Gautieri announces supermarket lease for downtown building
Downtown Batavia can support a supermarket and a group of businessmen who have done the marketing research to prove it have entered into a lease agreement to open a Save-A-Lot in the former Latina's location on Ellicott Street.
The new store will be 18,000 square feet.
"These guys have really got their heads straight," said Vito Gautieri, the building's owner. "We were looking at another chain, but this one looked like the best deal. I think it will be really good for Downtown Batavia."
The Gautieri's own Washington Towers and Vito said the family recognized the need to bring a supermarket downtown, both for the sake of tenants at Washington Towers and also 400 Towers.
"We really need a supermarket downtown," Gautieri said.
In fact, said Gautieri, the family decided to pass on an offer from a discount retail chain that would have filled all 40,000 square feet of the building because the need seems so great to bring a supermarket to the space.
The ownership group, operating locally as Batavia Food, Inc., has three other Save-A-Lot locations. The other stores are in Wheatland, Salamanca and Bradford, Pa.
Save-a-Lots operates as a kind of co-op of locally licensed stores. The new owners of the planned Batavia store have no affiliation with the owners of the Le Roy Save-A-Lot.
Gautieri said the owners of the Le Roy store were given first crack at the Batavia location, but for some reason a deal couldn't be put together.
Now Gautieri and his son, Vic, need to work on getting a tenant for the remaining 22,000 square feet on the first floor. He said they already have a couple of solid leads on possible tenants.
Gautieri is still working on ideas about what to do with the second floor. The space is currently 15,000 square feet, but because the building was constructed to support warehouse space on the second floor, the second floor roof could be raised and the area expanded to 25,000 square feet.
If Gautieri decides to expand the second floor, the space would either become premium office space or residential apartments.