Batavia Development Corporation https://www.thebatavian.com/ en https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Batavia Development Corporation https://www.thebatavian.com/ Local Matters © 2008-2023 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Tue, 27 Feb 2024 09:59:44 -0500 https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Wed, 22 Mar 2023 17:24:00 -0400 BDC expands land portfolio for redevelopment https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/bdc-expands-land-portfolio-for-redevelopment/629044
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Seven months after approving the acquisition of property between Tonawanda Creek and Evans Street, Batavia Development Corporation received the word it hoped for: yes.

A somewhat unusual sale, this one involved the Town of Batavia, which owned the 4.26-acre parcel tucked behind and alongside the McCarthy ice arena.

Batavia Town Board approved the sale of land this week, and agreed to sell it to BDC for $1. It falls under the name Creek Park LLC, which is a subdivision of BDC, and will be marketed for land development. That is, after the  unknowns are known, she said.

“First step after closing is to initiate the Phase II sampling, which is necessary for determining if there is a presence of any pollutants,” Hathaway said Wednesday. “Once results of the sampling are received, the BDC will have a pathway to whether the parcel is to be marketed as a Greenfield or a Brownfield; each offering different developer incentives.”

An example is Savarino Companies, which went through Creek Park LLC for its Ellicott Station housing project. BDC worked to get that project into a Brownfield development, which is identified as potentially needing remediation to remove toxic materials, and also comes with financial incentives for doing so.

As for the town property, the BDC has not yet closed on it.

“The conveyance was approved by the Town of Batavia and is currently in the Permissive Referendum period,” she said. “This period will expire on April 18; an anticipated closing is to follow as soon as can be scheduled.”

BDC uses the city of Batavia’s planning initiatives “as our roadmap,” Hathaway said, and one is the Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) study and program. Since the Creek Park area is vacant and underutilized, she said, the BOA has identified it as a “prime area” for redevelopment.

“The BOA program focuses on adaptive re-use of a site through environmental assessments, followed by clean-up efforts should the parcel be determined a Brownfield,” she said. “The Creek Park acquisition follows the mission of the BDC to encourage reuse of underutilized real estate.”

BDC voted to pursue purchasing the town property in August 2022.

Map provided by BDC.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/bdc-expands-land-portfolio-for-redevelopment/629044#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/bdc-expands-land-portfolio-for-redevelopment/629044 Mar 22, 2023, 5:24pm Batavia Development Corporation BDC expands land portfolio for redevelopment jfbeck_99_272012 <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/creek_park_parcel_ownership_map.jpg?itok=Ix_M5EWq" width="460" height="355" alt="creek_park_parcel_ownership_map.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>Seven months after approving the acquisition of property between Tonawanda Creek and Evans Street, Batavia Development Corporation received the word it hoped for: yes.</p> <p>A somewhat unusual sale, this one involved the Town of Batavia, which owned the 4.26-acre parcel tucked behind and alongside the McCarthy ice arena.</p> <p>Batavia Town</p>
BDC director excited to share economic development progress in Batavia https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/bdc-director-excited-to-share-economic-development-progress-in-batavia/626084
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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.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/bdc-director-excited-to-share-economic-development-progress-in-batavia/626084#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/bdc-director-excited-to-share-economic-development-progress-in-batavia/626084 Jan 10, 2023, 6:44pm Batavia Development Corporation BDC director excited to share economic development progress in Batavia jfbeck_99_272012 <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/citycounciljan92023-5.jpg?itok=bKKLb8wf" width="460" height="306" alt="citycounciljan92023-5.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>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.</p> <p>She brought with her a passion for finding answers and being inquisitive about the mechanisms of how things work. And since</p>
Downtown businesses plan for expansion on Main Street https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/downtown-businesses-plan-for-expansion-on-main-street/613780
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2018 File Photo: Eli Fish Brewing Company shows a definite sign during its initial phase of development, and now owners are planning a two-level back patio adjacent to Jackson Square. Photo by Howard Owens.

Recession? What recession?

Despite global doomsday predictions to go along with inflationary prices, there appear to be signs of definite life in downtown Batavia. Three Main Street businesses have each applied for a $20,000 grant for planned site expansions.

City Council is expected to discuss the applications during its conference meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers, City Hall.

Matt Gray, as AGRV Properties, Inc., is looking backward for his project — a patio adjacent to Jackson Square. With an investment of $140,000, the additional grant would support the cost of building an outdoor patio for Eli Fish Brewing Company at 109 Main St. Aid from grant funding will allow the applicant to replace the rear, exterior stairs and doors and assist in the cost of adding a large two-level patio attached to the rear of the building, according to the application to Batavia Development Corporation.

BDC’s board approved the request, according to a memo from Director Tammy Hathaway, and has forwarded it to council for final approval. The money is from BDC’s Revolving Loan Fund, which has a total of $120,097, Hathaway said. Specifically, the City of Batavia Revolving Loan Fund Grant Policy seeks to have private building owners make lasting building, public and/or façade improvements within the City.

Down the street are two more projects to be reviewed by council. Applicant Peter Casey, as 73 on rotary, LLC, has asked for $20,000 grants each, for 73 Main St., and an adjacent site at 79-81 Main St.

That block of the building apparently has some growing pains as well, with upgrades for YNGodess — by increasing usable space in the shop, and updating a breakroom and bathroom facility. An investment of $80,000 would be augmented with the grant money for the upgrades. The BDC Board approved the request and it now rests with the council for final approval.

Casey’s other project is to renovate the former Alberty’s Drug Store property at 79-81 and move the law office of DelPlato Casey into that space. Capital investment for this project is pegged at $820,000. Work includes handicap access to the firm's office and provides more room for the growing legal practice, according to the application.

Growth is expected immediately, with the addition of one staff member and the potential for two more hired soon afterward.

Council is also expected to discuss funding for the purchase of a new fire engine. A final funding pack includes a 20-year loan for $665,000 at 2.5 percent, and a $100,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant, with an upfront contribution of $36,681 from the city’s fire reserves.

This fire engine is to replace Engine 12, which, at 20 years old, is showing signs of “extreme corrosion,” City Manager Rachael Tabelski said in a memo to council. The new vehicle would include a custom cab with seating for six fire personnel, a 1,500 per minute fire pump with foam capacity, a 750-gallon water tank, latest safety features, and full LED emergency and scene lights for maximum safety for personnel, and she recommends the purchase.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/downtown-businesses-plan-for-expansion-on-main-street/613780#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/downtown-businesses-plan-for-expansion-on-main-street/613780 Aug 7, 2022, 8:10am Batavia Development Corporation Downtown businesses plan for expansion on Main Street jfbeck_99_272012 <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/272012/2022-07/elifishsign.jpeg?itok=PDQEtc2W" width="460" height="307" alt="elifishsign.jpeg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p><em>2018 File Photo: Eli Fish Brewing Company shows a definite sign during its initial phase of development,&nbsp;and now owners are planning a two-level back patio adjacent to Jackson Square. Photo by Howard Owens.</em></p> <p>Recession? What recession?</p> <p>Despite global doomsday predictions to go along with inflationary prices, there appear to be</p>
New BDC director ready to assist city business projects https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/new-bdc-director-ready-to-assist-city-business-projects/609021
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Seven days into her new job Tammy Hathaway was already full-speed ahead.

After all, the city resident and new director for Batavia Development Corporation has the passion, background, and curiosity to take the job and run with it, she says.

Her background includes working at Rural Opportunities (Pathstone) and being on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative planning committee and on the City Planning and Development Committee, so structuring a file or project for financing, grants, and combined loans mean just one question for her.

“How can I put it all together? Those puzzle pieces are comfortable for me,” Hathaway said during an interview with The Batavian. “But learning about the actual projects? Yeah, that's what I'm really super excited about.”

Just prior to her interview, Hathaway — formerly executive director of United Way of Genesee County — was pouring over files full of project notes. She counted in her head at least 14 ongoing projects that she will be diving into — Theatre 56, Jackson Square, the Healthy Living campus, and Ellicott Station, to name a few.

Her flowing locks and love for high- and well-heeled fashion belie someone whose cravings for detail include building structures, construction plans, and even the wastewater treatment plant. Staff was talking about using sonar equipment to measure the sludge, and “I was, like, I’m home,” she said.

She talked about how a local contractor had stopped in before the interview and showed her a compressed structural beam. She hadn’t seen anything like it before, she said and asked where she could buy some. The contractor was surprised.

“Yeah, and I go, ‘Oh, don't be fooled when you see me around town in my stiletto collection,’” she told him.

 Over at BDC, her focus will home in on Brownfield Opportunity Areas, a new category of sites for her.

“That's one of the things I'm very intrigued about. And that's the stuff that I want to know. I went up to a project earlier today that's already under construction, and it is about looking ahead to do a progress report. So to walk in and see, you know, new I-beam and structural stuff. You know, it's familiar to me. So it was just kind of going and taking photos and talking the talk,” she said. “But it's gonna be those other pieces that are like, ooh, this is new. This is what intrigues this switch in position. This job offers me so much that I want to know.”

For those who may know Hathaway, you’re also aware that she’s not shy to express herself. Admittedly, she has cursed a time or two while serving on a board and strives to be a nice, friendly person despite those inadvertent expletives. She agrees she's rather flamboyant “all day long,” and is fascinated by what makes people tick, she said.

“And just as I'm as inquisitive about people, I am as inquisitive about a lot of things, the mechanisms of how things work,” she said, explaining why she has served on up to six boards at a time. “So it's not that I can't say no, I don't like to say no because I want to know more, so when I'm already on five boards, and (Executive Director) Nate Varland comes to me at Leadership Genesee class and asks ‘would you like to be on the Board of Commissioners of the Batavia Housing Authority?’ Yes. Yes, I do. And he's like, are you serious?”

The 51-year-old’s job duties also include overseeing the agency’s grant and loan program. She doesn’t believe it’s as much about what a person wants to sell as it is about practicality: is that business a good financial investment? Does it fit into Batavia’s commercial landscape?

Her secret asset for determining who gets money? “I’m not emotionally attached to anything, except for Batavia. I want everyone to flourish,” she said. “The success in the city of Batavia depends on if they have a sustainable business plan.”

One of her “absolute best talents” is to surround herself with a solid network of friends. It’s that “amazing support system” that keeps her going, especially when dealing with the “hiccups” in life. She has at times posted thank-yous on Facebook for a gift, often her favorite snack, left on her porch.

“There are flowers and, mostly, Doritos,” she said.

The 2020 Geneseean of the Year recipient isn’t certain about why she’s been so drawn to construction-related topics. Her first husband got into construction, and she became more intrigued by listening to his discussions, and it grew after working for Rural Opportunities, writing rehab grants, reviewing bids for construction and becoming all the more curious with each step.

Another piece of it was her attitude as a woman in a traditionally male field:  “I don't want you to know more than I know about it,” she said. “You know, I get that you’re boys and stuff.”

So what does Hathaway think makes for a vibrant downtown? Her answer was swift: cultural options. And she believes Batavia is on the upswing for that, with a variety of culturally rich offerings through the Business Improvement District, at Jackson Square, Eli Fish, the Farmers Market, and GO ART!, she said.

It takes initiative, and her philosophy is a way to encourage that from the community.

“I’ve always tried to get people to believe that giving is contagious. If I do it, and it makes you see that I have fun doing it, then maybe you will want to do it, and we can really have fun to do it together. You know, so the more people that we get involved in doing the cultural stuff, that just makes us ask, why do we want to leave if there's things happening here all the time?” she said. “I do think the vibrancy of our little city is that culturally we want things to do. We have people who are committed to creating things to do. Sometimes it takes a few more hands down. The more people we get involved, the easier it is. And when we can create, you know, those businesses where we live here and work here, and now we can play here. I'm a Western New York girl, through and through.”

Photo: Tammy Hathaway, new director for Batavia Development Corporation, in her office at City Hall. Photo by Joanne Beck.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/new-bdc-director-ready-to-assist-city-business-projects/609021#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/new-bdc-director-ready-to-assist-city-business-projects/609021 Jun 21, 2022, 8:15am Batavia Development Corporation New BDC director ready to assist city business projects jfbeck_99_272012 <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/272012/2022-06/tammy_seated.jpg?itok=jefVlaOh" width="460" height="351" alt="tammy_seated.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>Seven days into her new job Tammy Hathaway was already full-speed ahead.</p> <p>After all, the city resident and new director for Batavia Development Corporation has the passion, background, and curiosity to take the job and run with it, she says.</p> <p>Her background includes working at Rural Opportunities (Pathstone) and being</p>
Tammy Hathaway named new BDC director https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/tammy-hathaway-named-new-bdc-director/606302

Press release:

The Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) Board voted to hire Tammy Hathaway as the organization’s new director today at their May meeting.

Tammy has been well-known in the Batavia community as the Executive Director of the United Way of Genesee County. Her experiences in partnering with the City of Batavia including serving on the City’s Planning and Development Committee, currently is a member of the Batavia Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners, previously was a member of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Committee and working with city management on the 485-r legislation exemption.

With a career history proficient in lending and grant administration, Tammy comes to the BDC with various skills to successfully collaborate with businesses to further the organization’s mission within the City of Batavia. She has a secure foothold in our community and has established strong core relationships throughout the City of Batavia and Genesee County.

“Tammy brings a wealth of knowledge and a passion for our community that will help advance the BDC’s mission to improve the quality of life in the City of Batavia through a number of economic development collaborations, programs, and initiatives,” said Lori Aratari, President of the BDC.  “We are very excited to welcome her and look forward to her leadership.”

“On behalf of the city we are excited to work with Tammy in this new position and have confidence that as a city resident, she understands the needs of both the business community and residents alike,” said Rachael J. Tabelski, City of Batavia City Manager.  “Tammy will be coming to the organization with a list of projects to finalize from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and a 2020 Main Street Grant awarded to the City. She will also be responsible for promoting development at the City’s Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) sites and assisting businesses with loans and grants.”

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/tammy-hathaway-named-new-bdc-director/606302#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/tammy-hathaway-named-new-bdc-director/606302 May 26, 2022, 12:56pm Batavia Development Corporation Tammy Hathaway named new BDC director Press Release <p></p><div class="align-left"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/60/2022-05/hathaway_headshot.jpg?itok=csEWmQWo" width="180" height="234" alt class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> Press release: <blockquote> <p>The Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) Board voted to hire Tammy Hathaway as the organization’s new director today at their May meeting.</p> <p>Tammy has been well-known in the Batavia community as the Executive Director of the United Way of Genesee County. Her experiences in partnering with the City of</p></blockquote>
BDC seeking new director of economic development https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/bdc-seeking-new-director-of-economic-development/597947 Press release:

The Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) will begin the process of seeking a new Director of Economic Development.

Brett Frank, the current BDC Director of Economic Development, has accepted a position with the City of Batavia, his last day with the BDC will be March 25th, 2022.

“On behalf of the board of directors of the Batavia Development Corporation we wish Brett the very best in his new endeavor,” said BDC President Lori Aratari.   

In the upcoming weeks the official employment posting and brochure will be listed on the BDC and City of Batavia’s websites.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/bdc-seeking-new-director-of-economic-development/597947#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/bdc-seeking-new-director-of-economic-development/597947 Mar 21, 2022, 2:02pm Batavia Development Corporation BDC seeking new director of economic development Press Release <p>Press release:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) will begin the process of seeking a new Director of Economic Development.</p> <p>Brett Frank, the current BDC Director of Economic Development, has accepted a position with the City of Batavia, his last day with the BDC will be March 25<sup>th</sup>, 2022</p></blockquote>
City manager: Owner of former C.L. Carr's department store building is contemplating course of action https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-manager-owner-of-former-cl-carrs-department-store-building-is-contemplating
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While there has been much activity in the City of Batavia, especially with Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Main Street Grant projects, the same can’t be said about the renovation of the former C.L. Carr department store at 101-107 Main St.

According to the “project tracking” chart generated by the Batavia Development Corp., a $1 million DRI award (of the $5.25 million total investment) was allocated to the Carr’s rehabilitation.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski, at this morning’s Batavia Development Corp. board meeting, said building owner Ken Mistler has met with representatives of Urban Vantage of Buffalo, a consulting firm, as he seeks the best course of action to repurpose the space.

“I’ve had several meetings with Mr. Mistler and he would like to move the project forward,” Tabelski said. “The next steps are to see if they want to go after an historic designation for the building – whether it’s worth that and the tax credits – and assuring that they can get architecture, engineering and design on the building done because you can’t do construction until you get that done.”

She said her discussions with Mistler have focused on keeping the bottom floor as commercial space, with the possibility of multiple stores there, and turning the upper floors into residential space.

“We talked about potentially doing furnished corporate loft-type space for some of the companies we have here,” she said. “We’re always getting requests for furnished space.”

The building has one section with three floors and another with two floors.

Tabelski also mentioned the need for corporate rentals and boutique hotel space in Batavia.

“When they look at their return on investment, they’re not just going to look at residential, they’re going to see if some of these mixes could work there,” she offered, mentioning The Shirt Factory Café in Medina as a prime example of mixed-use success.

There, the first floor houses a coffee shop, hair stylist and mead works, while the second floor has an attorney’s office and boutique hotel room in the loft space, and the third floor features boutique hotel rooms.

“In a way, the business model could be very similar to Carr’s. A very different building, very historically-significant -- The Newell Shirt Factory in Medina – but the mix of tenancy could be a great example for them to look at and follow.”

She said some preliminary work was done on the Carr’s site before COVID-19 hit “and now they’re getting back to it.”

“It’s nice to see it get moving along because when looking at all of the projects, that is the one that needed to advance through the necessary stages,” she said.

Contacted this afternoon, Mistler said that he has not contracted with Urban Vantage at this point and any information on what the renovation ultimately will look like is speculation.

Photo by Mike Pettinella

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-manager-owner-of-former-cl-carrs-department-store-building-is-contemplating#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/city-manager-owner-of-former-cl-carrs-department-store-building-is-contemplating Aug 26, 2021, 3:58pm Batavia Development Corporation City manager: Owner of former C.L. Carr's department store building is contemplating course of action mikepett <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/129907/2021-08/cl_carr_building_1.jpg?itok=5BEsRo3d" width="460" height="298" alt="cl_carr_building_1.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>While there has been much activity in the City of Batavia, especially with Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Main Street Grant projects, the same can’t be said about the renovation of the former C.L. Carr department store at 101-107 Main St.</p> <p>According to the “project tracking” chart generated by the</p>
Batavia Development Corp. board hires Brett Frank as new director https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/batavia-development-corp-board-hires-brett-frank-as-new-director/570830

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Update at 11:30 p.m. from BDC:

"Brett brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in business and property development that will help advance the BDC’s mission to improve the quality of life in the City of Batavia through a number or economic development collaborations, programs and initiatives," said BDC President Lori Aratari. “We are excited to welcome him and look forward to his leadership.”

Brett has core competencies in government relations, public relations, communications, business and policy research, statistical analysis, and business intelligence.  His roles with Genesee County were numerous, including Real Property tax apportionment of County/Town, County/City, School and Village taxes, public relations and working directly with the GCEDC in the maintenance and generation of PILOT invoices.

He was responsible for disseminating information to engage property owners in complex residential and commercial valuation projects and acted as liaison to municipal, regional, and state government officials.

“On behalf of the City we are excited to work with Brett in this new position and have confidence that as a City resident he understands the needs of both the business community and residents alike,” said Rachael J. Tabelski, City of Batavia City Manager.  “Brett will be coming to the organization with a list of projects to finalize from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and a 2020 Main Street Grant awarded to the City.  He will also be responsible for promoting development at the City’s Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) sites and assisting businesses with loans and grants.”

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Directors of the Batavia Development Corp. this morning approved the hiring of Brett Frank as the agency’s executive director.

Frank (photo at right) fills the position that became vacant when Andrew Maguire accepted the operations manager post with the Town of Batavia in June. He will start on Aug. 30.

A client service specialist at Fieldstone Private Wealth in Batavia since September 2020, Frank was employed at Genesee County’s deputy director of Real Property Tax Services for five years prior to that.

“I think he will do a great job in that position. He’ll be a good fit for that,” said Kevin Andrews, the county’s director of Real Property Tax Services, Frank's immediate supervisor. “His background in real property, I think, will help him in that role.”

Andrews said Frank is outgoing – a people person – and won’t have any problem promoting the projects on behalf of the City of Batavia.

Previously, Frank, a city resident, was a financial representative for Northwestern Mutual and a Batavia City School District maintenance worker.

Frank, an Elba Central School graduate, earned a bachelor’s degree in Financial Economics from Buffalo State College after receiving his associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from Genesee Community College.

City Manager Rachel Tabelski said Frank's "great background in real estate" will go a long way in accomplishing the BDC's mission.

The position's salary is $70,000 plus benefits.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/batavia-development-corp-board-hires-brett-frank-as-new-director/570830#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/batavia-development-corp-board-hires-brett-frank-as-new-director/570830 Aug 26, 2021, 8:50am Batavia Development Corporation Batavia Development Corp. board hires Brett Frank as new director mikepett <p></p><div class="align-right"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/129907/2021-08/brett_frank.jpg?itok=xduKqDje" width="199" height="322" alt="brett_frank.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> <em>Update at 11:30 p.m. from BDC:</em> <p>"Brett brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in business and property development that will help advance the BDC’s mission to improve the quality of life in the City of Batavia through a number or economic development collaborations, programs and initiatives,"&nbsp;said BDC President Lori</p>
Could a 'package deal' be a solution to current city police, county jail reuse and rehabilitation state of affairs? https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/could-a-package-deal-be-a-solution-to-current-city-police-county-jail-reuse-and
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A frequent contributor to the Batavia City Council scene is suggesting that a package deal combining the current Batavia Police Department headquarters and Genesee County Jail parcels may be the ticket to attracting a potential developer in light of the city’s intention to build a new police station at Alva Place and Bank Street.

City resident John Roach, during the public comments portion of the board’s Conference Meeting on Monday night at the City Centre, asked if anyone was talking to Genesee County leaders about their plan for the jail at the corner of West Main Street and Porter Avenue.

The county is exploring its options as it faces a state mandate to build a new jail, with a site near County Building 2 on West Main Street Road as the proposed location.

“You might get a better deal as a combined parcel,” Roach said. “Find out what they’re going to do and it could have an impact on what to do with the Brisbane building.”

The Brisbane building that he referred to is the former Brisbane Mansion at 10 W. Main St. that sits next door to the county jail. That building -- which may be eligible for classification as a historic landmark -- has housed city police for many years but has deteriorated considerably.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski, responding to Roach’s inquiry, said she thought it was a “great idea to speak with the county and understand their plans.”

“The front of the jail is certainly an amazing historic building that I hope would be preserved by the county through their transition, but I believe it hosts Genesee Justice and I don’t want to speak for the county and I’m not sure what they’re actually planning,” she said.

Tabelski also said she wasn’t sure if the timelines for a new county jail and new city police station would line up, but it was something worth looking into.

She pointed out the drawbacks with the Brisbane Mansion, notably that there is no American with Disabilities Act accessibility and there are problems with the layout that hinder the ability of the force to conduct day-to-day business.

“We went over the presentation two meetings ago and we looked at the timeline. The city has been wanting to address this for over 20 years,” she said. “We’ve come forward with a proposal and a feasibility study to use the parking lot at Alva and Bank Street.”

The city manager underscored the importance of finding a “reuse” for the building, adding that the city has no intention of moving staff into that structure.

“So, we’d like to pursue a path where we put it out for RFP to a developer to take that on and bring that on to the tax rolls,” she advised. “To do that in the best manner possible, you want to make your property attractive to the marketplace and by understanding all of the historical elements inside the building, and having technical assistance reports done of the structure itself and the historical elements …”

For those reasons, she forwarded a resolution – which was later passed by Council – to allow the Batavia Development Corp. to apply for a 2021 Consolidated Funding grant under the New York Main Street technical assistance program.

“I think it is City Council’s wish and I know it is the certainly the wish of many in our community to preserve that building as a historical element in our downtown,” she said. “… if (the grant is) awarded, we would go ahead and do that study. We had a plan to reuse the building at the time we move the police department.”

Tabelski said that the grant-funded study would uncover whether the building would qualify as a historic landmark.

If so, that could open the door for a NY Main Street grant, which the city has been successful in obtaining for the Eli Fish Brewing Co. building on Main Street and Theater 56 at the City Centre.

On another topic, Roach asked about the status of a road project to rehabilitate Harvester and Richmond avenues, which is scheduled for the summer of 2022.

Maintenance Supervisor Ray Tourt said it is currently in the design phase.

In May 2020, City Council appointed the engineering firm of T.Y. Lin International Group of Rochester to provide preliminary and advanced designs with the expectation that they would be completed by the summer of this year.

T.Y. Lin International Group was involved in the city’s Walnut Street Reconstruction Project, the Ellicott Street streetscape project and all of the Batavia Downtown Business Improvement District streetscape initiatives.

Batavian Robert Radley, PE, is the company’s senior vice president and U.S. East Region director.

Plans call for renovation of Richmond Avenue from State Street to Oak Street and for the entire length of Harvester Avenue (from East Main Street to Ellicott Street). City officials previously reported that 95 percent of the $2 million project will be covered by CHIPS (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program) and Marchiselli Funding* streams.

Tabelski also reported that Jill Wiedrick, the new assistant city manager, will be starting on July 21, and the city is advertising for a permanent Department of Public Works director.

*Given the significant backlog of preservation, rehabilitation and replacement of transportation infrastructure needs that exist at the local level, NYSDOT has initiated a process with metropolitan planning areas and municipalities to revise and align local transportation planning and project selection processes with engineering and economic-based preservation strategies. As part of this initiative, NYSDOT will provide priority consideration for State matching funds, under the Marchiselli program, to federal-aid projects that embrace the Department’s asset management based preservation strategy. Municipally sponsored federal-aid projects considered to be beyond preservation treatments may be considered for Marchiselli funding on a case by case basis. Municipal requests for projects that are considered beyond preservation will be reviewed by NYSDOT’s Comprehensive Program Team (CPT).

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Photo at top: Batavia Police Department station (former Brisbane Mansion); Photo at bottom: Front of Genesee County Jail, which currently houses Genesee Justice.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/could-a-package-deal-be-a-solution-to-current-city-police-county-jail-reuse-and#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/could-a-package-deal-be-a-solution-to-current-city-police-county-jail-reuse-and Jul 13, 2021, 8:23am Batavia Development Corporation Could a 'package deal' be a solution to current city police, county jail reuse and rehabilitation state of affairs? mikepett <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/129907/2021-07/brisbane_1.jpg?itok=iFvdBu4E" width="460" height="379" alt="brisbane_1.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>A frequent contributor to the Batavia City Council scene is suggesting that a package deal combining the current Batavia Police Department headquarters and Genesee County Jail parcels may be the ticket to attracting a potential developer in light of the city’s intention to build a new police station at Alva</p>
'Straightforward' audit shows about 16 percent increase in Batavia Development Corp.'s net position https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/straightforward-audit-shows-about-16-percent-increase-in-batavia-development-corps Calling it a “straightforward” audit, a certified public accountant with the Freed Maxick firm in Batavia reported that the Batavia Development Corp. experienced a 16-percent increase in its net position from March 31, 2020 to the same date this year.

At Thursday’s monthly BDC meeting at the City Centre Council Chambers, Nicole Ryan reviewed financial statements from fiscal years 2020 and 2021, giving the agency’s board a comparative look at its activity.

She said that since there was no new activity for Creek Park Batavia LLC, a BDC entity, her presentation focused on the BDC.

The BDC’s net position increased from $172,469 as of March 31, 2020, to $199,931 as of March 31, 2021 (about a 16-percent jump), while the operating revenues increased by about $5,000 from 2020 (from $114,964 to $119,769) and expenditures decreased about $3,000 (from $95,136 to $92,307).

“So, overall, year to year, there wasn’t a large change in the activity – as expected based on the type of year that was had …,” Ryan said. “There wasn’t an abundant amount of information that we had to go over; there was minimal grant activity that took place this year, compared to previous years. Overall, it was very straightforward and a rather quick audit. Very painless.”

Ryan found that the agency’s cash flow increase of only $31,358 from the prior year “again was due to the minimal grant activity that took place.”

Receivables for 2021 totaled $125,750 with $81,428 as part of the financial close of the Ellicott Station and $44,322 as part of the Building Improvement Fund, which will be reimbursed through New York State Homes and Community Renewal.

All told, Ryan said the audit identified no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies, “so I don’t have any exhibits for any type of filings that would have been communicated during the process.”

Andrew Maguire, BDC director of economic development, said that in April the agency was awarded a New York Main Street Grant of $417,000 for the Theater 56 project. That transaction will be reflected in the 2021-22 fiscal year financial statement, he noted.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/straightforward-audit-shows-about-16-percent-increase-in-batavia-development-corps#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/straightforward-audit-shows-about-16-percent-increase-in-batavia-development-corps Jun 25, 2021, 12:08pm Batavia Development Corporation 'Straightforward' audit shows about 16 percent increase in Batavia Development Corp.'s net position mikepett <p>Calling it a “straightforward” audit, a certified public accountant with the Freed Maxick firm in Batavia reported that the Batavia Development Corp. experienced a 16-percent increase in its net position from March 31, 2020 to the same date this year.</p> <p>At Thursday’s monthly BDC meeting at the City Centre Council</p>