State announces $4.5 million for 8 projects in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 May 2024 at 9:31 am

Transformed Canal Basin parking lot, expanded farmers’ market get largest grants in NY Forward funds

Photo by Tom Rivers: The north end of Main Street in Medina is pictured in September. A $4.5 million state grant will pay for eight projects in the downtown area, including apartments at 409-413 Main St., the light green building at left.

MEDINA – Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced this morning how the state is divvying up a $4.5 million NY Forward grant in Medina.

The money will go to eight projects, with one of them a Small Business Fund that will assist small business owners with façade improvements, window repairs and smaller projects. A redesign of the Canal Basin parking lot is the biggest project at more than $1.3 million of the grant.

“The Village of Medina is very appreciative and excited to be selected as a recipient of this year’s New York Forward grant,” Medina Mayor Marguerite Sherman said in a news release from the Governor’s office. “The transformations, upgrades, and renovations will enhance Medina‘s ability to meet its goals in recreation, business, and housing for residents, visitors and businesses. The future is bright and promising in our beautiful historic village. I wish to thank everyone who played a role in making this happen. We can’t wait to get started!”

Medina officials and a committee of community volunteers worked last year to identify projects that would be submitted to the state for a final review. Medina’s committee had more than $9 million in considerations in the downtown and canal waterfront. The state whittled the list from 22 projects to eight that are approved for funding.

The eight projects include:

• Transform Canal Basin Park into a Waterfront Gateway – $1,345,000

Renderings from Empire State Development and Governor’s Office

The parking lot along the Erie Canal will be turned into a “waterfront gateway” complete with green space, seating areas and boater/cyclist amenities.

• Expand the Canal Village Farmer’s Market – $675,000

Upgrade the Canal Village Farmer’s market campus by modernizing the existing building, constructing a pole barn for additional vendor space and beautifying the site with green space.

• Redevelop the Walsh Hotel – $560,000

 Convert the upper floors of the former Walsh Hotel into studio and one-bedroom apartments.

 • Upgrade the Hart House Hotel – $500,000

 Upgrade the Hart House Hotel with new amenities including an enhanced outdoor courtyard space, a gourmet gastropub, a hotel guest lounge, a new front porch and an improved facade.

• Develop Arenite Brewing Company on the Canal – $500,000

Create a microbrewery with tasting room and outdoor seating overlooking the canal, complete with a rooftop solar installation.

• Rehabilitate the Upper Floor Apartments at 409-413 Main Street – $370,000

Renovate the second floor into a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

• Establish a Downtown Small Project Grant Fund – $300,000

Create a pool of funding to support business and property owners with smaller-scale projects like facade improvements, window replacement and other repairs.

• Install Downtown Wayfinding Signage – $250,000

Implement a system of directional, informational, and interpretive signage to direct visitors to key locations and destinations throughout downtown.

The NY Forward program favors upper-story redevelopment in buildings for housing and additional commercial space rather than new construction. The state guidelines prioritize elevating cultural, historical qualities that enhance the feeling of small-town charm. The state also made the program focus on a tight commercial activity area with an opportunity to enhance cultural heritage.

The governor’s announcement this morning also included $10 million of projects in the Village of Perry for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and $4.5 million in Geneseo for another NY Forward community in the Finger Lakes Region.

State Senator Robert G. Ortt said, “It’s wonderful to see New York investing in local businesses throughout our rural parts of the state. The Canalside Village of Medina has seen a recent explosion of new stores, restaurants, and other local businesses and the recently awarded $4.5 Million in NY Forward grants will ensure economic growth and revitalization efforts continue to steam ahead in Medina for years to come,” said Senator Ortt.

Assemblymember Stephen Hawley said, “I’m proud to see the Village of Medina secure these projects through the NY Forward Program. This community has long been one of Western New York’s greatest hidden gems and these projects will help bring improvements for education, transportation and overall quality of life. This is a great step in the right direction to provide our upstate community and I look forward to seeing the impact it will have on the region.”