Arcade Building Stabilization Project Receives No State Funding

City officials are still seeking funding to stabilize the Arcade Building along North Main Street in Jamestown. City officials applied for state Regional Economic Development Council funding, but weren’t awarded funds Wednesday. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Overall, city officials have much to celebrate after Wednesday’s announcement of state Regional Economic Development Council funding when three projects received more than $325,000.

However, not all Consolidated Funding Applications for economic development projects submitted by city officials were awarded funds by state officials. One of the submissions left empty-handed was for the stabilization of the Arcade Building. Earlier this year, city officials, in partnership with the Gebbie Foundation, applied for $500,000 in state funding to possibly stabilize the long-vacant structure.

“We are disappointed that the CFA application that would further stabilize the Arcade Building wasn’t awarded,” said Vince DeJoy, city development director.

Following a fire in June that broke out at the building, 24 N. Main St., located directly south of the Arcade Building in June, city officials went to work to try and find a solution to stabilize the structures, which also included the Haglund Building. This summer, C&S Engineers Inc. was hired by the Gebbie Foundation to create a condition assessment report.

“(City officials) appreciate all of the efforts the Gebbie Foundation has made … funding of the building condition assessment report for the Haglund/Arcade Building at 26 North Main Street that was the basis for the CFA submission,” DeJoy said.

According to the executive summary of the condition assessment, all major components were evaluated and assessed on a good, fair or poor rating system. The components evaluated included the site, foundation, building envelope, building super-structure, utilities, mechanical, fire protection and fire alarm.

The building, which was constructed in 1898, is in fair to good condition structurally, in regard to foundation and walls. However, due to poor maintenance, upkeep and lack of functioning utilities, there are multiple points of water infiltration throughout the building, which is vacant and abandoned. Over time, the structural integrity of the various floors has become compromised, and in some areas, unsafe. In addition, most windows are broken or missing, which further compromises the weather-tightness of the building.

Presently, there are no utilities that service the building. All other components — electric, HVAC, plumbing, fire protection and fire alarm — are obsolete, abandoned and in need of complete replacement if the building is to be repurposed.

As part of the study, costs were determined based on three scenarios: demolition, stabilization and renovation. The least expensive option was to stabilize the building. This included making the building weather-tight and to protect it from further vandalism. This evaluation included associated hazardous materials abatement as well as the replacement of the roof, doors and windows, which had an estimated cost of $1,455,000.

The second scenario in regards to cost is demolition. This included completely razing the building, abating all hazardous materials, rendering the site ready for future development. The estimated cost for demolition was $1,708,000.

The final option explored was a full restoration, including bringing the building up to current building and energy codes. For this scenario, a first floor retail space was considered and floors two through four, residential apartments. The estimated cost for the renovations is $16,420,000.

“There is great concern over the condition of Arcade Building if nothing is done to further preserve the integrity of the structure until a private developer steps forward with a rehabilitation project or we can collectively find the funds necessary to demolish the building, which has been estimated to be $1.6 million according to a study funded by the Gebbie Foundation,” DeJoy said. “The city isn’t in the financial position to consider the demolition option with the limited funds we have in place, and we must go out and find those funds and define a compelling narrative for a reuse of the site once the building is demolished.”

DeJoy said city officials continue to work toward demolishing the remains of 24 N. Main St., owned by Prideful Property Group LLC, which sustained heavy damage from the fire earlier this year.

“The Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency has opened bids for the controlled demolition with asbestos in place, and will be going through the process of working with the contractor that won the bid to begin the process of filing the necessary variances with the New York state Department of Labor for the controlled demolition, and awarding the contracts,” DeJoy said. “It is our intention to demolish the remains of the building during the first quarter of 2018, once all of the necessary permits have been secured. A completed demolition of 24 N. Main St. will allow the Department of Public Works to remove the concrete barriers along the street and reopen the sidewalk to pedestrian traffic along east side of North Main Street.”