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NYS Department of State announces start of construction for $1.1 million redevelopment project in Batavia

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Wed, Sep 30th 2020 05:50 pm

Cuomo’s $10 million DRI investment part of strategic goal to enrich & improve quality of life in region

The New York State Department of State announced the start of construction for a $1.1 million redevelopment project in the City of Batavia. This project, awarded through Batavia’s DRI Building Improvement Fund, will rehabilitate a three-story, 7,500 square-foot building built in 1865. Batavia’s downtown area is a mixed-use, affordable neighborhood with access to jobs, anchor businesses, and city and county services.

“Our Downtown Revitalization Initiative is transforming communities statewide by empowering local stakeholders to put forward their best ideas on economic development based on collaboration and shared purpose,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “Batavia is uniquely positioned between two major urban areas, but has carved out its own identity with projects like 99 Main St. These projects will attract new people with a new life, energy and sense of pride, and help New York build back better for a post-pandemic future.”

The renovation and redevelopment of this historic building will include a new storefront, façade and reconstruction of the existing three floors. A dental practice will reside on the first floor with the second floor being developed for commercial office space. The third floor will include two, two-bedroom market-rate apartments.

The redevelopment of this historic building is part of the DRI award for the Building Improvement Fund, which provided the city with the resources to award building improvement projects in the downtown. The award from the fund is $137,600 with a total estimated project cost of $1,165,000. The fund is operated locally by the Batavia Development Corp. and administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The Genesee County Economic Development Center also supported the redevelopment through mortgage and sales tax incentives of $63,500. Neppalli Holdings LLC will invest nearly $1 million to renovate the building as part of the public-private partnerships for DRI.

Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “Batavia’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative is becoming a reality and it will bring a new look and way of life for residents to live, work and play in their business district. The Building Improvement Fund award provides an opportunity for economic investments in Batavia through the redevelopment of its business district, attracting a new generation of social and commercial enterprises to the city. This project is a testament that hard work and dedication, even in these unprecedented times, can yield progress and a bright future.”

NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Through Gov. Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we are working directly with communities across the state to implement targeted economic development projects like this one that expand housing opportunities, enhance the downtown streetscape, and create a more lively and walkable commercial district. Batavia’s Building Improvement Fund will utilize $138,000 in DRI funds to transform this historic property at 99 Main St., into a beautiful mixed-use building with new office space and two apartments on the third floor. By supporting local efforts to strategically improve downtown districts with state resources, we are breathing new life into Batavia, the Finger Lakes Region, and beyond.”

Batavia was named a DRI round two winner. The downtown area has an excellent foundation upon which to continue its revitalization, including amenities such as recreational sites, health care facilities, food markets, a library, and various retail and restaurant venues in a walkable environment.

The Strategic Investment Plan for downtown Batavia is working closely with private partners and local assets to implement the other eight projects awarded. These projects alongside all of the projects that will be awarded through the DRI Building Improvement Fund will create opportunities for economic development, transportation, housing and community projects that align with the community's vision for downtown revitalization and that are ready for implementation. The downtown Batavia Strategic Investment Plan is guiding the investment of DRI grant funds in revitalization projects that advance the community's vision for its downtown and that can leverage and expand upon the state's $10 million investment.

In 2016, Cuomo launched the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Through the DRI, he moved to aggressively accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all ten regions of the state. The DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation.

In the first four years of the DRI, the state has committed $400 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity. Participating communities are nominated by the state's ten Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown's potential for transformation, and each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community's vision for revitalization.

The DRI is chaired by Rosado. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development, and NYS Homes and Community Renewal. Other agencies are also involved in reviewing and implementing projects. 

Accelerating ‘Finger Lakes Forward’

This announcement complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The state has already invested more than $8 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the region is accelerating “Finger Lakes Forward” with a $500 million state investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Cuomo in December 2015. The state's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

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