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January 27, 2023 - 6:25pm
posted by Press Release in news, Batavia City Centre, Mall Market, downtown.

Press Release:

The Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) is looking for vendors to participate in the City Centre Concourse Mall Market.

The Mall Market’s mission is to assist in revitalizing the Batavia City Centre Mall and we invite residents to attend the market and to aid in supporting our local businesses.

The Mall Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays starting February 4  through May 27, 2023. (It will be closed April 15.)

BDC welcomes home business vendors, crafters, farmer market stands, etc. to apply and promote their business products.

The vending registration fee is $20 per Saturday, with the first vending visit being free.

Anyone interested in endorsing their business or promoting their products is encouraged to apply HERE.

Have questions, contact BDC Director Tammy Hathaway at (585) 345-6380.

January 16, 2023 - 8:48pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Ellicott Station, savarino companies, batavia, downtown.

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Housing projects have various classifications, such as workforce, affordable and low income, all of which have certain definitions and income levels, and The Batavian wanted to clarify which words and parameters fit the Ellicott Station project in downtown Batavia.

First, a little housing definitions lesson:

Affordable Housing is generally defined as housing on which the occupant is paying no more than 30 percent of gross income for housing costs, including utilities.

Market Rate Housing is the prevailing monthly cost for rental housing. It is set by the landlord without restrictions.

Housing Authority Housing authorities are public corporations with boards appointed by the local government. Their mission is to provide affordable housing to low- and moderate-income people. In addition to public housing, housing authorities also provide other types of subsidized housing.

Subsidized Housing is a generic term covering all federal, state or local government programs that reduce the cost of housing for low- and moderate-income residents. Housing can be subsidized in numerous ways—giving tenants a rent voucher, helping homebuyers with downpayment assistance, reducing the interest on a mortgage, providing deferred loans to help developers acquire and develop property, giving tax credits to encourage investment in low- and moderate-income housing, authorizing tax-exempt bond authority to finance the housing, providing ongoing assistance to reduce the operating costs of housing and others. Public housing, project-based Section 8, Section 8 vouchers, tax credits, the State Housing Trust Fund, and Seattle Housing Levy programs are all examples of subsidized housing. Subsidized housing can range from apartments for families to senior housing high-rises. Subsidized simply means that rents are reduced because of a particular government program. It has nothing to do with the quality, location or type of housing. In fact, a number of Seattle's subsidized housing developments have received local and national design awards.

Workforce Housing is the industry standard definition for affordable housing that serves families that are at or below 60 percent of the median income.

When talking to local economic and project development folks, semantics seemed to really matter. Workforce was not much different than affordable, according to one person, and the term low income was freely bandied about until The Batavian tried to confirm that the housing was subsidized, and the comment was retracted. And nobody wanted to be quoted out of uncertainty.

The assets manager for Savarino Companies has not yet replied to email inquiries after The Batavian was referred to her last week.

At last, an answer came from Jim Krencik of the county’s Economic Development Center. Krencik confirmed that the buck stopped with him, per the last known income qualifications that EDC was aware of for the Ellicott Station project.

To back up a bit, why was this a question to begin with? Because, several years ago, in the infant stage of this project, there was talk of market-rate apartments to provide up-scale prices and amenities to feed the appetites of higher-paid workers and help to grow the city’s economy with an influx of well-to-do consumers.

That bubble was burst last year when Sam Savarino, owner of Savarino Companies, announced that it was a workforce apartment project going up on Ellicott Street. It was going to be for entry-level workers making around $20 an hour or less.

But then rumblings and murmurs took to the streets, combined with questions and fear and lack of details, and the possibility of this being a mixed project of affordable and low income, or subsidized only, emerged. So The Batavian tried to get an answer from economic and project development folks — to no avail.

So now, onto the answer. Krencik didn’t really give a classification label, but just an answer. Of the total of 55 units, 25 of them will go to tenants with 50 percent of the county’s current available median income, and 30 units will go to those with 60 percent of the median income.

As an example of what that could be, the latest median yearly income data from 2017 to 2021 was $63,734, 50 percent of that is $31,867 and 60 percent is $38,240. Krencik emphasized that if someone was approved based on that starting salary and then was promoted and earned a raise, he or she wouldn’t lose the apartment because of that increased figure.

The idea is to provide quality housing to people who may have just graduated from college and are starting out with a new job and career, and want to live in a decent place that they can also afford, he said.

What about all of those parents stating that their kids can’t find jobs to keep them here? Do you really think there will be enough entry level people to fill this complex?
Krencik was glad to get the question. He could then volley back information about a new program called Cornell Food Processing Bootcamp, which is specifically for 2023 graduates. Students can earn a free food processing certificate from Cornell University at Genesee Valley BOCES and connect with local food manufacturers that are hiring with average starting wages of $20/hour, according to a GCEDC flyer.

After doing some hard-hitting promotion of the program, there are 26 students signed up so far, Krencik said, all of whom could be viable candidates for Ellicott Station. While the housing complex won’t be for everyone, it can fill many needs, he said.

“A lot of folks in that cohort are saying, hey, you know, I want to live where I have a supermarket, that's a 20-second walk away, and there's restaurants a 30-second walk away,” he said. “And there's musical performances, of all the concerts that happen in that area, that is attracted to that group. And right now, we've been really marketing that program hard for about three days now.

“And we're hoping to address, with a lot of activity that's been happening, if there wasn't enough quality apartments or single-family homes, and having projects that are taking those on to help people out at all phases of their life when they're starting off in a career or ready to, you know, have that big single family home for their growing family, or they're on the other side of that, and they're looking for the type of housing where they don't need a big house anymore, having all those available is really the key to having viability in our housing market,” he said. “So I guess a single project doesn't doesn't solve it for every one of those scenarios, but it's a piece of solving it with many others.”

Savarino Companies has been taking names of interested tenants for the complex, which is to open this summer. For more information, go to ellicottstation.com.

File Photo of Ellicott Station's progress in January 2023, by Howard Owens.

January 16, 2023 - 8:10am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Hunt Real Estate, batavia, downtown.

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Things are looking up again in downtown Batavia.

A request to revise the current commercial zoning district at 97 Main St. and convert the second and third floors to residential use with the construction of four apartments is up for review during the city’s Planning and Development Committee meeting this week.

It’s set for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Board Room of City Hall.

Applicant David Rowley of VJ Gautieri Constructors has applied for a special use permit on behalf of property owner Peter Hunt.

Hunt purchased 97 Main St. in January of 2022 and listed apartments as a future goal for the property after getting lower floor renovations completed at the site at the corner of Main and Jackson streets. At the time, he said the new space will have room — an estimated couple of thousand square feet on each of three floors — for growth of personnel and offices, and an apartment on each of the second and third floors. He cited the "high ceilings and beautiful windows" that would make the property a great work and living space.

According to related agenda materials, he has requested to build two apartments on each of the second and third floors.

The meeting agenda includes a review of the application, a public hearing and discussion about the request, and action by the board. The property is currently zoned C-3, which is for commercial use, and the request is to rezone it for R-2, residential use.

There are other properties downtown that have been converted in a similar fashion, with first floors used for retail and commerce purposes and upper floors as office and residential space.

Supplemental materials for the request state that:

  • One each waste and recycling totes would be provided per apartment in the alley behind the building;
  • Off-street parking would be available adjacent to the intersection of Jackson and Ellicott streets in an area designated for overnight parking;
  • A dumbwaiter on the south side of the building in the alley could be used for hauling up groceries and other heavy objects; and
  • An entrance on Jackson Street is being updated for security.

An estimated cost of work has yet to be determined.

The second item on the agenda is a request from Brad Trzecieski, owner of 327 Ellicott St., Batavia, to make exterior alterations to his mixed-use building located within the central commercial district of the Business Improvement District on the south side of downtown.

File photo of when Hunt Real Estate celebrated its new Batavia home at 97 Main St., by Howard Owens.

January 10, 2023 - 6:44pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, bdc, batavia, downtown.

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Although the Batavia Development Corporation was established in 1994, Tammy Hathaway has been the new director for just under a year, hired for the position in May of 2022.

She brought with her a passion for finding answers and being inquisitive about the mechanisms of how things work. And since buckling down in her first-floor City Hall office, Hathaway has been learning more about grant programs, housing projects, construction sites, and even mall markets. 

Hathaway was given the spotlight Monday evening to present the nonprofit agency’s activities, projects and benefits to City Council during its conference session at City Hall. The BDC has a number of historical objectives, she said, including to:

  • Improve the quality of life within the city through planning, collaboration, and programming;
  • Encourage retention and development of small businesses;
  • Promote additional and maximum employment opportunities; and
  • Retain and enhance the community’s fiscal base and attract new business.

Hathaway believes that economic development is important because it means private and business investment, job creation, industry diversification, new construction, rehabilitation projects, business retention and expansion, improved quality of life and sustainability and longevity.

With 54 percent of Batavia businesses being run by one to four employees compared to 2.6 percent having 100 or more, there’s one clear fact when it comes to the small business world here, she said.

“We cannot deny that small businesses are a critical component to our economic development,” she said.

Other stats include 10,318 people that are employed in the City of Batavia, 2,500 of which are filled by city residents and 7,818 commute to work in Batavia.

The top four industries here are health care/social services, manufacturing, retail and office work, she said. An important question to ask is, “what do we do that make people want to live here, work here, and play here?” she said.

Diversity of projects may be a good start. Projects such as the Ellicott Station apartment complex on the city’s south side, renovation of the adjacent former Della Penna building for a future restaurant/brewery, renovation and expansion of the GLOW YMCA and Healthy Living campus in downtown, continuous evolving of Harvester Center on the east side, and redevelopment of Creekside property behind the ice rink are five key undertakings in designated brownfield areas being or having been cleaned up and prepared for new ventures.

Hathaway likes to say that it’s about learning about what you don’t know so that the unknowns are known. Once that happens, then action can take place.

Other completed projects include Hunt Real Estate’s purchase and renovation at the corner of Main and Jackson streets, Main St. Pizza Company’s ongoing upper-floor apartment project, and Dr. Neppalli’s overhaul of 99 Main St. for office and apartment space.

Eight projects, which also include the former Carr’s building, Theater 56, Jackson Square and City Centre, were awarded funds from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, she said, for an estimated total $66 million investment.

“BDC’s dedicated efforts have increased assessed values by almost $10.5 million,” Hathaway said.

Photo of Tammy Hathaway by Howard Owens.

January 6, 2023 - 12:47pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Mall Market, Batavia City Centre, downtown.

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While gathered around a table in the middle of the mall concourse Thursday, a group of stakeholders reminisced about the “hits and misses” during an impromptu mall market for several Saturdays last fall.

The group was led by Tammy Hathaway, director of Batavia Development Corporation, who had surveyed participants for feedback about how the market went in a first-time trial run.

“What a great group of people, it's the right group of people to assess that small little field test of using the City Centre concourse, as a little bit of momentum, like a market vendor space. We had fantastic feedback, and it was positive,” Hathaway said. “We want hits and misses, so that we can make it better, and everyone wants to move forward."

She appreciated their honesty about the critiques, and also about the one unanimous sentiment, Hathaway said.

“Every single one of them enjoyed being in here,” she said.

Issues to be worked out include pricing — which vendors said was too high at $40 per day — and the market’s hours of 8:30 to 11 a.m.

“Batavia doesn’t wake up until 10 a.m.,” vendor Adam Garner said.

Garner, a fifth generation member of Garner Farms of Le Roy, has participated in other markets in Le Roy and Rochester, and offered his perspective about what seems to work elsewhere.

Garner Farms was a regular at Batavia’s mall market with heritage pork and chicken products, and he looks forward to continuing to be part of it.

“Overall, it was good. There were weeks that were slow, but weeks, there's weeks that were above, that we had a lot more people than I expected. We’re hoping to get to expand as we have more people coming in here,” he said. “So we have an indoor market. There's nothing around here. The only indoor market I know is down in Ithaca. So we do Le Roy farmers market. We're looking into doing a couple in Rochester. I do one in the South Wedge. And then we do vendor events that we do in Le Roy. Our farm began in 1932 and it will be 100 years old.”

The group discussed moving the hours so they would linger into the early afternoon, say from 10:30 a.m. to around 1:30 p.m. Hathaway received a lot of feedback that a majority of vendors thought the total hours should be capped at three hours, with a rationale of preferring to make $150 in three hours versus $175 in four.

City maintenance worker Tom Phelps said that the mall facility used to be open to 2 p.m., and that was eventually reduced to not being open at all on Saturdays during COVID season, and now is back to being open to noon.

Other areas of consideration involve requiring vendors to have insurance coverage, making access easier for vendors with larger or bulky items, including some type of coffee station, how best to promote the event, and making it a family-friendly market with rotating activities and themes.

The general consensus of group members Loretta Delpriore of Batavia Stagecoach Florist, Katie Hobbs of Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Garner, Phelps, Pat Burk of Theater 56 and Hathaway was to resume the market on Feb. 4 with a focus on Valentine’s Day, and integrate themes from there onward. Hobbs manages a market for the village of Corfu and offered ideas to include kids in these events as well.

“So we created a very large to do-list of items to make this move forward. And it's great to have participants, everyone who sat at this meeting today participated in the meeting, and has the same passion for seeing this building full of life,” Hathaway said. “The goal is February 4 to reinstate the Saturday mall market and have revised hours and make it totally revised.

“I think we'll definitely go to mid to end of May,” she said. “So we'll have a little bit of time to let everybody breathe, regroup and everything before the outdoor farmers market begins.”

Photo of Tammy Hathaway of Batavia Development Corporation, left, Loretta Delpriore of Batavia Stagecoach Florist, Pat Burk of Theater 56, Katie Hobbs of Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Adam Garner of Garner Farms and city maintenance staff Tom Phelps evaluate last year's Saturday mall market in an effort to move forward with the concept beginning Feb. 4. Photo by Joanne Beck. 

January 5, 2023 - 11:11am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, city of batavia, new police station, downtown.

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City officials are getting off to a good start in the new year with news of receiving $2.5 million to go toward a new police station for downtown Batavia.

The much debated station — whether to renovate the current site at Brisbane Mansion on Main Street or build anew — was finalized with a City Council vote in 2021, and designs have been in progress ever since.

Toward the end of 2022, City Manager Rachael Tabelski had spoken with high hopes of receiving funding as part of a federal omnibus legislation, which came through and was announced Thursday.

“We are grateful for the support from Senator Chuck Schumer and former Congressman Christopher Jacobs for advocating on behalf of our efforts to secure this critically important funding for a new police headquarters,” Tabelski said in a press release issued Thursday. “They both understood how important this funding was to our efforts to build a modern and welcoming facility that will be an integral part of community.”

The money will go toward the estimated cost of up to $15 million for new police headquarters and community complex to be constructed on Bank Street and Alva Place.

City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. was also thankful for the financial assistance and local support.

“As a retired Batavia Police Lieutenant I’m keenly aware of the importance of replacing the outdated 1850’s era police building with a modern purpose built police facility,” Jankowsk said. “The new building will be a huge asset to our police force and help them to better serve the members of our community.  Thank you to Senator Chuck Schumer and former Congressman Chris Jacobs for supporting the City of Batavia and our Police Department.”

The City estimates that the cost to build a new police department will be approximately $13 to $15 million. The 19,000 square-foot facility will be constructed on city owned property on and would provide connectivity and enhance the area between City Centre and the emerging Medical Campus.

Once completed, there would be 115 public parking spots available in nearby lots, in addition to free public parking on surrounding streets to serve the needs of existing businesses on Washington, Alva and State Streets.

“The current police headquarters was constructed in 1855 as a private residence and is out of date and inefficiently suited for a modern-day police department to properly serve the community,” Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said. “We want a new facility that people from the community feel welcomed, and provide space for more engagement with the residents we serve.”

As for the current city police station, Batavia Development Corporation Director Tammy Hathaway will be working with architectural firm In.Site: Architecture of Perry to conduct a feasibility study "to determine a best use for the building," she said.

A $20,000 grant will go toward the cost of the study, Hathaway said, and Rick Hauser of In.Site will be able to merge information from prior studies for this project. A former police station task force had authorized building studies for renovating the current site compared to building a new facility elsewhere.

For most recent coverage of the station's progress, go HERE.

Rendering of the new police station at Bank Street and Alva Place in downtown Batavia provided by City of Batavia.

December 26, 2022 - 2:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, weather, batavia, news, Winter Storm Elliott.

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At 2 a.m. in the early morning after Christmas, City of Batavia workers were out and about Downtown clearing away snow from streets, sidewalks, and parking lots.

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December 4, 2022 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Christmas in the City, parade, batavia, downtown, BID, news, Christmas.

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Downtown merchants, through the Business Improvement District, hosted their annual Christmas in the City Parade on Saturday evening.

Photos by Philip Casper.

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November 8, 2022 - 8:10am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Business, batavia, downtown, notify.

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When it comes to psychics and the metaphysical world, there’s likely a skeptic for each believer, and Kristopher Kelly was no different in the beginning of his journey.

That’s hard to fathom, given his obvious absorption of various healing methods and communications with and connection to other worldly existence through the use of personalized therapies, meditation, crystals and oils.

“Each stone is going to emit a certain energy. And to keep it simple, people are antennas, we absorb energy from anything, what’s around our environments, people around us, things like that. So, when you start involving healing crystals in your life, you're going to match the healing crystal with the healing need that you have,” Kelly said during an interview with The Batavian Monday at his Ascension Outpost shop on Center Street, Batavia. “Once you’re open, you start to gravitate towards certain stones … and are much more plugged in.”

Kelly was not at all plugged in when he was perishing as a broken person both physically and mentally, severely disabled from an accident and addicted to opiates that barely dulled the pain, he said. He had gone to more than 50 doctors, and had unsuccessful surgeries during his seven-year course of trying to survive.

Although he didn’t really believe in this stuff, he was intrigued — and desperate enough — to learn more, he said. He kept hearing a voice telling him to go to Lily Dale, and he eventually went with his mom. A psychic told his mom that she was a healer, but said nothing about Kristopher.

His curiosity — and perhaps dander — was piqued, and he wanted to learn more. While at a Universalist Unitarian Church service, the reverend pointed to him and said that he had a gift. He followed up by attending intuitive classes and reiki — which, he said. was the only thing that helped his pain besides the strong dosage of opiates.

“I saw a doctor for every single joint in my body besides my hips. I mean literally every single one. Then I was going to counseling, I started developing severe depression, anxiety PTSD, ADHD,” he said. “I was planning my death, the pain was so bad. I couldn’t walk, I was living on the floor. I couldn’t stand for more than two minutes.”

He felt that his body was deteriorating, and that nothing medically was working, he said. He was introduced to reiki attunement, an energy healing which he describes as “ having a switch flipped on inside your body,” he said. “It helps your body rapidly regenerate.”

After level one of self-healing, he went on to the second level, which is healing others, he said. He attributes the various psychic modalities for his own recovery, which included stretching, meditation, crystals and oils on a daily basis. Not being able to work, the now 34-year-old took classes and obtained certifications three to four days a week, he said.

He said can perform theta healing, which is repatterning the subconscious mind. Using brain waves, this technique can create “instant healings,” versus integrated energy therapy, which uses the power of angels to pull out negative energy and imprint forgiveness, he said.

“They quite literally feel different because they are different. They do not have the energy from the traumatic experiences bogging them down anymore. It's like throwing off that 10-pound sack on your back, and they literally feel 10 pounds lighter,” he said. “So they immediately walk out my doors and start acting different, feeling different, their relationships will be different, and they'll have better experiences come into their life.”

The crystals, such as rose quartz and Kelly’s favorite, labradorite, have individualized energies to them, he said. Labradorite, a glossy black stone with blue streaks — depending on how the light hits it — “awakens psychic abilities such as telepathy and prophecy,” an accompanying card states.

“When people come to see me, they’re getting something more advanced,” he said. “My passion is getting people to understand themselves. I channel different spirit guides so that people start rapidly changing their lives (through self-recognition).”

If customers are seeking guidance, he can recommend books to read, oils to use, and crystals for what he believes have healing and strengthening power.

Kelly’s upcoming classes are wide-ranging, from How to Connect With Extraterrestrials to How to Purge Emotions and Balance Your Energy.

There are others who teach additional classes because Ascension Outpost is not just about healing, he said, rather, it’s also about connecting the community, providing opportunities to socialize and promoting local artists.

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The wall mural in the shop — a bright, colorful array of symbols and scenes as a “depiction of the path to enlightenment” — was painted by Megan Dysinger of Buffalo. Her work is “very powerful,” he said, and she has artwork, jewelry and tarot cards, with an expectation to do tarot card readings within the next two months.

Kelly’s shop houses Glass Roots’ items, plus CD chantings, necklaces, bracelets, and many types and colors of crystals and polished stones.

He has one employee, Sierra Browne, in Batavia, and they are very passionate about “what we’ve been through and healed from,” Kelly said.

“We have overcome a lot, and now that we’ve hit a certain point, now I’m able to start going to jails, healthcare and rehab facilities,” he said, inviting others to share their experiences and have a comfortable place to visit. “To be able to say, ‘this is my story, this is what I’ve overcome.’ This is somewhere they can come to, it’s accountability, and keep moving past this.”

The Batavia shop is at 12 Center St. and is open noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. For questions or to set up an appointment, call 716-638-7187.

Top Photo of Kristopher Kelly with one of his favorite stones, labradorite, at his shop, Ascension Outpost in Batavia; photo above is Kelly next to a portion of the mural painted for him at the store on Center Street. He also owns Ascension Outpost at 21 Main St., Attica. Photos by Joanne Beck.

November 6, 2022 - 10:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in George Borrello, 57th State Senate District, batavia, downtown, news.

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As an elected official and small business owner himself, George Borrello said he's always found it important to maintain a relationship with the small business owners he represents.

He hopes to represent the business owners in Batavia, if he's successful in his campaign to represent Genesee County as part of the 57th State Senate District, so on Saturday, he toured several businesses in Downtown Batavia.

After COVID lockdowns, workforce challenges, a minimum wage increase, the increased cost of doing business in New York, it's more important than ever, Borrello said, for him to talk with his fellow small business owners.

"I just want to make sure I'm in touch with the folks here," said Borrello, a former member of the Legislature in Cattaraugus County and current holder of the 57th District (which won't include Genesee County until next year).  

He applauded the effort of downtown businesses in Batavia to band together and revitalize their community.

He said supporting locally owned businesses is important because small businesses are what drives New York's economy.

"First of all, 50 percent of our economy in New York State is supported by small business," Borello said. "They employ 50 percent of every working person in New York State. But right now, especially if you're talking about the economic driver, of our nation, it is small business. So if we allow the businesses to languish, then it's going to destroy the quality of life in communities like Batavia. It's also going to have a negative impact on our overall economy. So for me, supporting all the small businesses that are the backbone of the economy, is part of the mission of ensuring that New York stays strong."

On Saturday, Borrello visited Valle Jewelers, Eli Fish Brewing Co., Charles Men's Shop, Hunt Realtors, and Adam Miller Toy and Bike.

And there might have been a little Christmas shopping involved.

"I prefer to do what I can to support fellow local businesses," Borrello said. "But also, I found that's a better, more unique way to find gifts that I would have never thought of. So for me, it's also been a great way to, to kind of do some enhanced Christmas shopping and provide the people that I give gifts to with some unique stuff."

Photos by Howard Owens. George Borrello visiting Valle Jewelers and speaking with co-owner Carrie Lawrence.

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October 30, 2022 - 7:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in The Yngodess Shop, batavia, downtown, Halloween, news.

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Chris Crocker said about a few dozen cutely-dressed little trick-or-treaters stopped by her store, the YNGodess Shop on Main Street, Batavia, on Saturday to add some candy to their baskets.

Photos submitted by Chris Crocker.

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October 27, 2022 - 10:26pm

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Halloween is quickly approaching, then it’s Thanksgiving, and before you know it, the annual Christmas in the City takes hold the first weekend in December.

As members of Batavia Business Improvement District and Batavia Players — led by Co-Chairpersons Pat Burk and Shannon Maute — strive to get things in place for the event, there are plenty of opportunities for others to participate, they say.

Christmas in the City
The main event runs from 1 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 3 Downtown, with a visit from Santa Claus from 1 to 5 p.m. inside the mall and a finale parade at 6 p.m. throughout downtown. Local groups, businesses, emergency services departments, kids, adults, and most anything in between are welcome to join the fun.

Maute has put out the call for not only organizations but also for departments with fire trucks, to sign up.

“You can walk, ride or enter a float,” a BID flyer states.

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Mall events will run from 1 to 5 p.m. and include Santa’s Village, pictures with Santa, hot cocoa and cookies, crafts, cookie decorating, a kids’ zone, Santa’s workshop, shopping specials, Dickens Carolers, Scrooge, adult tastings and more, organizers said.

Our Hometown Christmas
Even earlier that day will be a craft and vendor fair that begins at 10 a.m. and runs to 8 p.m., Burk said.

“We already have 22 tables,” he said. “And there will be entertainment; our dance academy is performing, the small brass group from BHS signed up, and there’s Santa’s Village. We’re trying to get people in what used to be the mall, and our Christmas show will be happening Dec. 1, 2, 3 and 4.”

Burk, long-time executive director of Batavia Players, is learning how to juggle theater responsibilities with Board of Elections tasks and being president of the Genesee Valley School Boards Association, he said.

The theater in Batavia City Centre has been one of many projects delayed by the pandemic’s onslaught of labor, supply chain and social distancing issues.

With fingers crossed, Burk is hoping for a completed theater to open in May or June of 2023. There are grants involved, and though the Players are a pre-qualified status through Grants Gateway, there is more footwork to be done, and it is all falling at the same time as taxes being due Nov. 15, he said.

Despite the “bad timing,” he and group staff and members look forward to that day when a performance happens in the fully renovated theater.

“We had some pretty hefty demolition left to do with plumbing, electrical, all those old air conditioning units that were there for the X-ray machines and stuff. Yeah, huge. They're all gone. I mean, we're moving daily. And we're working hard,” he said. “So I don't know what time we're going to be completed. And a lot of it's depending on availability of our stuff, and when we get our reimbursements from the state.”

Grant funding is crucial, due to how — sounds like a broken record by now, he said — COVID affected pricing for everything.

“Our supplies went up by over $260,000. We’re in for $1.2 million already and have raised money. And all that money doesn't mean anything, because we have to come up with more money for it, just to complete everything," he said. "On top of that, we really want to do a good job of accessibility and maximizing use and having good lights and sound and all that other stuff. And all that stuff went up in money … it all went through the ceiling."

They should get word on the grant application in March or April next year, he said, and he has learned how meticulous all of that paperwork needs to be, especially given at least three grant-related changes taking place this year. If one number is off, it gets sent back, and then they wait another month or more for approval of a resubmission of the corrected material.

“You have to have people look over this stuff, over and over and over,” he said.

A Christmas Carole
Nonetheless, the show, as they say, must go on, and the Players will be presenting the seasonal Dickens’ favorite “A Christmas Carole” the weekend of Christmas in the City.  It is set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 2, 3 and 2 p.m. Dec. 4 at Main St. 56 Theater in Batavia City Centre. Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 students and seniors, and available at showtix4u.com.

The Players will also be sponsoring Our Hometown Christmas all day on Dec. 3 with an array of gift options at craft and vendor tables. There is still space available, and any interested crafts dealers, food trucks, vendors or antique dealers may want to grab a table NOW

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Santa’s Village will be part of a festive display, and local schools are to be participating, Burk said. There are so many activities jam-packed into the schedule, that Burk would like to see a future two-day event, he said.

The Hometown event is a fundraiser for the Players, and will provide entertainment and fun for visitors, he said.

“We’re trying to keep the theater going with no theater and with no money,” Burk said. “We are literally scraping together money to pay to keep the lights on.”

Wreath Contest
The BID is also hosting its annual Wreath Contest for downtown Batavia “as a creative way to add some holiday spirit to downtown.” The contest is open to any business, group, organization, or family. For $20, each participant is provided with a 16-inch plain wreath to decorate. Participants may pick up their wreaths on Nov. 19 and have a week to decorate before dropping them back off to the BID for committee volunteers to place throughout downtown, Maute said in a recent press release.

Voting for the most creative will take place from Dec. 3 through 24. The first-place winner is to receive a $100 cash prize, second place $75 and third place $50.

To participate in the wreath contest or parade, contact Maute 

File photos of Christmas in the City 2021 by Howard Owens

October 21, 2022 - 1:23pm
posted by Press Release in Christmas in the City, BID, downtown, batavia, news.

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Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District is hosting its annual Christmas in the City Event with Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 2 to 6 p.m., with a parade down Main Street at 6 p.m.

The BID is seeking any business, organization, or group to walk, ride or enter a float for the parade which runs from Jefferson Ave to Summit Street. 

Downtown Businesses are encouraged to host an activity or offer store specials during the event. Vendors are welcome.

This year’s event includes Santa’s Village, pictures with Santa, hot cocoa & cookies, crafts, cookie decorating, kid’s zone, Santa’s workshop, shopping specials, Dickens Carolers, Scrooge, adult tastings and more.

BID Mall Events will be from 1 to 5 p.m.

“Our Hometown Christmas” craft fair sponsored by Main St. 56 Theater will be held in the mall 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

We have something for everyone, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

The Batavia Business Improvement District is also hosting its annual Wreath Contest for Downtown Batavia.

As a creative way to add some holiday spirit to downtown, the BID invites any business, group, organization, or family to enter the contest.

For $20 each participant is provided with a 16” Plain Wreath to decorate.

Participants will pick up their wreaths on Saturday, Nov. 19 and have a week to decorate before dropping them back off to the BID for committee volunteers to place throughout Downtown.

Voting for the most creative will take place from Dec. 3 thru Dec. 24. The first-place winner receives a $100 cash prize, second place $75 and third place $50.

To participate in Christmas in the City or the Wreath Contest contact Shannon Maute at [email protected]  

Photo: File photo by Howard Owens.

October 18, 2022 - 11:00pm

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As members of the city’s Planning and Development Committee mulled a request Tuesday for a digital sign  — which would be the first one approved for downtown Batavia — all action came to a hush at one point.

Members Ed Flynn, David Beatty, Chairman Duane Preston and John Ognibene looked at each other for guidance.

“Does anyone want to make a motion?” Flynn said. “What is acceptable? What is definitely not acceptable?”

Ryan Macdonald, on behalf of City Church, and contractor John Flannery made the request for the church at 210-212 East Main St. They asked to install a 99-square-foot electronic message board sign on the upper west side of the former theater’s existing marquee sign, and a 41-square-foot electronic sign on the upper east portion of the marquee.

Electronic signs have not been allowed in the central commercial district of the Business Improvement District, per city code. Such signs in areas outside of BID cannot change more than once every 10 seconds and images and messages must be static, not producing the illusion of scrolling, moving objects, expanding or contracting shapes or any similar effect of animation, the Batavia Municipal Code states.

david_beatty.jpegSo if the committee approved the sign, those three variances would have to be assessed. Members discussed the 10-second rule, mostly being against such a quick turnover of messages.The whole idea would be a “big step” to take, Beatty said, and could also set a precedent for more of the same downtown.

He gave a visual of Jimmy Stewart’s character in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” staggering down the streets of Potterville as commercialization has taken over.

“I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing,” he said to the applicants. “It’s going to be different, and quite a large sign in itself.”

Beatty suggested using some creative thinking to accomplish the goal of advertising church events and its schedule another way with signage.

Macdonald explained that the digital sign would provide opportunity for people to know what’s happening in a more direct way while driving up and down Main Street. This is a project that’s been on the table for two years, he said, as church leaders have researched a full restoration of the marquee — at a cost of more than $300,000 — and less expensive options.

“This was kind of the halfway mark,” he said.

He also echoed Preston’s comment that going electronic is a “sign of the times.”  People live by their phones, Macdonald said, and put them on their car dashboards to watch movies.

“That’s the world we live in,” he said.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which is not in the downtown district, was mentioned as an example of a sign that Macdonald said is being made with “antiquated technology.” That’s not even an option for the church as such technology is not even being used anymore, he said.

Preston sympathized with having to use the even older method of climbing a ladder to snap letters into place on a marquee sign. But all members agreed that 10 seconds was not enough time between message changes.

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The proposed sign would provide an opportunity to disseminate church news “for someone that may not be on social media,” Flannery said. It’s about more than just service schedules, he said. Messages would also include a welcome greeting, a Christmas play promotion, and the like.

“There's more opportunity for people within the community to have the opportunity to participate in something, that may be other than a normal mass that's happening,” he said. “I think you would want as much ability with what they're going to provide. Because I think it's a once in a lifetime, once in our lives job. You want to do that right.”

preston.jpgFinally, Ognibene made a motion to approve the request with the stipulation that the message cannot change more than every 60 seconds instead of every 10 seconds.

Ognibene, Flynn and Preston voted yes, and Beatty was the lone no vote. He just didn’t see the need for the larger, electronic version of the existing marquee, Beatty said.

This vote will serve as a recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which will review the request during its meeting next week.

Preston said he wasn’t certain it was the right decision, but that it’s now up to the ZBA for final approval.

“They may not, even though we approved it for zoning. We just made a recommendation at this point, to address the three variances,” Preston said, answering The Batavian’s question about setting a precedent for others. “It's opening up a can of worms.”

File photo of David Beatty, and photo of Duane Preston, above, by Joanne Beck. Sign photos courtesy of the Planning and Development Committee's applicant materials.

October 2, 2022 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wine walk, batavia, downtown, news, BID.

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Once again, the annual Wine Walk in Downtown Batavia, sponsored by the Business Improvement District, was a sellout.

This year the theme was "dead celebrities."

Which dead celebrities can you spot in the photos?

For more photos and to purchase prints, click here.

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September 21, 2022 - 11:00pm

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Shannon Maute is not a middle-of-the-road kind of person.

To the contrary, she readily admits that her thought process is all or nothing.

What’s this got to do with the upcoming Business Improvement District’s annual Wine Walk? Everything. Maute, BID executive director,  had already scheduled a scarecrow contest to align with the wine walk for ample decorations along downtown streets. Then someone asked Maute about pink pumpkins. Would it be possible to also dot the landscape with pink pumpkins for Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

“I’m usually like, go big or go home. I'm either doing nothing, or I'm doing way too much at once. So I decided that fall is pretty fantastic, so we needed to do a lot of stuff in the fall,’ she said Wednesday. “We were planning our scarecrows, and I had a neighbor of mine reach out to me, and she asked if she could do a pumpkin that had to do with breast cancer. And I said, of course, and she said, do you think that maybe downtown wanted to participate and do something for it? And I said, if you do a scarecrow that has to do with breast cancer awareness, I will paint downtown pink with pumpkins.”

And so you now have wine, scarecrows and pink pumpkin activities downtown, with the grand kick-off being the walk from 4 to 8 p.m. (VIPs) and 5 to 8 p.m. (general) Oct. 1.

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Much of the fun leading up the Dead Celebrity-themed wine tasting has already begun with the scarecrow contest. Entries are due Friday, and individuals, families, organizations and businesses may participate. Rumor has it that Jackson Primary School will be pitching a scarecrow, and Maute said it would be great to get other schools involved.

The entry fee is $20, and registration can be made online at downtownbataviany.com, emailed to [email protected], our mailed to the BID office at 200 East Main St., Suite 12, Batavia, NY, 14020. For more information, call (585) 344-0900.

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Participants can pick up scarecrow supplies from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday in Jackson Square. Supplies include wooden posts, straw and twine for the beginnings of your scarecrow. They may be put up the week of Sept. 25, and no later than Oct 1. They can remain up until Nov. 4.

Cash prizes will be given to first, second and third-place winners. Your creations will be prominently displayed for shoppers, visitors, and especially by Wine Walk attendees on Oct. 1. The public will be asked to vote for the Best Scarecrow and Most Creative HERE.  

Participants are welcome to go all-out pink with Maute when she hosts paint night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Lambert Park on Verona Avenue, Batavia. Mele Garlic Farms of Holley has generously donated 30 pumpkins to the cause, she said. Painting supplies will be provided, however, nothing, especially more paint, will be turned away.

“This will be a fun event where people can get together, show their creativity and bring awareness to our amazing downtown,” Maute said. “Any donations of pink paints are welcomed and appreciated.”

Not only has the pink pumpkin task put another angle on decorations, but it has motivated Maute to learn more about the topic, she said.

“I just started reading a lot about that, and knowing how breast cancer and just cancer, in general, affects pretty much everybody, I thought that would be a great way to bring the community together and do something fun, and make downtown look fantastic,” she said. “By October 1, I will have them all decorated downtown. So when everyone comes out for the wine walk, or who's driving down Main Street, they'll see all the pink, and the awareness will be spread for breast cancer.”

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The finale, so to speak, is when several hundred dead celebrities gather to sample 24 wines and ciders at tasting stations throughout downtown. Glass Roots on Center Street will be hosting a Sober Station for designated drivers with pizza and other non-alcoholic refreshments.

This event is nearly sold out, but you can check with Maute to find out if any are available for purchase. For more information about any of these events, go to downtownbataviany.com, email [email protected], or call (585) 344-0900.

Top Photo: BID Executive Director Shannon Maute shows a pumpkin that she decorated for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Photo by Joanne Beck. File Photos of past scarecrow entries and the 2021 Wine Walk.

September 14, 2022 - 3:29pm
posted by Press Release in BID, wine walk, downtown, batavia, news.

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Press release:

The B.I.D. Wine Walk Committee announces this year’s event which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.

Only 600 tickets are available for this year’s event.

Tickets may be purchased online, YN Godess, Adam Miller & Empire Hemp.

General Admission tickets are $30, VIP $40 and DD tickets for $10.

All VIP ticket holders get into the event one hour early at 4 p.m., a special gift, raffle tickets and more!

All ticket holders will enjoy a tasting of several Wines and Ciders at over 23 local businesses throughout our Downtown.

This year’s theme is Dead Celebrity!

Photo: File photo from 2014 by Howard Owens

September 13, 2022 - 5:50pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, downtown, Carr's Reborn, notify.

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When David Ciurzynski was a kid, he and his brother would shop for school items and take the elevator at C.L. Carr’s department store, watching as the operator pulled the little stick to close the zig-zag accordion-like gate before they ascended to a higher floor. And then down again.

There were floors for the billing department, a bridal shop and other specific types of merchandise, and the basement had housewares while first floor catered to men’s and women’s clothing, children’s items, jewelry, makeup and greeting cards. There were clear tubes that shuttled payments from downstairs up to billing.

 "And I just think about those memories that we had way back when ... and now the new memories that we make at the JJ Newberry's building that's now Eli Fish," Ciurzynski said during a presentation of downtown projects, including the former Carr’s building, Tuesday at City Hall. "That's what this project is all about. Right? Taking our history, taking our memories, and turning it into something that people can make new memories with, including ourselves. "

The project consultant is not alone with his recollections of Carr’s days of grandeur. Anyone who grew up in Batavia is familiar with the high-end department store, with free gift-wrapping service, seasonal visits from Santa Claus, sidewalk sales and an ice cream cart, and the personalized services of salesmen and women, especially those experienced ladies behind the jewelry counter.

Getting a gift from Carr’s was kind of special — it meant quality and style. And so very neatly and precisely wrapped with a coordinated bow. There are still offerings like that downtown, such as Valle Jewelers and Charles Men’s Shop, as those places have continued to bob and weave to miss the knock-out punches of big box stores and economic shifts.

Carr’s was the only store, however, to consume so much footprint -- more than 11,000 square feet -- along Main and Jackson streets. It was exciting to step aboard the elevator and be whisked up to look at fancy women’s dresses and accessories.

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Ciurzynski’s description of the site’s future — renovating the upper two floors for apartments, installing arched windows in the front overlooking Main Street, preparing the lower levels for other commercial space by removing asbestos and making them more enticing for prospective businesses — also included a vision. The project has been titled Carr's Reborn.

“We can restore the former landmark to its former glory,” he said.

People will be able to go to a restaurant or brewery, catch a play, movie or live music, or visit the future Healthy Living campus with its new exercise and classroom space, kitchen and complete wellness center, he said.

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The project would take $1 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant funding and $4 million from property owner Ken Mistler. Possible uses for the main floor have not been determined, and it’s about “what does downtown Batavia need?” Ciurzynski said.

“I could see a small department store for women’s clothing to complement the men’s clothing shop we have,” he said. “The harder part right now is getting people to commit with labor; there’s been a shortage.”

Steve Hyde of the county’s Economic Development Center said that studies have found that Batavia needs more housing — some 4,500 units over the next several years.

“People are commuting here, working and collecting paychecks, but they don’t live here,” he said.

Adding 14 to 16 market rate — higher scale — apartments would “tie a bow around us,” he said.

City Council President Eugene Jankowski said that older people have mentioned that they might like to live in a downtown apartment, but “the only drawback is a long staircase.” Those possibly semi-retired folks wish there was an elevator as well, he said.

So yes, that relic of Carr’s will be resurrected and working once again, albeit, probably not with a personal attendant.

The DRI Committee members approved a motion to move forward with the project. They were:   Eugene Jankowski,  Steve Hyde, Dr. James Sunser,  Craig Yunker, Tammy Hathaway,  Erik Fix, Tom Turnbull, Susie Ott, Paul Battaglia, Marty Macdonald and Nathan Varland.

The remaining committee members who were absent include Pier Cipollone, Patrick Burk, Marianne Clattenburg, John McKenna, Julia Garver, John Riter, Peter Casey, Matt Gray, Mary Valle, John Bookmiller and Dan Ireland.

Ciurzynski, of Ciurzynski Consulting, LLC, gave Mistler a nod and thumb’s up. Mistler said he appreciated the support, but wanted to hold off with any further comment until the project gets moving. Now that the committee approved the grant funding, minutes from the meeting will be sent to Empire State Development for state approval.

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Top photo: City Council President Eugene Jankowski talks about a proposed project Tuesday morning to renovate the former Carr's building in downtown Batavia. David Ciurzynski reviews the project, dubbed 'Carr's Reborn,' with the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Committee at City Hall; Committee members Nathan Varland, Tammy Hathaway, Eugene Jankowski, Susie Ott, Dr. James Sunser, Steve Hyde and Erik Fix. Photos courtesy of Jim Krencik. Rendering of Carr's Reborn from Batavia Development Corporation. 

September 7, 2022 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Hunt Real Estate, news, Business, downtown, batavia.

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Genesee County is growing and Peter F. Hunt, CEO of Hunt Real Estate, wants his company to capitalize on that growth.

"We began some investigation in the marketplace and realized that it's a good place to be," Hunt told The Batavian following a ribbon cutting for his firm's new office at Main and Jackson in the heart of Batavia. "I was quite impressed with the local chamber, the industrial development agency, people who really have a great interest in seeing this become a better, a much better town."

Hunt purchased the former Genesee Bank Building (in recent years it has been a financial firm's office and a couple of different locally owned retail stores) and invested in a complete remodel of the interior to make it suitable for Hunt agents to have office space and meeting rooms.

"We were lucky that it was available," Hunt said. "When we found out it was available, it was, unfortunately, a long series of negotiations. We could have made it faster but we had too many people involved. Finally, when I just said, what's going on? And they said, Well, we're kind of stalled. I called Michelle (Schlossel) and I said, 'let's close it today.' I hadn't been inside and when I got inside, I realized we were going to do a lot of work in this place. But I think we made the right investment. I think it's a great location. It's a beautiful building. Great bones. And we want to make it really something special."

Previously: Real estate company to move into historic downtown Batavia property

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August 12, 2022 - 8:16am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, GLOW YMCA, downtown, Restore NY, notify.

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Rochester Regional Health and United Memorial Medical Center officials would like Genesee County on board to assist with a $2 million grant for the Healthy Living project in downtown Batavia.

Working through Ed Flynn of LaBella Associates, hospital officials plan to apply for the grant and, if approved, funding would “flow through the county,” County Manager Matt Landers said Wednesday.

“There would be no county match, and no county cost,” he said to legislators during their Ways & Means committee meeting at the Old Courthouse.

Restore NY grant
The grant is to go toward some of the demolition costs of the GLOW YMCA site between Wiard and Bank streets, he said. The county can charge up to $10,000 for administrative costs, “which should be more than enough for us to cover our costs,” Landers said.

“I would liken this similar to a (Community Development Block Grant) project where the (county’s Economic Development Center) usually comes to us and has a private business out there that wants to secure funds for a project for economic development and their job creation,” he said. “And then we basically utilize grant ministries, grant administration services … So this will be a very similar arrangement, but less intensive. According to Ed Flynn, the CDBG project is a little more intensive. This is less intensive. So I don't see a drawback.”

The unusual part, he said, was that this request is to approve an intent to apply before actually applying for the grant. That letter of intent was due Thursday, and the next step would be to get the Legislature’s blessings on the actual grant application, he said.

“So if there are reservations around, they can still be raised,” he said. “So it's a little nontraditional process where I'm coming to you with the intent to apply. And then we'll be voting on formal permission to apply, within the attached resolutions, that will come forward probably in September.”

The committee approved his request, and Genesee County will be submitting a Restore NY round six grant to support the development of the Healthy Living Campus. United Memorial Medical Center – Rochester Regional Health (UMMC-RRH), and GLOW YMCA have partnered to develop a $33.5 million, two-story 78,000 square-foot regional health and wellness facility, which will integrate a new YMCA facility with state-of-the-art medical space for the Healthy Living program.

New versus old YMCA
Restore NY funds will be used by the development team to demolish the old 40,000 square-foot YMCA, and an 8,500 square-foot obsolete boiler house owned by UMMC-RRH, which will provide space to accommodate a new downtown park and parking lot. The project was selected as a priority Downtown Revitalization Initiative project and is also supported by the Batavia Brownfield Opportunity Area plan. UMMC/RRH will lead the development team.

Demolition of YMCA won’t be for a while, as the new building site at the former Cary Hall and Elks Lodge needs to be in place for the facility’s members to use, said Rob Walker, CEO of GLOW YMCA. There shouldn’t be any downtime for members, as they will transition over to the freshly completed site while the older YM building is taken down, he said.

“And continue operations without hurting the community and our services to the community — that was important to us, both from a mission standpoint and service standpoint, but also fiscally being responsible as well,” Walker said Thursday to The Batavian. “So the demolition is all dependent on completion of, and a certificate of occupancy for, the new YMCA UMMC building.”

The facility has previously been outlined — a pool, updated exercise equipment, and brand new amenities alongside Healthy Living’s teaching kitchen, classrooms and offices — and Walker described the outside space being “a nice streetscape park area” with benches, trees, lighting and an open grassy area for some outdoor activities, plus additional parking space.

“That's the beauty of what we're doing. There'll be additional parking there that kind of complements the site. There's two main entrances to the facility, one is on the northwest section, and then one is on the south section, that both enter into and through a nice corridor to the welcome desk, where a member services representative will direct them to where they need to go.”

He also emphasized that the nonprofit’s board and volunteers have talked about this eventual move for the last four or five years, and the county’s Senior Center was always part of the vision.

“Our true hope is that we can add on to the YM space where the current one is to include the Senior Center. It’s really important to volunteers and board members,” he said. “It’s our hope that the Genesee County Senior Center would join the Healthy Living campus.”

The former Cary Hall and Elks buildings have been razed, and new construction is to begin this fall. It was important to YMCA leaders not to disrupt the many services offered, including childcare, swimming lessons and exercise classes and offerings to varied age groups, he said.

“We want to be able to continue to do those services and keep the momentum that we have with those programs as well. They're all doing really well, there's a lot of wait lists, and we're going to be able to serve more people in the new facility. So that's going to help. Our capacities are pretty much limited in the existing YMCA,” he said. “It takes a little while to line up these contractors. We'll have a better idea this fall, or even late summer, on the timing of that lineup. Obviously, there's a lot of labor shortages, supply issues, that are affecting all these contractors.”

Construction plans
As has been said early on, the plan remains for completion to be in late 2023, or early 2024, depending on the labor and supply availability. A project such as this typically takes 16 to 18 months, and that’s if “everything flows under the construction timeline,” he said. But it’s a fluid timeline, he added.

Walker is grateful for the local support of municipalities and donors. Project costs are about $23 million for YMCA and $10 million for the RRH-UMMC portion.

“We appreciate the county and the city support on earmarking, this. Our escalation costs have been tremendous in the last two years. So we've had to dig deeper than we already have. We've raised over $14 million on our side, on the Y side, so we've got to keep going,” he said. “And we will, but we've got 95 percent of what we need. So we're confident that in the next four months we'll be able to close the small gap.”

Top photo: 2022 File Photo of demolition for the new Healthy Living Campus in downtown Batavia. The next phase to knock down YMCA is set for this fall, and officials are in the process of applying for a $2 million Restore NY grant to help with costs. Photo by Howard Owens.

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