Gov. Andrew Cuomo, last week, announced the start of construction of a $2.5 million mixed-use redevelopment project in the City of Batavia. The Ellicott Place project, awarded $1.15 million through Batavia's $10 million DRI and managed by Empire State Development, will improve a 48,899-square-foot building by renovating 10,000 square-feet of vacant first-floor space for commercial use, and adding first-floor interior parking, 10 second-floor one/two-bedroom units, a new elevator, and façade upgrades. Once completed, this project will create approximately 30 jobs in the newly developed commercial space.
"For many New Yorkers, the economic recovery from the pandemic is tied directly to the availability of quality homes and jobs," Cuomo said. "This new mixed redevelopment project continues our commitment to investing in communities across the state, improving quality of life for residents and building back a better, stronger New York for all."
"Batavia is on the rise with development projects underway and a renewed sense of energy and optimism," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. "The start of construction on Ellicott Place will serve as a gateway to downtown and create new jobs and opportunities. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is transforming communities across the state, including Batavia, as we work to build back better and reimagine New York state for the post-pandemic future."
Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "Thanks to the vision of Gov. Cuomo, Batavia's Downtown Revitalization Initiative is bringing a new development project that will expand the city's transformation into the area where people can work, live and play. We are celebrating this mixed-use project that will help the local economy with its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and will become a centerpiece of resurgence of commercial and residential buildings at the heart of downtown. I am proud of the role that the Department of State has played in this project and look forward to the continued transformation of Batavia."
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "Our strategic investments in smart mixed-use projects, like the redevelopment of Ellicott Place, will create a more livable and vibrant downtown Batavia. The DRI continues Gov. Cuomo's vision of encouraging regionally based economic momentum by creating communities where people want to build their lives and futures."
Located at 45-47 Ellicott St., in Batavia's downtown, the building was originally constructed for a department store and is now occupied by a retail grocer that utilizes approximately half of the first level. The remainder of the structure is currently vacant.
V.J. Gautieri Constructors will construct this project, which will reactivate the entire building and bring additional activity and residents to downtown Batavia. The DRI award for this project is $1.15 million with a total estimated project cost of $2.5 million.
New York State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer said, "I am happy to hear that Batavia will be receiving more funding for redevelopment. Investing in our upstate communities is extremely important."
Assemblyman Stephen Hawley said, "The continued revitalization of our community through dedicated donations and the hard work of community members shows just how strong Western New York is. I'm thrilled to see that redevelopment of Ellicott Place is well on its way to starting, and like many other members of the community, I eagerly anticipate seeing the fruits of the labor of this project."
Project owner Victor Gautieri said, "This project is deeply important, as my family has been involved with Ellicott Place from its original construction in downtown Batavia. Our commitment to the revitalization of Ellicott Place was met by the strong support of the DRI, and we are excited to see this project welcoming new residents and new business to our community very soon."
Batavia was named a DRI round two winner. The downtown area is a mixed-use, affordable neighborhood with access to jobs, anchor businesses, and city and county services. A press release said, “The 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 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, the governor moved to aggressively accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all 10 regions of the state. The DRI represents a 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 10 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.
Rosado chairs the DRI. 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.