Is Gateway Lofts Project Worth $34M Price Tag?

The four-floor Gateway Lofts project makes a lot of sense except for one little detail — the $34 million price tag.

Southern Tier Environments for Living, the YWCA of Jamestown and Community Helping Hands have put a lot of thought into the project.

Two of the four floors of the apartment building will be used for housing non-violent offenders going through addiction treatment programs. The third floor will be for YWCA case management clients. It will be secured and the YWCA will provide 24-hour, seven-days-a-week staff to support single parents and children. The fourth floor of the building will be operated by STEL for people in treatment programs with 25 one bedroom and studio apartments secured and staffed by STEL for non-violent offenders with mental health or drug addiction issues. There will be a referral process for third and fourth floor apartments.

The Gateway Lofts project is filling a void both in finding housing where those fighting drug addiction can be close to their treatment support system and for single-parent families who can often struggle to find clean, safe housing for their children.

What a price tag, though. The four-floor Gateway Lofts project is only four million dollars shy of the new luxury hotel that opens soon in Celoron. How does safe, clean housing for people who need help come close to the price tag for a luxury lakefront hotel catering to wealthy tourists? One has to wonder, for that price, if it makes more sense to start fresh in a new building rather than try to retrofit an old manufacturing space. Adaptive reuse is a nice buzzword for these types of projects. Proponents of adaptive reuse often fail to mention that the practice is often paid for by taxpayers through state and federal grants. It would be interesting to see what the price tag for this project is in a new construction project compared to renovating a building constructed in 1897.

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