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Downtown Revitalization Initiative

March 16, 2018 - 7:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Downtown Revitalization Initiative, dri, downtown, batavia, news, notify.

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After looking over the final $15 million in grant-request projects Batavia will submit to the state for its Downtown Revitalization Initiative prize, Councilman Al McGinnis said he was pleased and excited about the prospect for the future of the city.

"I think we’re lucky enough to be around here in five or six years, it will be a revitalized Batavia that we won’t recognize and we will wish we had it earlier," McGinnis said. "It’s only going to impact us in a positive way. It’s just too bad it didn’t happen 20 years ago."

Looking specifically at the public market and at Batavia Players' plans for a downtown location for what is now Theater 56, McGinnis said that one project is just a single example of how all of these ideas have a chance at making downtown a better place for residents and businesses.

"This is great stuff," McGinnis said. "I mean, we don’t have the money for this. If the state can give us this money and we can do most of these things, there’s no downside to this. There is none. It’s all positive. I just wish the State could give us $5 million more."

The state's prize is to award $10 million worth of local projects. A local committee of community members made the first cut -- $15 million worth of projects -- from the batch of applicants, but the state gets the final say in whittling down the choices to $10 million in grants.

The local committee's final choices were presented to the public Thursday night during an open house at City Hall.

Interim City Manager Matt Worth said he liked what he saw.

"Some of the discussions have been about downtown being a real neighborhood and I think some of the projects lend themselves to that," Worth said. "It’s really encouraging seeing some of the momentum the City has. There’s more interest in what’s going on downtown than I’ve seen in an awfully long time, so that’s very positive."

Victor Gautieri has the dual perspective of a longtime downtown leader as president of the Business Improvement District and as an applicant for a grant for his project on Ellicott Street (the Save-A-Lot building).

 He's hoping the state will prioritize projects that might not otherwise be viable without the assistance.

"There are a lot of very nice projects that are here," he said. "I think some are more appropriate than others. I am a believer that the grant money should be going to those that really need it in the private sector.

"We’re very hopeful we’re going to be able to get our grant because that is what is going to make the project," he added. "That’s the only way we will ever able to do what we want to do with that property."

Looking at the projects as a whole, Gautieri thinks we won't even recognize Batavia in a few years.

"If several of these projects get the green light and are awarded a grant, it’s going to transform downtown," Gautieri said. "It’s going to look like it never has before, especially on the Southside, the Ellicott Street side. That is where we need, I think, the most help."

Here's a summary of the projects being submitted to the State:

  • Build Ellicott Station: Savarino Companies, 40-52, 56-70 Ellicott St.; project cost, $23 million; DRI funding, $425,000;  
  • Build Newberry Place Lofts: AGRV Properties, 109-111 Main St.; project cost, $350,000; DRI funding, $175,000;
  • Revitalize Carr's and Genesee Bank Building: Kenneth and Andrew Mistler, 97, 101-103 and 105-107 Main St.; project cost, $5.3 million; DRI funding, $1.2 million;
  • Develop Ellicott Place: V.J. Gautieri Constructors, 45-47 Ellicott St.; project cost, $2.5 million; DRI funding, $1.15 million;
  • Develop Healthy Living Campus: Genesee YMCA/UMMC, 207-213 E. Main St.; project cost, $22.5 million; DRI funding, $5 million.
  • Activate Batavia Innovation Zones: Batavia Development Corp; project cost, $400,000; DRI funding, $200,000;
  • Construction Theater 56: Batavia Players and City of Batavia, 35 City Centre; project cost, $901,750; DRI funding, $701,750;
  • Construct Downtown Public Market: BID and City of Batavia, Alva Place parking lot; project cost, $2.5 million; DRI funding, $1.5 million;
  • Create a Building Improvement Fund: BDC; project cost, $800,000; DRI funding, $600,000;
  • Upgrade City Center: City of Batavia; project cost, $1.5 million; DRI funding, $1 million;
  • Renovate 206 E. Main St.: Just Chez Realty, 206 E. Main St.; project cost: $675,000; DRI funding, $405,000;
  • Enhance Jackson Square: City of Batavia; project cost, $750,000; DRI funding, $750,000;
  • Upgrade Masonic Temple: David E. Howe, 200 E. Main St.; project cost, $750,000; DRI funding, $500,000;
  • Develop Branding, Place Making and Wayfinding: Business Improvement District; project cost, $250,000; DRI funding, $200,000;
  • Enhance GO ART! Arts and Culture Center: GO ART!, 201 E. Main St.; project cost, $1.3 million; DRI funding, $1.225 million.

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February 9, 2018 - 4:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Downtown Revitalization Initiative, dri, downtown, batavia, news.

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One of the five criteria for members of the Local Planning Committee to consider in selecting which projects to forward to the state as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is "community input." 

About 30 members of the public turned out Thursday night at City Hall for their chance to weigh in on the projects they think most deserving of a portion of the $10 million DRI prize the state awarded to Batavia in October.

Each participant received a strip of stickers, two red for their top priorities, and one each of green, blue and yellow.

A new marquee and new seats for Batavia Showtime Theaters was the crowd favorite with a total of 17 little round stickers on its project board.

The theater is owned by local businessman Ken Mistler. His other DRI project, Carr's Reborn, was also popular, getting 15 stickers, and 12 of those were red, the most of any project. 

The Healthy Living Campus received 16 stickers, with nine red.

The public market also got 16, with six red.

The Batavia Player's project, Theater 56, received 14 stickers, and six of those were red.

The complete street project for Ellicott Street received 11 stickers, four red.

Ellicott Place received 10 stickers, four red.

GO ART! rounds out the other favorites, among the 25 total projects, with eight stickers, five red.

The other four criteria for the LPC to consider are the readiness of the project, the project's consistency with establishing planning documents, the catalytic potential of the project (can it drive more development), and the ratio of grant request vs. the amount of money being put in by the project developer.

The LPC has two more meetings before sending its recommendations to the state. The next meeting will be a report from consultants who will answer questions raised about projects during the process. At the final meeting, the committee will whittle down the 25 projects to those with no more than $15 million in funding requests.

The state will take that recommended list and select projects with requests of no more than $10 million.

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February 2, 2018 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Downtown Revitalization Initiative, downtown, batavia, news, notify.

The planning committee for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will ask project leaders from seven project applications to make a presentation about their project at a future committee meeting, committee members decided during a meeting at City Hall this morning.

The projects are: 

  • Carr's Reborn
  • Ellicott Place
  • Theater 56
  • Healthy Living Corridor
  • Healthy Living Center
  • BID marketing/branding
  • Public Market
  • GO Art!

The committee is either looking for more information, to clarify other funding sources, to ask if the amount of DRI funding for the project could be reduced, or just to better understand the projects.

The DRI is a $10 million prize received by the City of Batavia from the state to help fund a variety of downtown projects intended to increase traffic and business in the city's primary business and cultural center.

Several other projects, the committee felt, were complete applications already and no additional information is required, such as Ellicott Station, Newberry Place, Jackson Square, renovations to the second floor of 206 E. Main St., and the Masonic Temple Building.

Six other projects were selected for a group submission; however, the applicants will need to go through a process similar to the state's Main Street Program, which provides funding at 75 percent of the project's total cost. Those projects include building renovation to 39-43 Ellicott St., Borrell Gym, facade work for 214 and 216 E. Main St., and Batavia Showtime.

This morning's conversation included some concern about some of the projects under consideration. 

Committee Co-Chairman Eugene Jankowski said he's hearing objections from local residents to using DRI prize money for the Healthy Living Center, which is a nonprofit, tax-exempt project. He said people felt the project backers, UMMC and the YMCA, being nonprofits, have other funding avenues not open to local business owners competing for DRI money. City Church Pastor Marty Macdonald shared the same concern and it was his perception that the project was well underway before the DRI award was made to the city.

Co-Chairman Steve Hyde said he was part of the project in its early stages -- he resigned after being selected for the DRI committee -- and he said organizers knew the city was applying for the DRI prize and that the potential of the grant was always part of the potential financing plan for the center.

There is also concern that the project is seeking $5 million, or half of the $10 million pie.  

Similar concerns were raised about the $3 million for the mall and $5 million for renovations to Ellicott Street (a median, plus pedestrian and bike paths).

Committee member John Riter expressed concern that both of these projects aren't far enough along and aren't able to provide the committee with enough information.

Hyde said the Genesee County Economic Development Center is taking a lead role in the revitalization of the mall and suggested that perhaps the mall should be included with a $1 million request to provide some start-up funds for the potential $30 million project. He said there is a developer interested but there needs to be some preliminary work done.

The committee appeared willing to consider that request.

The committee will present a list of projects totaling $15 million in requested funding and state officials will select the final winning projects for a total prize of $10 million. The current list is at $16,187,000.

January 10, 2018 - 2:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Downtown Revitalization Initiative, downtown, batavia, news, notify.

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The 25 projects vying for a piece of the $10 million prize awarded by the state to Batavia as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative are full of ideas for dining, entertainment and downtown living and this just what the committee considering the proposals should concentrate on, Steve Hyde said near the end of last night's review of the projects.

Hyde, CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, is co-chair of the Local Planning Committee for the DRI.

Quoting from a book he's reading on planning, he said, " 'If a place lacks attractive shopping, dining, and entertainment options, it may struggle to attract and retain workers and employers as a result.'

"Keep that in mind as another piece of this," he added. "It really is embodied in our goals and strategies. Shopping, dining and entertainment are very important considerations as we try to move from that millennials' complex of Blahtavia."

The projects range from $39,000 to expand downtown's art canvas to $5 million for the Ellicott Street Corridor or $5 million for proposed Healthy Living Center.

Altogether, the 25 projects total more than $24 million in requested DRI funding.

The committee will need to whittle down the requests to $15 million total and state officials will make the final decision on which projects get funded for how much, to a total of $10 million.

Here's a summary of the projects:

  • Theater 56:
    • Total project cost, $701,750. Funding request, $546,000. Location, in City Center at the former location of Dent Neurological. Proposed by Batavia Players. It would create a theater, offices and storage. 
  • BOA/BP2 Strategic Site Advancement
    • Total project cost $30 million. Funding request, $3 million. This project involves rehabilitation and new development at the mall, including extending Jackson Street.
  • BOA/BP2 Strategic Site Advancement
    • Total project costs, $15 million. Funding request, $1 million. This funding would assist construction of the Health Living Center proposed by the YMCA and UMMC.
  • BOA/BP2 Strategic Site Advancement
    • Total project costs, $15 million. Funding request, $1 million. This is for construction of new residential apartments off Evans Street and by the Tonawanda Creek. There is reportedly a developer with ties to Genesee County who has experience with large BOA projects in cities such as Corning who is interested in this project.
  • Batavia Innovation Zones
    • Project cost, $400,000. Funding request, $200,000. This is a request by the BDC to create more business incubator space similar to the current construction of freshLab in the former Newberry's building. The new incubators would be planned for the Carr's buidling, the public market, and GO Art!
  • Newberry Place Lofts
    • Project cost, $350,000. Funding request, $150,000. This is to assist with the existing project, which includes completion of three market-rate apartments in the building and the addition of a beer garden in Jackson Square.
  • Ellicott Place
    • Project cost, $2.5 million. Funding request, $1.15 million. This project would create retail spaces on the Ellicott Street side of the current Sav-A-Lot building (currently vacant space in the building), the addition of apartments on the second floor, and the creation of interior parking for new apartments.
  • Healthy Living Campus
    • Project cost, $22.5 million. Funding request, $5 million. This is a joint project of the YMCA and UMMC for new construction on the site of the current Y, the Cary Building and the vacant lot once occupied by the Elks Lodge. It would be an 85,000-square-foot building with more than 140 full-time equivilant employees. 
  • Downtown Public Market
    • Project cost, $2 million to $3 million. Funding request, $1 million. This would create a permanent structure for the public market at Bank Street and Alva Place.
  • 214 & 216 E. Main St.
    • Project cost, $150,000. Funding request, $90,000. This project would restore the facade to its vintage look of 216 E. Main, the former Montgomery Ward and upgrade the facade of 214 E. Main St.
  •  Jackson Square
    • Project cost, $750,000. Funding request, $500,000. This would complete the Jackson Square project started in 2004 by removing the concrete in Jackson Square and replacing it with brick, including the entryways off Jackson and Center streets.
  • GO Art! Arts & Cultural Center
    • Project cost, $2.2 million. Funding request, $1.98 million. This project would include upkeep and upgrades to Seymore Place at Main and Bank, including the addition of an elevator and performance space on the second floor.
  • Ellicott Station
    • Project cost, $23 million. Funding request, $425,000. The money is requested to cover an unexpected environmental remediation expense -- the removal of an old drainage canal under the property.
  • Ellicott Street Corridor
    • Project cost, $5 million. Funding request, $5 million. To help tie together two sections of the Ellicott Trail and to make Ellicott Street more attractive and safer for pedestrians and bike riders, this would add a median to the street and create a barrier between bike lanes and vehicle traffic.
  • Batavia City Art Canvas
    • Project cost, $39,000. Funding requests, $39,000. A project championed by local artist Brian Kemp that is already underway, the money would be used to buy supplies for artists to create more murals downtown and create material for a walking tour of Downtown Batavia's outdoor art.
  • Downtown Marketing/Branding
    • Project cost, $250,000. Funding request, $200,000. A request by the Business Improvement District for new marketing material and branding approach for Downtown.
  • Carr's Reborn
    • Project cost, $7.1 million. Funding request, $1.5 million. A request to complete restoration of the Carr's building and the former Genesee Bank. These would be mixed-use developments with retail, a cafe and apartments.
  • Batavia Showtime
    • Project cost, $250,000. Funding request, $250,000. The proposal is for a new marquee on the theater, lounge seating, and a 3D-movie system.
  • Historic Masonic Temple 
    • Project cost, $750,000. Funding request, $290,000. This project includes adding an elevator to make the third and fourth floors more accessible. The owner, Dave Howe, could then potentially convert those floors to apartments.
  • 206 E. Main St.
    • Project cost, $674,000. Funding request, $404,000. Rehabilitation of the second floor of the building, adding a banquet facility and bar for Main St. Pizza Company, and market-rate apartments.
  • 315 and 327 Ellicott St.
    • Project cost, $120,000. Funding request, $80,000. Improvements to commercial and residential units.
  • Waggoner Building
    • Project cost, $77,000. Funding request, $38,500. Renovations to second-floor office space. Location is School and Jackson streets.
  • Game On
    • Project cost, $150,000. Funding request, $150,000. Owner is requesting funding for new equipment, marketing and working capital.
  • Borrell's Gym
    • Project cost, $100,000. Funding request, $80,000. Improvements to the gym.
  • Vance Group
    • Project cost $70,000. Funding request, $40,000. Improvements to the facade and residential units at corner of Liberty and Ellicott streets.

There were also requests for projects outside the DRI boundary, including upgrades to Faletti Ice Arena, two buildings on South Swan, and improvements to Austin Park. The committee seemed to not favor considering these projects.

Consultant Ed Flynn will need to work with some of the projects to get more details for the proposal and the committee will try to pick several of the most viable projects and perhaps ask the owners or project leaders to make a presentation to the committee.

Top photo: Consultant Ed Flynn.

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Eric Fix and Craig Yunker

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Tom Turnbull

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Marianne Clattenburg, Susie Ott, Tammy Hathaway

December 29, 2017 - 4:57pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

The process of compiling the final list of the City of Batavia’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative award projects enters another phase next week when the 20-member Local Planning Committee reconvenes.

“We’re at a point where outlines (of prospective projects) will be given to the LPC, evaluation of the criteria will take place and summaries of project submissions will be reviewed,” said Steve Hyde, Genesee County Economic Development Center president and co-chair of the committee.

Hyde is serving as co-chair of the LPC along with Eugene Jankowski, City Council president, and Maria Figurele, executive director of CDC of Rochester,

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at City Centre Council Chambers.

The LPC will consider projects submitted by developers as part of the $10 million DRI award that was granted to Batavia by New York State Department of State in coordination with the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal.

Jankowski said the future of the City Centre Mall has entered into the discussions, but he considers that to be “separate and on its own track” due to a pending agreement between the City and the Mall Merchants Association.

“What we’re primarily looking for are more private projects which will go on the tax rolls,” Jankowski said.

Hyde said the mall is “a big part of the conversation, but not the only thing.”

“It’s an important one, but there is a mix of projects,” he added.

Hyde said he expects that the LPC will meet again before the end of January for a “final review” and that the “vetted list will become the crux” of recommendations that will be forwarded to the State Department.

“We make recommendations, but ultimately, the state makes the decisions,” he said, adding that final submissions are due in March.

Jankowski urged the public to take in next week’s discussion, and then share their thoughts with the LPC members afterwards.

“We need the public to get involved – both with the DRI and with the city manager search process,” he said. “There are 15,000 people here and I’m only hearing from about five or six who claim they represent the people. This is your money; we need your input.”

Members of the LPC are as follows:

-- James Sunser, Ed.D., Genesee Community College president;
-- Pier Cipollone, Batavia Development Corporation president;
-- Craig Yunker, managing member, CY Farms LLC;
-- Tammy Hathaway, president, Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council;
-- Patrick Burk, Batavia City School Board president;
-- Erik Fix, United Way of Genesee County executive director;
-- Marianne Clattenburg, Genesee County legislator;
-- Tom Turnbull, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce president;
-- John McKenna, president and CEO, Tompkins Bank of Castile;
-- Susie Ott, Commercial Insurance Team Leader, Lawley Insurance;
 -- Julia Garver, Genesee YMCA director;
-- John Riter, resident director, Merrill Lynch;
-- Peter Casey, attorney, Del Plato Casey Law Firm;
-- Matt Gray, Eli Fish Brewing Company restaurant entrepreneur;
-- Nathan Varlan, executive director, Batavia Housing Authority;
-- Paul Battaglia, Genesee County Economic Development Center chair;
-- Mary Valle, owner, Valle Jewelers;
-- Rev. Marty Macdonald, City Church;
-- John Bookmiller, owner, Java Farm Supply;
-- Dan Ireland, president, United Memorial Medical Center.

December 15, 2017 - 11:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, Downtown Revitalization Initiative, batavia, news.

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Local community members met in City Council Chambers last night to discuss and map out their ideas on how to improve Downtown Batavia.

The public meeting is part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the $10 million state prize won by Batavia, to help make improvements to downtown.

Community members discussed options to help establish priorities for how the $10 million might be spent.

This was the first of three public meetings. The public will also be invited to offer their opinions through online surveys.

The meeting was facilitated by Edward Flynn, planning division director for Labella Associations in Rochester.

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December 7, 2017 - 2:37pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city of batavia, Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Press release:

The first community meeting to gather public input on Batavia’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) will be held at City Hall, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14.

Those in attendance will be provided with information on the DRI followed by a hands-on, interactive public workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to identify potential transformative redevelopment strategies that will provide long-term community and economic benefits for Downtown Batavia.

This is an opportunity for residents and businesses in the community to provide feedback and help plan the future of Downtown Batavia. The DRI Local Planning Committee would like to know what you love about Downtown Batavia, what draws you downtown today, and what amenities would bring you downtown more often.

This effort builds upon existing plans and projects, including the City’s Comprehensive Master Plan and the Batavia Opportunity Area Plan.

The workshop is the first in a series of three DRI public participation meetings that will be held over the next four months.

Future public meetings will focus on a review of the goals and strategies developed by the DRI Local Planning Committee as well as a review of potential projects. 

In October, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the City of Batavia will receive $10 million in funding and investments as the Finger Lakes winner of the second round of the DRI.

November 21, 2017 - 5:34pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city of batavia, Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Press release:

A meeting for those wishing to submit information on potential projects for Batavia’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative is scheduled for 2 p.m. next Tuesday (Nov. 28) at City Hall, One Batavia City Centre.

An update on the goals of the DRI will also be provided. Project information submittals are due Dec. 18.

Downtown business and property owners, developers, arts and cultural organizations, and anyone with an interest in investing in Downtown Batavia’s future are invited to attend.

For RFI forms, visit the City of Batavia’s website – www.batavianewyork.com.

November 15, 2017 - 2:16pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Downtown Revitalization Initiative, batavia, news, notify.

The first of many committee meetings to develop a plan for the city to put to use its $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award was held Tuesday evening at City Hall.

A group of 20 people representing different areas of the community were asked to be a part of the committee. Ed Flynn, a member of the Planning and Development Committee, said it is a cross section of the community, in terms of businesses, agencies and residents.

“This is an opportunity for the community,” Flynn said. “It is also a responsibility for the community. It’s a lot of money. That’s why we’re putting together a Strategic Investment Plan so that we have some kind of strategy to take that $10 million and make sure there is some kind of impact on the community.”

The six-month schedule for the plan is aggressive, Flynn said. There will be multiple committee meetings, and public meetings before the final draft is submitted.

“We need to push this and get it done by the end of March,” Flynn said.

Batavia was one of 10 communities awarded the $10 million as part of the statewide DRI competition. The goal of the grant is to transform downtown neighborhoods into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers want to live, work and raise families. The winning communities are awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects to advance the community’s vision for revitalization.

“It’s not just jobs, it’s not just investments, it’s not just public spaces, it's all of those things together that create a vibrant downtown,” Flynn said.

Projects need to be submitted by Dec. 8 to be considered. Flynn said he will hold a Nov. 21 information session for business owners, nonprofit organizations, and others interested, who want to submit a proposal.

While not every idea submitted will be funded by the grant, Flynn said they will look at multiple projects for the 90-acre boundary in Batavia.

“There might be some other projects that we might recommend to not be funded by the grant,” Flynn said. “But they may be useful for the future revitalization of downtown Batavia, so we will keep them in the plan.”

Multiple projects for different places in the community were introduced for Theater 56, Jackson Square, the City Center, and the Masonic Temple.

Projects on the plan should fall into one of four categories: Public improvements, significant private development projects, revolving loans and grants, and branding and marketing.

On Batavia’s application, the project will focus on arts, culture and entertainment, healthy living and wellness, and prosperity for all. The committee members discussed goals they would like to stick to decide what to focus on when choosing projects.

Steve Hyde, the president and chief executive officer of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, said the focus should not be on what will create jobs. 

“What we want is to make these investments to create vibrant spaces and vibrant places,” Hyde said.  “If we can make those investments to do that, the jobs will follow.”

After editing the original vision statement, the committee decided the new statement is, “Batavia is all-in to reshape its urban core by embracing and building upon its rich entrepreneurial history, fostering cultural appreciation and creating a healthy, vibrant community to benefit all.”

Erica O'Donnell, a resident in Batavia, said she is one of those "terrible Millennials," but she would like to see more projects to attract young families with children. 

"We have a unique opportunity, being between Buffalo and Rochester, to draw Millennials here," O'Donnell said. 

The next public meeting has not been scheduled yet but will be posted on the Batavia Downtown Revitalization website along with other updates, here.

November 13, 2017 - 9:18pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

The road to craft projects in connection with the Downtown Revitalization Initiative – a “fast track” that leads to the governor’s office in Albany, according to City Manager Jason Molino -- begins in earnest at 4 p.m. Tuesday when a 23-member Local Planning Committee convenes in the Council Board Room at City Hall.

A “who’s who” of City and Genesee County officials along with civic leaders, business owners and agency executives, comprises the LPC, which has the task of appropriating the $10 million that was awarded to the City of Batavia as the winner of the Finger Lakes Region competition.

Eugene Jankowski, City Council president; Steve Hyde, Genesee County Economic Development Center president, and Maria Figurele, executive director, Community Design Center of Rochester, an architecture/design company,.are serving as committee co-chairs.

Members of the committee are as follows:

-- James Sunser, Ed.D., Genesee Community College president;
-- Pier Cipollone, Batavia Development Corporation president;
-- Craig Yunker, managing member, CY Farms LLC;
-- Tammy Hathaway, president, Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council;
-- Patrick Burk, Batavia City School Board president;
-- Erik Fix, United Way of Genesee County executive director;
-- Marianne Clattenburg, Genesee County legislator;
-- Tom Turnbull, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce president;
-- John McKenna, president and CEO, Tompkins Bank of Castile;
-- Susie Ott, Commercial Insurance Team Leader, Lawley Insurance;
-- Julia Garver, Genesee YMCA director;
-- John Riter, resident director, Merrill Lynch;
-- Peter Casey, attorney, Del Plato Casey Law Firm;
-- Matt Gray, Eli Fish Brewing Company restaurant entrepreneur;
-- Nathan Varlan, executive director, Batavia Housing Authority;
-- Paul Battaglia, GCEDC chair;
-- Mary Valle, owner, Valle Jewelers;
-- Rev. Marty Macdonald, City Church;
-- John Bookmiller, owner, Java Farm Supply;
-- Dan Ireland, president, United Memorial Medical Center.

The program is administered by the New York State Department of State in coordination with the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal.

The meeting is open to public and persons attending will have an opportunity to speak at the end of the meeting, which is scheduled to end around 6 p.m.

Recommendations are expected to be sent to Albany by February 2018.

September 19, 2017 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Downtown Revitalization Initiative, news, notify.

Local officials are being invited to Batavia City Hall at 1:30 p.m. Thursday where Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to make an announcement.

What Cuomo will announce is not revealed in the invitation, but the City of Batavia did submit an application to Cuomo's office for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative contest, which carries a $10 million award for one municipality in each of the state's economic development regions.

While winners have been announced in other regions, the winner of the contest in the Finger Lakes region has not yet been announced.

Local officials cannot discuss the reason for Cuomo's visit.

June 20, 2017 - 9:22am
posted by Mike Pettinella in city of batavia, Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

The City of Batavia is "ready to roll" out its presentation to a selection committee after receiving the news that it, once again, has reached the finalist stage in an Empire State Development Downtown Revitalization Initiative competition.

"We're ready to roll," said City Manager Jason Molino this morning, revealing that five city leaders will be representing Batavia on Thursday afternoon in downtown Rochester. "We will make a half-hour presentation, followed by 15 minutes of questions."

Molino said Batavia's presentation will focus on the 88-acre Business Improvement District in three distinct categories:

• Arts, culture & entertainment.

• Healthy living & wellness.

• Prosperity for all.

"It's all about creativity and innovation ... ways to enhance the quality of life," he said.

Molino said the fact that the city has just come through a 15-month Comprehensive Planning process should bolster its chances.

"We had a lot of community input during this time, which has helped develop our process," he said.

At Thursday's interview, Molino will be joined by City Council President Eugene Jankowski, BID Director Beth Kemp, City School Board President Patrick Burk and Batavia Development Corporation Coordinator Julie Pacatte.

Molino said he wasn't aware of what other three cities are finalists but did say that officials of those communities also would be presenting on Thursday.

Word that Batavia is one of four finalists spread quickly this morning. The Batavian found out via a message on Twitter this from City Councilman Adam Tabelski, 

"This is certainly great news for the community -- to be a finalist again," Tabelski said..

City officials filed the formal application for the $10 million award last week.

In 2016, the City of Batavia was a finalist from the Finger Lakes Region but eventually lost out to Geneva.

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