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Wear your hard hat downtown: Batavia is (happily) a construction zone

By Joanne Beck


Even though the end of summer is now upon us, construction marches on for as long as the weather permits.

Batavia Development Corporation Director Tammy Hathaway recently reviewed a list of projects — from completed and in progress to still in the design phase — throughout downtown.

Hunt Real Estate’s new home at 97 Main St. is set for its debut with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday while architectural and design firms are working out details for a revamped Batavia City Centre and Jackson Square.

Ellicott Station — the $22.5 million project of 55 units within an apartment complex, office suites and a restaurant/brewery is coming along, Hathaway said, sharing that she and City Manager Rachael Tabelski had taken a tour of the south side construction zone.

Standing just outside of the four-story, naked wood complex, one can hear power tools and occasionally see workers on the top floor. Peeking through the window and door cut-outs, one can see traffic along Ellicott Street and businesses on the opposite side of the street.

The project is moving along swiftly, Hathaway said during the BDC meeting at City Hall.

“It’s a gorgeous building,” she said of the defunct Della Penna site that’s part of the project.

Theater 56 will be going into the next phase of construction at its new location in Batavia City Centre, she said. BDC member Pierluigi Cipollone asked if the project was still on course for year-end completion. “As far as I know,” Tabelski said.

Other projects are underway from 99 to 216 Main Street, including a $5.25 million "Carr's Reborn" renovation, and focus has been placed on 60 Evans St., known as Creek Park LLC, Hathaway said. The LLC company is a subdivision of Batavia Development Corporation: "BDC will take ownership of  Creek Park LLC for land development," she said. "To make the unknowns known."

For example, Savarino Companies went through Creek Park LLC for its Ellicott Station project, she said. There is also a piece of property called Creek Park that sits behind the ice arena on Evans Street.

“We’re working on getting that into Brownfield development,” she said.

Brownfields are identified for potentially needing remediation to remove toxic materials from those sites. There has been some interest in the site, so far, Hathaway said, and it's unknown right now whether remediation will be required, so that will need to be explored.

“It’s been extremely exciting lately,” she said. “I have a major crush on this job.”

Three different blocks of projects have so far tallied estimated investments of $2.4 million, $66 million, and $1.14 million, she said, for all of the above sites, plus the Healthy Living campus, which is also under construction, and Ellicott Place, which has been completed on top of the Save-A-Lot building at Ellicott and Jackson streets.

A majority of the $69.4 million investment has been from private developers, with the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and New York Main Street grants providing about $10.8 million toward the cost.

“I would say to pack your hard hat and work boots because so much is going on with tours,” she said to the BDC members.



Top Photo: Creek Park on Evans Street, Batavia, has been identified as potential development property; Ellicott Station developer Savarino Companies continues to progress toward a 55-unit apartment complex with 52 balconies, nine units dedicated to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, 37 garage parking spots and 44 surface parking spaces, a laundry room, elevator, community room, bicycle storage and an enclosed ADA playground on Ellicott Street. Photos by Joanne Beck.

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