New owner for historic Odd Fellows building in Holley plans apartments, office space

Photo by Tom Rivers: The former Odd Fellows Hall at 89 Public Square has an owner who plans to get to work soon working on apartments in the second floor and office space in the first level.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 July 2022 at 11:28 am

HOLLEY – The former Odd Fellows Hall, a building from 1890 at the northeast corner of the historic Public Square, has new owners in Michelle and Richard Gallo of Murray.

The village has tried for years to save the build and find an owner with a plan to return the site as a vibrant part of the community.

Michelle Gallo

Dan Schiavone, chairman of the Village of Holley Development Corporation, said he’s confident the Gallos will be good stewards of the building.

“We’re optimistic that the Gallos will make the necessary improvements to the building in order to preserve its historic significance in the village,” Schiavone said. “At one time, we weren’t so sure of the building’s future and thought it might be end up being demolished.  Today, we have renewed hope in the future of this very important historic building in Holley’s Public Square.”

The couple owns Gallo’s Performance Auto Parts & Truck in Brockport and also a restaurant in Hamlin – Gallo’s Bar & Grill. Mrs. Gallo said they will turn the upstairs into two apartments and the first floor into offices for two businesses. They renovated a house on Hindsburg Road and they enjoyed that process of upgrading that property.

Mrs. Gallo said she hears from people about a need for residential and office space in Holley.

“We’re excited about the building,” she said. “We hope to get to work soon. First it will be a clean out and then repair.”

The Village of Holley Development Corporation has owned the site and looked for resources to stabilize the structure. It received a $50,000 grant from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to repair the roof. The Gallos won’t use the grant for the roof work if it means the couple will need state approval for any changes to the building.

Mrs. Gallo said she is waiting to hear the details from the state about any restrictions on the building owner if the grant is utilized.

The Village of Holley Development Corporation was able to secure the grant, and also paid off back taxes on the property, with the county forgiving late fees and interest on the taxes.

“We thought these actions would make the property more attractive to a private investor,” Schiavone said. “We’re happy with this outcome and the new outlook on Odd Fellows Hall.”

The Landmark Society of Western New York in 2018 named the building to its “Five to Revive.” That is an annual list of preservation priorities in the region.

The Landmark Society said the Holley building was at risk due to neglect and masonry deterioration.

“Larger and more imposing than its immediate neighbors, this anchor building is a key element in Holley’s downtown commercial district,” the Landmark Society said in October 2018. “A new owner and a plan for reuse are critical to the ongoing revitalization of downtown Holley.”