Holley will seek $1 million state grant for old school renovation project

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 15 November 2017 at 2:41 pm

HOLLEY – Village Board members voted Tuesday evening to authorize the village to apply for RESTORE NY funds for the proposed Holley Gardens project, which would repurpose the old Holley High School for use as a mixed-use senior housing and commercial development as well as village office space.

The village will apply for $1 million in RESTORE NY funds.  The Restore NY Communities Initiative provides municipalities with financial assistance for the revitalization of commercial and residential properties.

Charlie Oster, development coordinator for Edgemere Development and Kim Russell, executive VP of Home Leasing, spoke during a public hearing on the application held immediately before the board vote.

“If this sounds like deja vu, it is,” Oster told trustees.

In July 2017,  the Holley Village Board endorsed developers’ efforts to seek grant funding from NYSERDA, the NY Main St. Grant Program and the Empire State Economic Development Fund through a NYS consolidated Funding application.

“We haven’t heard back yet,” Oster said regarding the July applications, although he indicated word could come anytime now.

He said developers are re-submitting an application for funding from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, which was not funded last spring on the first application.

The village must apply for the RESTORE NY funds, Oster said, it cannot be a private developer.

In addition to the RESTORE NY funds, developers are seeking $7-8 million in tax incentives and $3 million in low-interest loans for the project which includes 43 units of senior housing, space for village offices and restoration of the auditorium for use as meeting space.

Developers and Mayor Brian Sorochty continue to urge residents to write letters of support for the Holley Gardens project.

Letters from seniors in the community in need of such housing are especially vital, Kim Russell said.

Sorochty said officials are not certain right now what the impact of the potential elimination of the Federal Historic Tax Credit in the Tax Reform bill might have, but the possibility exists that it could have a negative impact.  The program provides a 20 percent federal income tax credit for owners of income-producing properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

He encouraged residents to contact their Congressional representatives to express their support that the tax credit remains available.

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