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Save-A-Lot

November 18, 2020 - 9:25am

The City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee on Tuesday night saw no problem with a change in the location of an elevator that will lead to second-floor apartments of the Ellicott Place project.

V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc., which is rehabilitating the Save-A-Lot building as part of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative program, submitted a site plan review to the committee that modifies the previously approved design of the second floor by moving the elevator originally planned for the interior of the existing building to a location on the exterior wall of the north elevation.

Company President Victor Gautieri, in his submission to the committee, said the basis for the change was “to develop a more easily accessible, safe entry for the second-floor apartment tenants, wherein the travel distance and corridor turns to the first-floor elevator access point would both be reduced to a more desirable condition.”

Work is underway on the $2.3 million renovation of the exterior of the building and the vacant space that will include 10 market rate apartments on the second floor.

Plans call for the construction of seven one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments on the vacant, 11,600-square-foot second floor, and includes the development of 18,000 square feet of first-floor commercial/retail space.

The PDC also recommended that the City Zoning Board of Appeals approve an area variance request for internal illumination of the proposed Save-A-Lot signs – four signs that will feature the grocer’s new logo. Signs by John’s Studio has been contracted to create the signs.

The ZBA meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday.

November 12, 2020 - 12:44pm

Update: 3:30 p.m. with comments from Victor Gautieri, president of V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc. on the proposed changes:

The crux of the change is when we started looking at when the folks walk in on the first floor, into the building, there is a corridor that leads ot the elevator, and then they take the elevator up to the second floor. Well, there were three turns that had to be made before you actually reached the elevator door. So, from a safety perspective and people's comfort level, I guess, it is better to have fewer turns and a more direct access to the elevator doors.

We made it much more convenient to get to those elevator doors, but in order to do so, we had to move the elevator from within the second-floor footprint. It's now coming out -- outside of the building, adjacent to the outside wall of the building (on the north side).

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The Genesee County Planning Board tonight is expected to consider a site plan review referral from the City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee on behalf of V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc.. The company is proposing to relocate an elevator leading to the second-floor apartments of the Ellicott Place project at 45-47 Ellicott St.

According to a document submitted by City Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall, the applicant has requested approval to modify the previously approved design of the second floor by moving the elevator originally planned for the interior of the existing building to a location on the exterior wall of the north elevation.

Randall wrote that the change would result in an exterior alteration to the building that is located in a Central Commercial (C-3) zone within the Business Improvement District.

In its submission for modification proposal, V.J. Gautieri officials report that the basis for the changes “is to develop a more easily accessible, safe entry for the second-floor apartment tenants, wherein the travel distance and corridor turns to the first-floor elevator access point would both be reduced to a more desirable condition.”

Specific changes, as outlined in the new plan, include:

  • On the south elevation, utilizing the existing stair to the second floor instead of pushing it outside of the second-floor footprint, which required a second-floor addition.
  • On the north elevation, shortening the distance to the apartment elevator, (which) required the shaft and associated exit stair to be pushed outside the second-floor footprint. This change will result in the construction of a 19- by 23-foot second-floor addition, with the exterior in wood cladding to keep with the second-floor visual design.
  • On the interior, requiring the southwest apartment to be changed from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom unit, and the northwest apartment to be changed from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom unit. Thus, the total number of one- and two-bedroom apartments will not change.

Work is underway on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative project, a $2.3 million renovation of the exterior of the building and the vacant space that will include 10 market rate apartments on the second floor.

Plans call for the construction of seven one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments on the vacant, 11,600-square-foot second floor, and includes the development of 18,000 square feet of first-floor commercial/retail space.

In a related development, planners also will look at an area variance request from Signs by John’s Studio on behalf of V.J. Gautieri Constructors and Save-A-Lot to save_a_lot_logo_1.jpgreplace four existing internally lit signs featuring the supermarket’s existing logo with its new logo (pictured).

According to a City of Batavia sign permit application, there will be a 15-foot by 96-inch wall sign, a 44-inch by 145-inch pole sign and two 23-inch by 36-inch entrance/exit signs.

Both referrals have been recommended for approval by Genesee County Planning Department staff, but will be subject to review by the City Planning & Development Committee and, in the case of the sign application, by the City Zoning Board of Appeals.

Also on tonight’s agenda is a special use permit and site plan review to erect two buildings with eight apartment units each in a Limited Commercial zone at 8940 Alleghany Road (Route 77), near Cohocton Road, in the Town of Pembroke.

The applicant, Daryl Martin Architect, P.C., of Orchard Park, proposes to build a pair of two-story structures – each featuring seven two-bedroom apartments and one one-bedroom apartment for property owner/developer Tim Cansdale.

Planning department staff recommendation is approval with modifications pertaining to driveway and stormwater permits, and adherence to Enhanced 9-1-1 standards.

*Enhanced 911, E-911 or E911 is a system used in North America to automatically provide the caller's location to 9-1-1 dispatchers. 911 is the universal emergency telephone number in the region.

September 26, 2020 - 11:15am

save_a_lot_1.jpg

While V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc. is focused on completing as much exterior work as possible before the snow flies, Save-A-Lot management is overseeing an upgrade to the interior of the store at 45-47 Ellicott St.

Such is the current status of the Ellicott Place project, a $2.3 million renovation of the supermarket that will include 10 market rate apartments on the second floor.

Victor Gautieri, project developer, on Friday said that crews have created a new entry vestibule, with placement moved to the east along the north wall, facing the Court Street Plaza parking lot.

“That allows us room to construct our entrance to the elevator that accesses the second-floor apartments,” he said.

Gautieri said that Save-A-Lot is closed for “some pretty extensive remodeling on the inside of the store.” He believes the store has set a reopening date of Oct. 2.

“(They’re) painting and decorating as well as a lot of mechanical upgrades – coolers and freezers and systems of that nature for their operation,” he said.

The interior enhancements are part of Save-A-Lot's effort to upgrade its branding, Gautieri said.

“They’ve rolled out a different look – reorganizing how the groceries are stocked and the flow of traffic within the stores,” he said. “New signs will be going up as well as a different kind of a logo that will be in place as soon as we are finished completing the work on the front canopy.”

Gautieri said he is hoping to have all construction done by the end of April, weather permitting.

The project, part of the City of Batavia’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award, will feature seven one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments on the vacant, 11,600-square-foot second floor, and includes the development of 18,000 square feet of first-floor commercial/retail space.

Other improvements include a two-stop interior elevator, two stairwells, new exterior windows, doors, veneers and roof membrane.

The Save-A-Lot grocery store occupies around half of the ground floor.

Gautieri said his company plans to “roll out some advertising on the apartments by the end of the year,” with the goal of getting some preopening leasing in place.

“We’ve been receiving phone calls, wondering what the status of the project is and what the apartments will be like,” he said. “We want to try to get ahead of the curve and get things ready to go as soon as construction is done and we’ve got a certificate of occupancy in hand.”

Ellicott Place and the Ellicott Station mixed-use redevelopment venture across the street will provide a much-needed boost for that section of the city, Gautieri said.

“It’s going to be good for – we’ll call it the Southside, which has lacked any real new projects or anything of that nature,” he said.

Photo: View of the location of a new entry vestibule (boarded up), which will provide access to the elevator leading to second-floor apartments upon completion of the Ellicott Place project at the Save-A-Lot grocery store on Ellicott Street. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: Planning boards to consider Ellicott Place residential/commercial venture special use permits

July 10, 2016 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Save-A-Lot, batavia, news.

waltonweddingsavealotjuly102016.jpg

Tim and Sabrina Walton got married today in the same spot where they first met.

That would be in the produce section of the Save-A-Lot in Batavia.

Then, Tim was an assistant manager and Sabrina was a just-hired cashier.

“He just looked at me," Sabrina said of that first meeting. "He just gave me this look and not long after that he said he would marry me some day.”

Yes, Tim, said, he was smitten, but it was something more than that.

“I’d never seen anybody like her," Tim said. "It was just one of those feelings where you just know.” 

Judge Robert Balbick performed the ceremony.

The idea of getting married in the grocery store started out as a joke, Sabrina said, but Tim credits his father with promoting the idea that they should do a small, inexpensive service.

"He was the one who talked with us about doing something small and instead of spending thousands of dollars on a wedding, we could take that money and put that toward our family and still have it have meaning in what we did," Tim said.

Speaking a family, it's immediately a big one. Sabrina's four children are Dominick, 17, Cody, 14, Tyler, 12 and Emma, 11. Tim's two children are Caylin, 15, and Olivia, 11.

They recently moved into a six-bedroom house in the City of Batavia.

Sabrina now works at a local dental clinic and Tim is manager of the Save-A-Lot in Le Roy.

Tim said his bosses were gracious in the support of the idea.

Sabrina beamed and said, "We did it."

waltonweddingsavealotjuly102016-2.jpg

December 20, 2011 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Save-A-Lot.

In a way, you can thank Walmart for the new grocery store downtown, which held its ribbon cutting today and will officially open Wednesday.

Co-owner John Hedlund (top photo, right) once owned a grocery store in a small town in Pennsylvania, then Walmart came to town. The giant retailer leveled a hill across the street from his store and within six months had taken away half his business.

After closing the store, he started looking for other opportunities in the grocery business, and with his desire to remain entrepreneurial and independent, the Save-A-Lot model appealed to him.

Hedlund converted his Jubilee store in Salamanca to Save-A-Lot and along with business partner Bill Larson now owns and operates four Save-A-Lot locations in Pennsylvania and New York.

Larson was owner of the former IGA store in Corfu.

"Walmart devastated me, but they also put me on a different track," Hedlund said. "The Save-A-Lot program is a great business to bring to a community."

Save-A-Lot is a mixture of corporate-owned stores and licensed stores, such as the new one in Batavia. The company operates 1,200 stores nationwide.

The Save-A-Lot model is to maintain low prices with a comparatively limited inventory and smaller stores -- Batavia's store is 18,000 square feet, which is large for a Save-A-Lot. The store also sells its own brands, such as Bubba's sodas, Malone's canned meats and Manita's pasta (names taken from actual people who work at corporate headquarters in Earth City, Mo.

"The Save-A-Lot format is to provide quality products at lower prices," Hedlund said.

Larson (top photo, left) said the produce and meat offered at Save-A-Lot are always fresh and of the highest grade available.

Victor Gautieri's family company owns the former Jubilee/Latina's building -- between Jackson and Court streets on Ellicott Street -- where the new store is located. There are still 22,000 square feet available for lease. Gautieri said he hopes it becomes a retail hub for downtown anchored by Save-A-Lot.

"From the word on the street, we're hearing people say this is a godsend for Downtown Batavia, " Gautieri said. "And we're finally getting this white elephant off the shoulders of the city."

Outgoing City Council President Marianne Clattenburg said, "We're very happy in the City of Batavia to finally have another grocery store downtown."

More than a dozen customers were in the store after the ribbon cutting to check out what it has to offer and buy a few items.

"I like it because I used to drive to Save-A-Lot in Le Roy, but that's too far to drive," Carla Laird said. "And it's hard to get to Tops a lot of times."

Billie Jo Laird said, "It's great for people who don't have a car and can't drive."

Hedlund said it's the goal of his company to help the communities they serve to thrive.

"The downtown area was missing a grocery store and it needed a grocery store," Hedlund said. "This is a great opportunity for us."

December 3, 2011 - 6:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Save-A-Lot.

Just in time to meet your Christmas dinner shopping needs, Save-A-Lot is opening in Downtown Batavia.

Planning opening is Dec. 21.

Victor Gautieri, of V.J. Gautieri Constructors, Inc., showed off the space for Save-A-Lot on Friday and said by next week, installation of shelves and cases will begin followed by inventory stocking.

"Save-A-Lot is definately going to fill a need," Gautieri said. "The demographics are perfet for a store like Save-A-Lot. It fits their model perfectly. We’re looking for a very, very successful store."

Gautieri said he expects the customers Save-A-Lot brings to the Ellicott Street location will mean more business for the shops in the immediate area.

"It’s going to be a beehive out in the parking lot," Gautieri said. "There’s going to be a lot of people in the area. We’re anticipating folks that are shopping here at Save-A-Lot, they’re going to go the banks, maybe go to Alberty Drugs, head over to Valle Jewelers, just hit this whole Court Street Plaza area, and hopefully extend out (to the rest of Downtown)."

The Gautieris are also hopeful that Save-A-Lot's success will help attract tenants to the additional 22,000 square feet of retail space available in the former Latina's/Jubilee/Montgomery Ward building.

The family owned construction and real estate company has been buying ads, putting out feelers, doing research and everything they can to find the right tenants for the west side of the building.

"We’re really pushing for retail," Gautieri said. "That’s what downtown Batavia needs is retail."

The 22,000 square feet of space can easily be partitioned into several storefronts, each with windows and doors on the west side of the building.

How the space will be partitioned off depends on what kinds of stores come forward and sign leases.

"We will tailor the space based on the particular tenant," Gautieri said. "It's going to be hard to tell (how the space will be configured). Everybody has their own requirements for their business. We’ll just build it to suit."

Right now the space is filled, both with all of the shelving and cases that will be moved into the Save-A-Lot store, along with leftover fixtures from Latina's. Once all of that is cleared out, Gautieri anticipates they can more effectively show the space to potential tenants.

August 13, 2011 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Latina's, Save-A-Lot.

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.

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