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Cedar Street Sales and Rentals

Photos: Car from Joe Gibbs Racing on display at Cedar Street Sales and Rentals

By Howard B. Owens
Joe Gibb race car

A car that is part of the Joe Gibbs Race Team visited Cedar Street Sales and Rental today.  Race team sponsors include DeWalt and Cub Cadet, brands carried by Cedar Street.

The team has won five Cup Series titles since 2000 and is based in Huntersville, N.C.

Pictured are Cedar Street's Guy Clark, center, Ethan Carter, from Club Cadet, and Morris Abernathy, representing Joe Gibbs Racing.

The car will be at Cedar Street on Saturday from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.

Photos by Howard Owens.

Joe Gibb race car
Joe Gibb race car
Joe Gibb race car

Cedar Street Sales and Rentals remains family run as it enters its fourth decade

By Howard B. Owens

It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to make it in business for 30 years, Guy Clark said Friday, following a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Cedar Street Sales and Rentals in Batavia.

"A lot of it is also being a big part of the community," Clark said.

The celebration also makes another significant transition for Clark, who is taking on the role of being semi-retired, reducing his work hours to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with his sons Adam and Connor taking on more responsibility for the business.

"They have been over the last few years (taking on a bigger role)," Clark said. "They both went to college and came aboard afterward. They got business degrees. We didn't plan on it. It just happened to work out like that. They're so smart and innovative, and you really have to be these days. You can't wing it like I did forever. You have to be very methodical."

He said he has a lot of confidence in his sons, and all three men work together well.

"It's awesome to have someone to throw things around with, to bounce things off," Clark said. "Now we have a quick little powwow -- what do you think about this -- and we just did that with the Home Show. Will we be in the Home Show this year? We talked about not being in it because it's in the middle of April, kind of late for us.  Just as we stood there, said, What do you think? Well, I'll work, and I'll work. Let's go. Let's do it. So it's fun to have those kinds of decisions instantly."

Photo by Howard Owens.

Chamber of Commerce recognizes Cedar Street Sales & Rentals at 'Business After Hours' event

By Mike Pettinella

“In today’s society, people want it now and if you don’t have it, they may go someplace else.”

With that statement, Guy Clark, owner of Cedar Street Sales & Rentals, articulated a retail principle that motivated him and his sons, Connor and Adam, to construct a 6,000-square foot warehouse across the street from the business that has been a fixture in Batavia for the past 28 years.

The Clarks hosted a Genesee County Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” event on Thursday evening, attracting about 50 people to the 60- by 100-foot building that can house a couple hundred Cub Cadet lawn mowers and snowblowers.

Clark provided a quick recap of the thought process behind the company’s expansion.

“This lot came with the property across the street but it was just an empty, vacant lot that was overgrown for years,” he said. “Every year, we’d get crates and crates of lawn mowers and we’d had nothing to do with them – no place to put them. We put them together as you sold them – keeping them out back (at 111 Cedar St.) and it became a crowded mess.”

He said he got together with Connor and Adam, both college graduates with business degrees, and they sketched out a design on paper and came up with a plan.

“And now we have this building with beautiful loading dock where we can unload tractor-trailers on a regular basis,” Clark said.

Recently, the national sales manager for Cub Cadet visited the warehouse and was impressed, Clark noted.

“He said this is the future … and he took a lot of pictures,” he said. “Around March 1st, we’ll have 150 mowers completely ready to go in this building.”

Photo at top: Guy Clark, Chamber of Commerce President Erik Fix, Adam Clark and Connor Clark; photo at bottom: Inside view of the Cedar Street Sales & Rentals warehouse. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Cedar Street Rentals donates two benches to the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden

By Billie Owens

Submitted photo and press release:

Cedar Street Rentals in Batavia has donated two Cub Cadet benches to the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden.

They are being placed in front of the shed on the west side of the County Building and Grounds Facility, along the path to the Memory Walk for a resting point for walkers who care to take a seat and enjoy.

They are a beautiful addition to the efforts of beautifying Downtown Batavia.

We members would like to take this opportunity to thank our community for all of its support in helping our flags flying and our flowers blooming!

In the photo above: committee members standing along the left bench are Louise Wallace, Berneda Scoins, Carol Grasso, and Donald Wallace; seated are Carolyn Epps with our youngest member Caleb Johnson. Standing in the middle are Ellen Bachorski, owner of Cedar Street Rentals Guy Clark and Barb Toal.

Video: Lumberjack competition demonstration

By Howard B. Owens
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Elba residents Dan Starowitz and Brian Shuknecht got started in lumberjack competitions while in college. Yesterday, along with their friend Nick Agoglia, they put on a demonstration of a competition at Cedar Street Sales and Rentals in Batavia.

Zoning change to include public storage units advances; Yasses looking to build on Cedar Street

By Mike Pettinella

The opportunity to put some underutilized property back on the tax rolls and spur additional economic development has Batavia City Council members reacting positively to a proposed zoning change that would recognize public storage units within the Batavia Municipal Code.

Council, during Monday night’s Conference meeting, voted to move forward to its July 8 Business meeting a resolution that would include public storage units in Industrial zones contingent upon obtaining a special use permit.

Back in January, Peter Yasses, of Byron, had requested the change in order for him to construct a storage unit facility on vacant property at 54 Cedar St.

His petition was reviewed and supported by the Batavia Planning & Development Committee, which issued a definition of public storage units as a building or buildings comprised of separate rental units of varying size, with or without outside storage, for private storage of personal property by the general public.

Curiously, public storage units were not included in any zoning regulations currently on the books.

“The zoning change is to include public storage units as an allowed use,” said Matt Worth, Department of Public Works director. “They had not been identified in any of the zones prior to this.”

Worth said that City Council can proceed in one of three ways – accept the PDC recommendation “as is” and forward to the Genesee County Planning Board for review, make changes which can be sent directly to county planners, or send the proposal back to the PDC for its review and comment before going to county planners.

Once signed off by all, a public hearing and local law resolution would be the final steps to adopting the zoning modification, said Worth, adding that public storage units would have to be at least 100 feet away from residential property.

Contacted by telephone on Tuesday afternoon, Yasses said he formed 54 Cedar LLC for the purpose of placing six or eight storage units over time on the 7-acre lot across from the DeWitt Recreation Area.

“I bought the land last year and we plan to clean it up and make it look really nice. We want it to look good for the city,” he said.

Yasses, who also owns Yasses Trucking & Construction, said he is waiting for permits from the Department of Environmental Conservation – he believes that remedial work will not be necessary – and for final approval from Genesee County and City planners and Council.

“I would like to put two or three out there to start,” Yasses said, adding that he thinks he will name the business Cedar Street Self-Storage. “With Guy Clark (owner of Cedar Street Sales & Rental) putting up a warehouse next door, the area will look much nicer.”

Yasses said his investment will surpass a half-million dollars when considering that he has to remove numerous trees, strip the topsoil and bring in gravel and stone for the base before starting construction of the units.

“It will be something that in two or three years the City will be proud of,” he said. “That’s my goal.”

He also is planning a similar project for Route 237 in Byron -- north of Route 262.

In other action, Council moved the following items for consideration next month:

-- Resolutions to contract with Grove Roofing Services Inc. of Buffalo in the amount of $664,080 to replace the leaking City Centre Mall concourse roof and to use an additional $100,000 from the Facility Reserve fund to cover both the base bid ($509,680) and the alternate 1 bid ($154,400).

According to Worth, the base bid includes the central, east and north concourse areas and is within the existing budget funds while the alternate 1 bid covers the south and southwest concourse.

“We’re looking at a full transformation, except for the hallway near Dan’s Tire Service and the entryway silo,” Worth said.

The City received four bids for the project, with Grove Roofing coming in at more than $100,000 less than the next lowest bidder. Worth said he is confident in Grove’s ability to tackle such an extensive project.

Council President Eugene Jankowski expressed the sentiment of the entire board when he stated, “We want to see those buckets go away!”

-- Scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. July 8 for the City to act as a “pass through” for Genesee Dental to apply for a NYS Office of Community Renewal Community Development Block Grant.

Patrick Krough, DDS, Genesee Dental owner, is looking to relocate from the City Centre Mall to the former Continental Beauty building at 215 E. Main St. and expand his practice.

According to Rachael Tabelski, Batavia Development Corp. director of economic development, Genesee Dental plans to invest $1.3 million in rehabilitation of the vacant structure and create 18 new full-time equivalent jobs.

Tabelski said the City is eligible to apply CBDG funds to support economic development project that create jobs in low-to-moderate income areas, and this Genesee Dental project fits into that scheme.

The relocated Genesee Dental office would be next to the proposed Healthy Living Campus (YMCA, United Memorial Medical Center offices) that is targeted to receive funding through the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative).

Tabelski said the City will not have to pay for the CBDG application since Genesee Dental is funding the preparation of the paperwork on behalf of the City. The BDC will assist by providing in-kind services, she noted.

-- A resolution to contract with LaBella Associates to submit an application for a $250,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area Pre-Development grant to fund environmental and engineering studies, real estate services, and marketing and research, etc., for the City Centre, Bank Street/Healthy Living Corridor and Harvester (Avenue) Campus.

Tabelski said the BOA Pre-Development Grant is being offered by New York State for the first time, adding that the City will have to pay $3,500 for professional grant writing services and would be responsible for a 10-percent match of the awards (to be covered by in-kind services such as project management, meetings, marketing and communications).

In a related development, Council will consider providing grants from the BDC’s Revolving Loan Fund to go toward projects in the BOA, City Priority Economic Development and Building Improvements.

That resolution calls for two-thirds of the fund to be available for grants of a maximum of $20,000 and one-third of the fund to be available for small business loans. Currently, there is around $400,000 in the RLF, with about $250,000 of that in cash.

Photo: View looking south on Cedar Street, with the tree-laded lot owned by Peter Yasses on the right and the sign for the DeWitt Recreation Area on the left. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

GCEDC to consider project incentives for two businesses on Thursday

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider approving incentives for a project in the City of Batavia and accepting an application for incentives for a project in Le Roy at the board’s Thursday, June 6th, meeting.

Cedar Street Sales & Rentals (Mucher & Clark LLC) is seeking sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions to support a $165,000 project that would include the construction of a 6,000-square-foot warehouse at 52 Cedar St. Mucher & Clark LLC is seeking incentives totaling approximately $37,000.

The project supports 10 jobs and is located adjacent to a highly distressed census tract in the City of Batavia and is estimated to generate revenues of approximately $28,000 into the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (B2P) fund over 10 years.

W&M Humphrey Associates LP is submitting an application for incentives for sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions to support a $3.1 million project in Le Roy that would expand the Munson Street facilities leased to the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP). The expansion supports 525 full-time jobs.

W&M Humphrey Associates is seeking a $285,517 property tax exemption, a $149,610 sales tax exemption, and a $30,000 mortgage tax exemption. Since incentives total over $100,000, the GCEDC will schedule a public hearing if the board accepts the application.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at its offices on 99 MedTech Drive in Batavia at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 6th. The meeting is open to the public.

Photo: DeWitt sunrise

By Howard B. Owens

Guy Clark, owner of Cedar Street Sales and Rental, shared this photo from earlier this week of a sunrise over DeWitt Recreation Area.

Photo: $1 tacos at Cedar Street for Cinco de Mayo benefited YWCA

By Howard B. Owens

For Cinco de Mayo yesterday, Cedar Street Sales and Rentals, served up $1 tacos to store visitors. The proceeds, along with any donations, are going to the local YWCA to help the 109-year-old service organization out of its financial difficulties.

Cedar Street Sales & Rental celebrating 25th anniversary this weekend

By Howard B. Owens

Guy Clark Jr., pride was apparent in his smile today as he spoke about his business, Cedar Street Sales & Rentals, celebrating its 25 anniversary.

Getting to this milestone was a lot of hard work, he said.

"It's still long hours and taking the time taking care of customers," Clark said. "I think it's all about relationships and not being afraid to try new things and being innovative."

Clark was a heavy truck mechanic when he decided to open an underfunded tool and rental business in Le Roy. Then one day Harvey Cummings of Cummings and Baker in Batavia suggested he sell his business and partner with Cummings and Baker to open a rental shop in Batavia. Cummings and Baker had an empty building on Cedar Street that would be suitable to the new enterprise and Ricky Palermo came on as a business partner as well.

In Le Roy, Clark wanted a tool shop. He didn't plan on getting into a rental business but found people wanted to rent things, so that's what he did. Part of the motivation for opening in Batavia was that the owner of the rental shop that was in town the owner was older and ready to retire, Clark said, so that seemed like an opportunity.

The first employee didn't draw a paycheck. That was Clark's mother, who wouldn't think of it. After his father retired, he worked at the shop for 10 years before he passed away. Now the business is all Clark's and he works with his two sons (his daughter has also worked at the business in the past).

Working with his family is just a lot of fun he said.

"The whole family has worked here at some point," Clark said. "It is just plain fun and we get along so great. We all do the same thing every day. Whoever's available, you wait on someone or take care of them or do what you need to do. There are no real roles per se. You just show up and do what you got to."

There was no real plan to bring his sons Adam and Connor into the business. It just happened.

"About the time Adam got out of college the wife of one of our longtime employees pass away and he abruptly retired," Clark said. "Adam was just graduating and I said, 'I know that's not your plan, but could we count on you for the summer anyway just to get us there' and that was five years ago."

When Connor graduated, he decided he wanted to give the family business a try himself.

"He said, 'Hey, if there's room for me I'd like to give it a shot.' "

Clark said he couldn't be happier working with his sons every day.

"It's credible," Clark said. "It's a lot of fun. I mean, it really is. We have a great time and 2017 was our best year ever in virtually every department and I think a lot of it's due to them. Their new vision, their new attitude. They are one step ahead of me with everything. I mean they're motivated and into it."

With 25 years under his belt, Clark hasn't forgotten how he got his start.

"I owe thanks to Harvey Cummings and Ricky Palermo for the opportunity to begin with," Clark said. "It's been great. People are pretty cool around the Genesee. The relationships you build over the years is pretty special."

The anniversary celebration is Friday and Saturday. There will be a free breakfast and a free lunch, equipment demos (including the new robot lawnmower pictured below), prizes and drawings and a ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. tomorrow.

Cedar Street installs test-drive yard for lawn tractors

By Howard B. Owens

Guy Clark Jr., owner of Cedar Street Sales and Rentals, said that as far as he knows, he has the only test-drive lawn for lawnmowers in the area.

Over a period of months, Clark and his sons Connor (pictured with Guy) and Adam transformed what had just been a strip of weeds next to the store's building into a well-manicured lawn where customers can test drive the complete line of Cub Cadet riding mowers.

Clark went all local in designing and building the test drive area. Jon Ehrmentraut of Le Roy designed the yard. The grass came from Batavia Turf. Tri-County Glass and Armor Building Supply provided materials for a new door from the shop into the yard. Sterling Tent made the awning over the door, and the landscaping was purchased from local nurseries.

Clark figures the little park-like addition to his business will also be suitable for community after-work parties.

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