The Batavia Development Corp. and Buffalo developer Samuel Savarino received the news they have been waiting for today when the Finger Lakes Regional Development Council announced the release of $1.9 million in funding for the Ellicott Station project on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia.
“This is fantastic for Ellicott Station, phenomenal for the City of Batavia, but what is really great is that the governor (Andrew Cuomo) and the regional leaders believe that we can transform Batavia, and they’re ready to help us do that,” said Julie Pacatte, BDC coordinator.
The $1.9 million Consolidated Funding Application grant is the second-largest award of this round of funding in the Finger Lakes Region – surpassed only by the $2 million awarded to the Sibley’s project in Rochester.
Gov. Cuomo announced that more than $700 million in economic and community development funding was awarded today to the state’s 10 regional councils through Round VI of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
In the press release from the governor’s office, he said that “through the Regional Economic Development Councils, we have replaced the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to economic growth with a ‘ground-up’ strategy that focuses on cooperation and investing in regional assets to generate opportunity.
“By bringing together ideas from local government and community leaders with state resources, we are giving these councils the tools to create jobs and drive economic activity in their communities for generations to come.”
Rachael Tabelski, marketing director for the Genesee County Economic Development Center, applauded the news, adding that the support of FLREDC Co-Chairs Anne Kress and Danny Wegman gives the city a strategic edge.
“It’s a major, major project for downtown Batavia that is going to transform everything, and the backing of the regional co-chairs ensures that this project will happen, and happen on its full scale,” she said.
Other project awards coming to Genesee County include:
-- $150,000 to Sysco (Western NY Depot) to clear land and build a facility to house delivery management for distribution services;
-- $96,000 to Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (Haunted History Trail of NYS, 2017 initiatives) to conduct a conversion/economic impact study for the haunted history trail, the first and only statewide paranormal tourism trail in the United States;
-- $47,500 to Genesee County (Genesee County Housing Needs Assessment) to complete a housing needs study;
-- $50,000 to City of Batavia to complete a stormwater capital plan;
-- $25,000 to the City of Batavia (Downtown Batavia Healthy Living Campus) for a feasibility study for a comprehensive, multipurpose health campus downtown;
-- $12,500 to the Batavia Business Improvement District (Downtown Batavia Public Market Study) for an assessment and conceptual market master plan for sites in downtown Batavia.
Pacatte noted that the Healthy Living and Public Market grants are for areas within the Batavia Opportunity Area that her agency has been focusing on for redevelopment.
“Both initiatives are BOA-centric, and will improve the core – the civic center – of our county,” she said.
As far as Ellicott Station is concerned, three weeks ago Savarino provided an update to City Council, and specifically mentioned that the CFA grant that came through today along with a $500,000 Restore NY grant and new market tax credits were essential to making the project work.
Savarino’s plan is to convert the former Santy's Tire Sales and Soccio & Della Penna Construction sites a mixed-use, commercial/retail/residential complex.
The project is expected to cost around $17 million.