NY details $10 million for 8 projects in Batavia
(Editor’s Note: Batavia was approved for the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award in the Finger Lakes Region last October, edging the Village of Medina’s application. Medina intends to apply for the funding again this year.)
Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced eight transformational projects for Batavia as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. The strategic investments in downtown Batavia will help to drive new, mixed-use development, improve access to local healthcare, and transform public space for community use. The investments are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities for the Finger Lakes.
“Through smart investments and sustainable development, we are transforming Batavia’s downtown and generating prosperity throughout Western New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “These projects will help to not only preserve Batavia’s rich history and character, but they will enhance the city as a destination and act as an engine for future growth for the entire region.”
Batavia was named a DRI Round 2 winner in October. The downtown area is a mixed-use, affordable neighborhood with access to jobs, anchor businesses, and city and county services. The area has an excellent foundation upon which to continue its revitalization, including amenities such as recreational sites, healthcare facilities, food markets, a library, and various retail and restaurant venues in a walkable environment.
The specific projects to be funded through the DRI include:
• Create a Thriving Residential and Commercial Hub on the site of the former Della Penna property by constructing a new mixed-use development on the vacant and abandoned industrial brownfield. The new Ellicott Station will contain mixed-income residential units, four commercial spaces, and a brewery/restaurant and will leverage more than $20 million dollars in grants and private investment, become a thriving residential/commercial anchor for downtown Batavia. ($425,000)
• Rehabilitate the Former Genesee Bank and the Carr’s Department Store Buildings for Mixed-Used Redevelopment. The first floor of the buildings, which have been vacant for more than five years, will be renovated for commercial uses, including a new cidery/café and retail and office incubator space. New mixed-income upper-floor residential units on the upper floors will provide additional housing options for downtown residents. ($1,000,000)
• Establish Ellicott Place as New Mixed-Use Gateway to Downtown by renovating a large, underused building at a prominent location on Ellicott Street to include three first-floor commercial spaces, first-floor covered parking, and ten upper-floor residential units. A new elevator and facade upgrades will improve access and instill community pride in a previously chronically vacant space. The redevelopment of this 48,121-square foot building will complement the nearby Ellicott Station project and establish a new gateway to the downtown. ($1,150,000)
• Develop an Intergenerational Healthy Living Campus in the Heart of Downtown, including a new home for the Genesee Area YMCA. The centrally-located facility will include a 55,000-60,000 square foot building and parking for 300 cars. Together with a complementary medical building planned for the site of the former YMCA building, the project is expected to generate 3,000 visits downtown daily. ($4,075,000)
• Establish a New Regional Performing Arts Center at Batavia City Centre by renovating the façade and interior of the city-owned building. The new visually prominent and centrally located downtown theater will feature space for offices, concessions, retail, and a dance academy, and will augment nightlife and weekend activity. ($700,000)
• Support Downtown Building Improvements by creating a Building Improvement Fund that will provide grants to assist downtown property owners to undertake both interior and exterior renovations. Building improvements will enhance the aesthetics and livability of the downtown core and provide opportunities for new entrepreneurs to establish their businesses. ($600,000)
• Transform City Centre into an Indoor Market and Performance Space by upgrading the concourse and entrances to accommodate an indoor marketplace with micro-retail kiosks and public performance space to hold community events. Improvements will include flooring, lighting, entrance structures, wall color, and roof upgrades. ($1,000,000)
• Enhance Jackson Square, a public gathering space bordered by historic buildings in the heart of downtown, with decorative pavement upgrades, a multi-level deck/stage, seating, lighting, decorative signage, a networking nook, and landscaping. The upgraded public plaza will become a lively hub and common space for community interaction, and provide connections to multiple businesses through its unique alleyway node configuration. ($750,000)
“Today’s announcement of Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative is exciting news for the City of Batavia and our downtown district,” said Eugene Jankowski Jr., Batavia City Council president. “We are thrilled for the projects that were chosen and the City will be ready to assist them move forward. We are also dedicated to work with all the project owners that applied to the DRI, but did not receive funding to help them succeed in their plans here in Batavia. In all, the DRI investment could yield over $40 million in private investment directly into the downtown core of our city and that will bring prosperity to all.”