season

Mayor Madden Announces Return of ‘Summer Square’ Program to Downtown Troy for 2020 Season

For Immediate Release
July 2, 2020

Mayor Madden Announces Return of ‘Summer Square’ Program to Downtown Troy for 2020 Season

City of Troy, Rensco Pandemic Response Committee Activates Public Spaces in Support of Local Businesses, Tourism

Effort Will Help Transform Public Space to Build Vibrant Socially Distanced Environments, Expand Opportunities for Outdoor Seating, Music, Shopping, Community Programming

Permits for Outdoor Seating Options Available for Restaurants, Bars throughout City of Troy

TROY, NY — Mayor Patrick Madden and the RensCo Pandemic Response Committee today announced the return of ‘Summer Square’ to downtown Troy during the months of July, August, and September. The ‘Summer Square’ program will activate public streets, parks, alleyways and parking spaces for outdoor dining, shopping and community programming in downtown Troy and beyond. The effort is an initiative of the RensCo Pandemic Response Committee, a regional collaborative co-chaired by the City of Troy, Downtown Troy Business Improvement District, and Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Summer Square logo. Text with radiating images of colored rectangles pointing outward, giving the image an appearance of the sun.

Summer Square 2020 will include open-air public dining areas for takeout and picnicking, outdoor dining at local restaurants and bars, and a series of diverse programs including music, lectures, dance, poetry, and more. This rededication of public spaces for responsible use by businesses and the public in accordance with COVID-19 safety and health guidelines will allow Troy’s downtown and neighborhoods to safely reopen and boost consumer confidence within our city. 

Local small businesses have struggled throughout the pandemic. Social distancing guidelines and occupancy limitations make it very difficult for restaurants and brick and mortar retail stores to operate at enough capacity to remain financially viable. The RensCo Pandemic Response Committee has been working with a wide coalition of partners to rededicate public streets and spaces for business use.

Suspension of on-street metered parking in downtown Troy will continue through the end of August.

Activities associated with ‘Summer Square’ are funded with support from the Troy Local Development Cooperation (TLDC) and the Troy Capital Resource Corporation (CRC). Additional funding is being provided by the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund and the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation. Additional support and donations were provided by Passonno Paint, and Hatchet Hardware (please note: the City of Troy does not endorse commercial products, services, or companies).

Mayor Madden said, “Local businesses and restaurants have taken a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Activities and opportunities associated with Summer Square will help assist small businesses who have reopened their doors to weather this difficult period with expanded outdoor seating and exciting programs to bring visitors back to the Collar City while observing health guidelines to ensure a safe, responsible reopening. We thank the countless partners involved in making Summer Square 2020 a reality, including the Arts Center of the Capital Region and TAP, Inc., and look forward to supporting our businesses and restaurants throughout the summer season.”

“Downtown Troy is open for business,” said Katie Hammon, Executive Director of the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District. “It has been a very difficult few months as businesses struggled to survive through pause. They are ready to open their doors but this is just the beginning of building back stronger in safe and creative ways. We have appreciated working with our partners to build programs that support local businesses as they rebuild for a stronger future.”

“Summer Square will provide welcome relief to the Troy restaurants and storefronts that have faced significant challenges over the past few months,” said Kate Manley, President of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Right now, we know consumers are looking for space. By repurposing more of the outdoor, public areas throughout Troy, this initiative will create a safe, welcoming environment that will allow for our local businesses to prosper.”

“Troy’s Capital Resource Corporation and Local Development Corporation have provided funding and management to support Troy’s businesses as they navigate through uncertain times” said Steven Strichman, Executive Director of the TLDC and CRC. “Troy has always provided a welcome outdoor environment for shoppers, and this effort will help restore some normalcy to our merchants and resident’s daily lives.

Leslie Cheu, Executive Director of the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, said, “Our foundation is pleased to join with the Capital Region COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support the Summer Square program in the Collar City. The Unity House Ambassadors will help create a safe and welcoming environment during Troy’s Summer Square, and we’re excited to partner with the City and RensCo Pandemic Response Committee to support their work.”

Included Programs for Summer Square

Public Commons | Monument Square and Sage Park

Enjoy your takeout in the public commons with seating available at Monument Square and picnicking spaces at Sage Park or Riverfront Park, all offered in a physically distanced format. Familial groups can picnic or bring takeout meals to enjoy eating in the open-air together with safe distance from others. Public art adorns the spaces creating a vibrant environment to dine, and the Monument Square Site will offer tables and chairs cleaned and maintained by Unity House Ambassadors. Restrooms will be available during the monument square public commons hours at The Arts Center of the Capital Region. 

Public Commons Hours of Operation
Monument Square & Sage Park
Wednesday through Saturday, 10:30am – 2:30pm and 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Summer Square LIVE!

Public programming will begin in mid-July with live music, lectures, dance, poetry, and more. Stay tuned for the full schedule with socially distanced activities offered Wednesdays through Saturdays in downtown Troy. Summer Square LIVE is a collaboration with the Troy Cultural Alliance, Arts Center of the Capital Region, Downtown Troy BID and Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Visit www.facebook.com/troysummersquare for more information as the program takes shape. Activities will be limited to 50 persons with socially distanced markers ensuring the safety of attendees. 

Pedestrian Walk | Public Commons Expansion

Summer Square wouldn’t be complete without a pedestrian takeover with walkways and expanded dining in the street! 2nd Street between State St. and River St. and Broadway between 3rd Street and River will transform into a pedestrian walk on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings 4pm to 10pm throughout the summer. Your favorite local restaurants have secured permits to expand their outdoor dining on these nights for street dining. Summer Square organizers anticipate the closed streets will help create a public commons atmosphere with public art walking paths in the street. 

Additional Efforts to Support Small Businesses

The City is expanding on previously-announced efforts designed to support brick and mortar retail stores, restaurants, breweries, and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outdoor Dining

Many restaurants and bars are offering outdoor seating throughout the City of Troy with special permits approving businesses the use of adjacent parking spaces, streets and alleyways outside their establishments. Guidelines for outdoor dining were created in a partnership with the City of Troy, TAP Inc. and the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District to assist businesses in creating spaces with public health and the wellbeing of employees and the community in mind. By preemptively designing table layouts and locations within specific areas, organizers are encouraging adherence with the State’s social distancing guidelines while providing a safe and enjoyable way for businesses to reopen. Safely enjoy a meal this summer at your favorite businesses outdoor dining locations!

The City of Troy will continue processing requests from retail locations and restaurants for the occupation of parking spaces or other public space contiguous with their establishment. Applicants are expected to submit a Special Events Permit and provide additional documentation as requested. For more information, call Dylan Turek, City of Troy Economic Development Coordinator, at [email protected] or (518) 279-7412.

Numbered Curbside Pickup Zones

Ordering takeout or quick pick-up from your favorite shops, restaurants and bars? Find the nearest curbside pickup zone making your trip as quick as possible! Let the business know the number on the pickup zone where you are located so they can easily deliver your purchase right to your car. Specific spaces will be installed beginning in early July. 

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Summer Square 2020 was created in collaboration with the RensCo Pandemic Response Committee and Activation Subcommittee, City of Troy, Downtown Troy Business Improvement District, Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Troy Cultural Alliance, TAP Inc., The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Tyny Co., Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Troy Capital Resource Corporation, Troy Local Development Corporation, Unity House, and The Sage Colleges.

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Press Contact:
John Salka, Deputy Director of Public Information
[email protected] / (518) 279-7131

Katie Hammon, Executive Director, Downtown Troy Business Improvement District
[email protected] / (253) 732-9895 (cell)

Tom Engle, Communications Manager, Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce
[email protected] / (518) 274-7020 ext. 16