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Mancuso Business Development Group

Today's 'Harvester Crawl' celebrates 60th anniversary of The Harvester Center

By Billie Owens

Press releaase:

The Mancuso Business Development Group is happy to be celebrating the 60th anniversary of The Harvester Center with the inaugural Harvester Crawl, today from 5 to 6:30 p.m., May 2. It will feature a poker run!

Food and beverages provided.

The event will begin promptly at 5 o'clock, with entry to the event through Sarah’s Studio, 56 Harvester Ave.

Please RSVP to

Featured sites include:

  • Old Bear Recording Studio featuring "Brothers McClurg" Christian Rock Band
  • Rashaad Santiago, SFX Artist. Winner of Season 6 of the Syfy Channel's “FACE OFF" Reality Show
  • John Canale Drum Studio -- offers variety of drum lessons *Sarah’s Studio – craft beer and wine purveyor
  • Smart Design Architecture -- A full-service Architecture & Design Firm
  • Motoclectic -- Magazine printing headquarters for a new Free Motorcycle Magazine
  • Co-work space at Mancuso Management Group

Local women business owners come together to share experiences, encourage others

By Howard B. Owens


Renee Smart, owner of Moon Java Cafe on Harvester Avenue, talked during a women-in-business meeting hosted by the Mancuso Business Development Group at her coffee shop last night.

The gathering was a chance for local women business owners to meet and share their experiences and how they took their businesses from concept to reality. The hope is that other women might be inspired to open local businesses.

Bev Mancuso, background in the top photo, led the discussion.


Diana Kastenbaum, owner of Pinnacle Manufacturing in Batavia.



Kim Argenta, whose business, Art Ah La Carte, is in its 10th year.

Women in Small Business to be celebrated Oct. 25 at Moon Java Cafe, come learn their secrets

By Billie Owens
Press release:
October is Women's Small Business Month.
Please join the Mancuso Business Development Group as we celebrate some of our Women in Small Business on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Moon Java Cafe.
The evening will feature: Renee Smart from Moon Java Cafe; Lori Trader from Le Roy’s No Finer Diner and No Better Bed & Breakfast; Judy Hysek from Eden Café and Bakeshop in Batavia; and Kimberly Argenta, who is celebrating her 10th anniversary with Art Ah La Carte in Batavia.
Come learn about the experience of these women as they each took their small business from concept to reality, and maybe find out how you, too, might become a successful woman in small business.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m.
Moon Java Café is located at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia.
Please RSVP to or 585-343-2800 by Oct. 23.
Thank you to all successful women entrepreneurs!

Swan Street property's availability status prompts City Council to explore options

By Mike Pettinella

The Batavia City Council is scrambling to explore other options after receiving word that the owner of a five-acre parcel of land at 35 Swan St., which has been identified as the most viable site for a new City of Batavia Police headquarters, may not be willing to sell it.

In a memo to City Council presented at the board's meeting tonight, City Manager Jason Molino reported that Mancuso Business Development Group, with offices at 56 Harvester Ave., is "continuing to explore and evaluate a variety of scenarios in an effort to devise a redevelopment plan for the entire Harvester Campus," including the Swan Street location.

"We'll just have to work through it," Molino said following the Conference portion of the meeting that began with a short Business session.

"We've been talking about it (land acquisition requirements and procedures) for the past few months, and I understand their position," he continued. "It's not that we've been told that we can't build it because they don't want it there. If they're looking at redevelopment (which would generate tax revenue), that is a great reason not to build it there."

Just six months ago, Council went with a recommendation by the Police Facility Task Force that it commissioned to focus on 35 Swan St. as the place to build an approximately 18,000-square-foot structure that would cost upwards of $10 million. However, City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. did say at that time, "If the site doesn't pan out, we will move in a different direction."

And now, that seems to be the case.

Molino outlined three alternatives -- (1) wait six months to a year for the property owner to complete its redevelopment review, after which the owner may be interested in subdividing the land; (2) consider the possibility of eminent domain or condemnation, which allows a municipality to take private property for a public use, understanding that the eminent domain process entails public hearings and could lead to legal wrangling, and (3) take another look at alternate locations -- sites that were part of a lengthy study by the Task Force.

He then added a fourth option: "Or you could do nothing."

The current situation certainly was not welcome news to Council members.

"I'm upset about the development over there (on Swan Street)," said Rose Mary Christian (Sixth Ward), who represents residents in the area that includes Swan Street. "Eminent domain could cost us a fortune. It's mind-boggling that we went through all of this, and a couple of people say they don't know if they want to sell it."

She changed her tune toward the property's owners after Jankowski said the Task Force did its study without taking into account the availability of the various parcels, but added that "I'm still (peeved) about the whole thing."

Molino advised Council to include police department and city manager's office staff in any additional study, and also to "engage architects and engineers" -- bringing up the possibility of a budget amendment to appropriate funding for another review before the next City Council meeting on Sept. 12.

Jankowski suggested reenlisting the Task Force so that "they don't think their work was for nothing" and to include the public as much as possible in the process.

"Citizens should be involved," Jankowski said. "It's their money that will be paying for this."

Upgrades to Mancuso Office Building will make it handicapped accessible

By Howard B. Owens

As part of a project to make the Mancuso Office Building at 26 Harvester Ave., Batavia, handicap accessible, a new elevator is being installed behind the building.

Mancuso Business Development Group President Tom Mancuso said other accessibility upgrades are being made to the building in all the public areas, such as the bathrooms.

The four-story building is split-level, with the first floor not being on grade with either the front or the back of the building, so the elevator is being designed to make five stops.

A new lobby is being installed in the back of the building that will be at grade with the back parking lot.

"It's just (such) a historic, attractive building that we didn't want to make changes to the front of it," Mancuso said.

The elevator should be operational by the end of March.

Mancuso didn't reveal the cost of the project, but indicated it is expensive. The entire project is privately financed, he said.

One of the building's current tenants, Rosicki Rosicki & Associates, is an enthusiastic supporter of working with disabled people, Mancuso said.

Another Mancuso tenant, in the Harvester Center, Larry Brown, is a disabled veteran.

"He's always helping us be aware of and work on our accessibility issues," Mancuso said.

Work begins on Masse Gateway Project

By Howard B. Owens

Construction -- or rather, destruction -- has begun on the Masse Gateway Project.

The project is intended to turn the old factory buildings of Masse-Harris/Harvester into modern office and light industrial space. The first phase involves knocking down the buildings at the end of Masse Place to create an entryway into the facility.

The project is expected to cost $3.1 million and is being partially funded by a $1.5 million RestoreNY grant. Mancuso Development Group, the property owner, will cover the balance of expenses.

The project is expected to lead to productive use of all the old factory buildings in the complex, as can be seen in the artist rendering below. Included in the concept was a portion of the old Wiard Plow factory building, which was destroyed in an alleged arson fire in May. A representation of the destroyed structure can be seen in the lower right of the rendering.

Mancuso ready to move forward with Masse project with grant in place

By Howard B. Owens


At a press conference this morning, Tom Mancuso, president of Mancuso Development, said he was "delighted" the state approved a $1.5 million grant to help advance the Masse Gateway Project.

Even though the grant was $1 million less than originally requested by the city, Mancuso said the project should still be able to move forward.

It will cost at least $3.1 million and create an entrance off Masse Place into the Harvester industrial complex. The plan is to turn the old buildings into space suitable or light industrial and commercial uses for small businesses.

Mancuso said the the funding "really entitles us to spend a lot more money." In addition to the planned private investment from Mancuso Development, Mancuso implied his company will also need to come up with an additional $1 million to complete the project.

Audio: Tom Mancuso talks about the project.

The Batavian's news partner, WBTA, covered the press conference.

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