Furniture Mart Building May Be Redeveloped
A Western New York development company that has completed several projects in downtown Jamestown might potentially overhaul the Furniture Mart Building.
In June, the Jamestown City Council supported a consolidated funding application through the state Regional Economic Development Council program submitted by the Gebbie Foundation for a $1.5 million grant that, if approved, will go toward redeveloping the Furniture Mart Building, located at the corner of West Second and Washington streets.
Greg Edwards, Gebbie Foundation CEO, said Peter Krog, Krog Company CEO, has agreed to be listed as the potential redeveloper in the grant application that was filed last week with the Empire State Development.
Edwards said Gebbie Foundation officials have been working with a firm out of Lockport called the The Harrison Group to create a package detailing the potential costs and economic development incentive packages available through state, county and local agencies to renovate the Furniture Mart Building.
“(Gebbie Foundation) went together in partnership with (Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency) to engage The Harrison Group,” Edwards said. “The first project they were to work on was the Furniture Mart Building. The three entities really put together a clear understand of the nature of the building. This created the process for a request for proposals based on that.”
Edwards said the Gebbie Foundation owns the exclusive option to purchase the building from its owner, Arthur Bailey. He said the Krog Corp. is working on the redevelopment designs and hopefully the project will be recognized by both the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and state officials in Albany, who determine who received consolidated funding application awards, as a priority project.
If the overhaul project proceeds, Edwards said it will be a mixed-use commercial and residential building. He said the “lion’s share” of the nine-story, 180,000-square-foot building will be for commercial use. He added the upper two floors would be high-end residential apartments.
Edwards said a number of possible business tenants have shown interest in the building, but clients will not be determined until construction is underway.
“It would be our desire that the first floor be retail with the foot traffic in that area,” he said. “With 250,000 people coming to (Northwest) Arena and 100,000 more at the National Comedy Center, there’s a lot of people around the building. That concentration of people would open the door for retail opportunities.”
The potential redevelopment project would also have the capacity for parking inside and around the building. Edwards said inside there could be parking for residential tenants.
“The real draw is to have covered parking right there and then you could just take an elevator ride to your place,” he said.
Edwards said the estimated potential cost of the renovation project is between $15-$16 million. He said the Krog Corp. has had several development projects in the greater Jamestown area, but the three most recognizable are the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, BWB Building and the Riverwalk Center.
“The quality of the Krog Corp. brings is what makes this application exciting for us,” he said. “They have done projects in the city and they are interested in developing more.”