Twelve City Projects Look To Make An Impact

The local plan to use $10 million to transform downtown Jamestown has been completed.

The Jamestown Downtown Revitalization Initiative Local Planning Committee last week finished five months of work by selecting 12 projects that best fit the state’s DRI program to assist communities with transformative housing, economic development, transportation and community projects to attract and retain residents, visitors and businesses. In August 2016, Jamestown was announced as one of 10 municipalities, one from each state Regional Economic Development Council, to receive $10 million for the DRI program.

Since October, the Jamestown Local Planning Committee has met five times and had numerous conference calls with the consultants — HR&A Advisors, Highland Planning and Environmental Design & Research — who were hired by the state to assist in creating the Strategic Investment Plan, which will be sent to state officials by the end of February. Once the plan is submitted, state officials will analyze the 12 projects, which total an estimated $13,820,000, in Jamestown’s DRI plan to determine the projects that will be selected and how much they will receive of $9.7 million to be invested in downtown Jamestown. The consultants and administrative fees account for about $300,000 of the $10 million DRI funding.

To go along with input from the DRI Local Planning Committee members, there were three public meetings where feedback was also gathered to narrow the focus of the Strategic Investment Plan toward the projects that were selected. During the final Local Planning Committee meeting, the members approved all 12 projects as a slate, with no ranking or priority put on any projects.

”We are presenting a plate of projects,” said Michael Metzger, Local Planning Committee chairman.

REDEVELOP FORMER KEY BANK BUILDING

The redevelopment of the former Key Bank Building on the corner of Main and Second street will create a mixed-use building with office, retail and residential users. The Local Planning Committee has requested $1 million in DRI funding to go toward the project to redevelop the 35,000 square foot building. The first phase of the project is to rehab 10,000 square feet on the north side of the building to accommodate Libera, a software development company that would anchor the building. The second phase would be to develop eight corporate apartments to the upper floors and convert the ground floor atrium into a dinner theater restaurant, which will retain the historic features of the structure including original masonry design elements. The Duke of Jamestown LLC is leading the development efforts set to begin in the spring.

DEVELOP THE HILTON DOUBLETREE HOTEL

The Local Planning Committee has requested $3,450,000 to provide gap funding to the Hamister Group to rehab the former Ramada Inn on Fourth Street into a Hilton DoubleTree full-service hotel. The proposed project includes a 4,000 square feet banquet space, 144 rooms and two restaurants and a bar. Redevelopment efforts are expected to start this spring.

JAMESTOWN BREWING COMPANY

The Jamestown committee has requested $1 million of DRI funding for the redevelopment of the Lillian V. Ney Renaissance Center into the home of Jamestown Brewing Company. The site would include a small craft brewery in the basement and a bar/restaurant in the remaining space. G. Patti Development is leading the project with efforts to begin in early 2017.

REDEVELOP THE FURNITURE MART BUILDING

The Local Planning Committee has requested $1.5 million in DRI funding to redevelop the 10-story Furniture Mart Building into a mixed-use space with office, hotel and residential uses. The development would also include an adjoining 354-space parking structure connected to the building. The proposed limited service hotel is be lead by Ellicott Development.

IMPROVE STREETSCAPE & PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT

The local group has requested $610,000 in DRI funding to target streetscape and pedestrian enhancements on Third Street and Cherry Street in the core of downtown to create a more inviting, walkable downtown and set the state for future investment. Targeted demonstration projects will occur along Third Street between Cherry and Washington streets; Cherry Street between Third and Fourth streets; and Third Street between Pine and Spring streets. Key corridors identified in this project aim to direct pedestrian activity toward and between existing and future retail, attractions and economic drivers.

ENHANCE RIVERWALK EXPERIENCE

The Local Planning Committee has requested $325,000 to enhance the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk. This project will consist of implementing the Riverwalk Illumination plan to decoratively light waterfront features, to construct kayak and canoe launches along the Chadakoin River and to complete a floating debris collection system around the Warner Dam.

ACQUIRE RIVERFRONT DEVELOPMENT PROPERTY

The committee has requested $1.4 million toward acquisition of waterfront property on the south side of the Chadakoin River where Chautauqua Brick Company is located. By acquiring this property, this will allow city officials to request proposals to redevelop the industrial site into a more suitable recreation spot along the waterfront.

IMPLEMENT AN EXCURSION TRAIN INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT AND RAIL DEPOT UPGRADES

The Local Planing Committee has requested $670,000 for this project to address gaps in infrastructure within the city to support regional excursion train traffic. This project is being proposed to be at the Jamestown Gateway Train station and at an adjacent location where local officials are working to redeveloping a former engine building along West Second Street.

REVITALIZE THE REG LENNA CENTER

The local group has requested $1.5 million of DRI funding to go toward the revitalization of the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. The proposed project is to renovate the buildings comprising the center along Third Street. This includes infrastructure improvements, safety upgrades, renovated retail and studio space, improved theater lobby, renovated offices and apartment space. The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts encompasses multiple buildings on East Third Street, from Pine Street to Spring Street.

FUND DOWNTOWN PROGRAMMING

The Local Planning Committee has requested $600,000 to fund a variety of all-season programming to attract a range of audiences to downtown Jamestown. The fund would coordinate and supplement efforts being done by individual cultural attractions and local foundations. The funding could be as a grant or evolving loan program to fund new or existing downtown activities.

IMPROVE ROBERT H. JACKSON CENTER

The local group has requested $1.5 million to upgrade and expand the main facility of the Robert H. Jackson Center. The proposed renovation would focus on stabilizing basic building infrastructure and maximizing the building’s usability and flexibility in preparing for future program expansion.

LUCILLE BALL LITTLE THEATER

The Local Planning Committee has requested $265,000 for the proposed project to install a new air condition system in the auditorium and lobby to enable year-round use of the performance space, and to provide a venue for overflow events and activities associated with the National Comedy Center. Funding would also go toward upgrading the fly system controlling the theater drapes.

Members of the DRI Local Planning Committee include Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor and co-chairman; Metzger; Vince DeJoy, city development director; Vince Horrigan, county executive; Greg Lindquist, former Jamestown Renaissance Corporation executive director; Rev. Chloe Smith; Zion Tabernacle Church; Rev. Luke Fodor, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church; Father Jarrod Russell, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church; Tim Smeal, Jamestown Community College development director; Pamela Reese, Jamestown Business College dean; Alexis Singleton, El Greco Furniture owner; Jeff James, Labyrinth Press Company, and Brazil Craft Beer and Wine Lounge owner; Reuben Hernandez, Havana Cuban Cafe owner; Andrew Nixon, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau executive director; Andrea Magnuson, Gebbie Foundation associate director; Bill Rice, city principal planner; and Jeff Smith, St. Susan Center executive director. State representatives and consultants include Chris Bauer, Department of State Brownfield Opportunity Areas coordinator; Lori Cornell, Gov. Andrew Cuomo representative; Jeff Belt, Western New York Regional Economic Development Council co-chairman; Diego Sirianni, Empire State Development program specialist; Amy DeGaetano, Department of State coastal resource specialist; Sarah Crowell, Department of State Brownfield Opportunity Area program Director; Kate Collignon, HR&A Advisors; Bret Collazzi, HR&A Advisors; Conor Muldoon, HR&A Advisors; Tanya Zwahlen, Highland Planning; Brian Groth, Highland Planning; and Walt Kalina, Environmental Design & Research.

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