The vacant land with an address of 2 Montgomery St. in the City of Newburgh is both an opportunity and a symbol.

It once was in the heart of the city torn by a program that sounded good yet left little but wreckage and ill will here and elsewhere.

Urban Renewal did little to renew the cities it targeted. In Newburgh and elsewhere, it removed fading and deteriorating buildings and neighborhoods and replaced them in many cases with nothing, waiting for a better idea to come along.

Now, the city is divided over one plan to redevelop that land and the choices are complex as always.

A New York City–based development company has proposed mixed income home ownership, rental housing and supportive housing for that land. In return for being able to develop that, the company would stabilize the historic and fragile Dutch Reformed Church on Grand Street and restore the neighboring City Club, now just a burned-out shell.

Nobody disputes the need to work on those two buildings and to do it soon. Without a plan and the money to fund it, both are going to deteriorate to the point where they will have to be torn down, a time that seems to be not that far away.

But the idea for developing the Montgomery Street property is the hangup with some arguing that a prime piece of property with a spectacular river view can be much more, can provide housing for the emerging and arriving middle class that the city is attracting and hoping to keep on luring as it gets prohibitively expensive to live in Manhattan, Brooklyn and other nearby suburban counties.

That is a good idea. What is needs is a real plan and so far there does not seem to be one.

City Council members are frustrated with the developer, Alembic, which has not yet provided the details that would be necessary for approval and progress. There are those on and off the council who would like to start over, to find some developer who would actually meet all of the goals that started this latest discussion about the renewal of the city a year or so ago.

A few years before this came up, the city entertained the proposals of a developer with a sweeping and encouraging vision for many nearby neighborhoods. That developer saw the city for what it is, a walkable community with intriguing architecture all of which had been neglected but was still viable.

So the council now faces a familiar challenge. Work with this developer on a plan that meets some goals shared by all or start over with a plan that would meet the objections.

If there is a developer with a new plan, now would be a good time to step up. If those who have legitimate complaints about the direction of the present plan have a new proposal with both details and potential funding, now would be an even better time for them to step up.

Or the council can wait with clear consequences. The property to be developed would remain vacant. The deteriorating historic structures would deteriorate further.