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Batavia Development Corp. revolving loan fund grant will help contractor replace sidewalks around Save-A-Lot

By Mike Pettinella



Directors of the Batavia Development Corporation this morning approved a revolving loan fund grant request of $18,800 from VJ Gautieri Constructors for sidewalk replacement at Ellicott Place.

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative project will result in 10 new market-rate apartments on the upper floor of the Save-A-Lot building at 45-47 Ellicott St., as well as the rehabilitation of 18,000 square feet of vacant commercial space.

“The Ellicott Place project, located in the Batavia Improvement District and the Route 63 redevelopment corridor, is a key DRI project in alignment with the City’s Comprehensive Plan,” said Andrew Maguire, BDC director of economic development. “We’re thrilled with the progress Mr. (Victor) Gautieri and his team have made and we all look forward to the economic impact that Ellicott Place delivers.”

In his application, Gautieri, the company president, said the grant will go toward replacing the private sidewalks that are adjacent to the building, indicating that an increase in the cost of materials has put the project over its budget.

Maguire reported that Gautieri’s commitment to replacing the sidewalks is an eligible use of grant funds that cover masonry repairs, façade improvement and storefront upgrades.

The $3.1 million project received $1.15 million from the state’s DRI award to the City of Batavia.

The capital investment for the sidewalk replacement is pegged at $47,000.

In other action, the board approved a resolution to apply for a National Grid Urban Center/Commercial Revitalization grant for up to $250,000 for the Jackson Square project.

Maguire said that funding could provide for furniture and more lighting elements in the public entertainment area located between Jackson and Center streets.


The board also heard a presentation from Rob Walker, chief executive officer of the GLOW YMCA; Daniel Ireland, president of United Memorial Medical Center, and David Ciurzynski, representative of the two entities, on the progress of the Healthy Living Campus on East Main Street.

The $30 million DRI project will combine services of both the YMCA and the hospital under one roof.

BDC Board President Lori Aratari said the video presentation “got everybody a little more excited to see a visual of what this transformational project is going to bring to Downtown Batavia and how far they have come.”

She said she was impressed with video of the proposed YMCA, mentioning the childcare area, walking track on the second floor overlooking Main Street, fitness area and aquatics center.

“It’s a bright and open area that will be a totally different Y than what we have today,” she said.

Ciurzynski said the venture is a big piece of many projects that will generate new business for the city and Genesee County.

 “This is all part of a plan that will stimulate the growth of our city. Not every single project is going to be the answer to everything, but when we start stitching them together we will have something really nice after a while,” he said.

He shed a bit more light on the timetable, starting with finalizing the design as a prerequisite to obtaining approvals from planning boards and other agencies.

“We have to do an approval for the hospital piece to the (New York State) Department of Health and we’ve got our permit reviews. Hopefully, sometime in September or October we will be able to get it out to contractors for bid,” he advised.

Ciurzynski said demolition of Cary Hall will precede regrading of the site and establishment of the building pad. Once the pad is down, crews will be able to work on the foundation and utilities.

“We really would like to get some of that work done over the winter so when springtime comes, we can hit the ground running and get the building up in the air,” he said.

He mentioned that the schedule could be altered depending upon the availability and shipping of materials -- a problem in the construction industry of late.

Aratari said she is looking forward to the day when the many projects taking place in the city are complete.

“The next couple years are really going to be amazing for Downtown Batavia,” she said. “Hopefully, these will bring the community to downtown as now we’re finally getting back out there.”

Photos: Top, The sidewalks around the Save-A-Lot store will be replaced as part of the Ellicott Place project; bottom, view of the west side of the building, which is being painted bright white. The outside of the second floor, which will have 10 apartments, also has been painted. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

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