State Denies Funding For Jackson Spring Apartments

New York State Homes and Community Renewal will not be funding the proposed Jackson Spring Apartment Complex.

On Tuesday, Charni Sochet, state Homes and Community Renewal, told The Post-Journal the applicant — Citizen’s Opportunity for Development & Equality Inc. and The NRP Group — did not receive an award in this year’s unified funding round, but will have the opportunity to work with the state agency to address technical deficiencies in its application and reapply next year for funding.

This was the second year CODE, a nonprofit corporation to promote revitalization activities in the city of Jamestown, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties and Western New York, and The NRP Group, a privately held national multi-family housing development firm, had applied for funding.

“CODE is continuing its commitment to Northside residents by working to preserve the housing stock, demolishing dilapidated buildings and stabilizing the neighborhood through a wide range of housing activities that includes owner-occupied rehabilitation, handicap accessibility programs, accessibility programs for disabled veterans and enhanced recreational opportunities,” said Patrick Morris, CODE executive director. “On behalf of CODE Inc.’s Board of Directors, I would like to express my appreciation to the many neighborhood residents who have supported our redevelopment effort. It is the residents who make up the neighborhood and we appreciate that our goals are closely aligned with each other. I also would like to express my gratitude to all of the elected officials and city staff who have so strongly supported this redevelopment. The city’s leadership has been truly committed to bettering the neighborhood and helping neighborhood residents.”

Earlier this month, neighborhood residents led by Spring Street resident Donald Paine held a rally across the street from where the proposed Jackson Spring apartment complex was going to be constructed. Paine using the slogan “Make Our Neighborhood Great Again” called on state officials to approve the $12 million in funding for the apartment complex.

For 17 years, Paine said he has lived along Spring Street with neighborhood problems like drugs, slumlords and poor conditioned streets. He said the Jackson Spring apartment complex could have started a revitalization of the street.

As part of the proposed Jackson Spring apartment complex project, several vacant and condemned houses were to be demolished. Vince DeJoy, city development director, said those houses still need to be demolished, but the city doesn’t have the funding to tear them down this year. He said it will be at least another year until the city could possibly fund the demolition of the condemned houses.

“The problem hasn’t gone away,” DeJoy said. “We’re obviously disappointed that area of the city won’t be seeing a $12 million investment in a neighborhood that needs a transition. The neighborhood enthusiastically wants it. We’re going to go to the developers and ask them to apply again. We’re waiting on a debriefing from the state on why it didn’t get funded. We will work with the developers on a new submission.”

The Jackson Spring project was being planned to be constructed along North Main and Spring streets, which would have been two building complexes. One building would have been 36 units, with 28 one bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments. Across the street would have been the second complex, which would have been seven town houses, five with two bedrooms and two with three bedrooms.

The apartment complex was also proposed to be the new home for Southwestern Independent Living Center. The Southwestern Independent Living Center provides services throughout Chautauqua County that assists individuals with disabilities to reach maximum independence to improve their quality of life. CODE was also working with the Chautauqua Blind Association to assist the visually impaired with housing at the proposed facility.

“All true community change comes from the grassroots so I look forward to continuing to work with the residents of the North Main Street corridor on their ‘Make Our Neighborhood Great Again’ effort,” Morris said.