JAMESTOWN, NY – The Jamestown City Council has given its approval for the application of three different grants from New York State to help with downtown economic development.
In addition to approving a grant application to help pay for feasibility study for an excursion train service between Jamestown and the Buffalo-Niagara Region, the city council approved two other grant applications that will be filed on behalf of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC). One grant will be used to help with Phase II improvements to Wintergarden Plaza on N. Main St., while the other will be used to make improvements to the Lillian V. Ney Renaissance Center on the corner of W. Third and Washington Streets, so that it would be able to accommodate a downtown microbrewery and restaurant.
JRC deputy director Peter Lombardi says the microbrewery would be a brand new business to the area.
“This would be a new business in downtown Jamestown that I think will work in sync with the opening of the National Comedy Center next year and help to provide a lot more activity in that area between the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena and the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, that needs to become more active,” Lombardi said. “We need to have a bridge of activity between the west end of downtown and the east end to make it as positive an experience as possible for visitors.”
Lombardi said that the project could receive between $100,000 to $500,000 in funding from the state’s Main Street grant program. He added that because the planning is still in the preliminary stages, he could not provide the name of who currently is developing the micro brewery, only to say that they are not an already established business in the area.
Lombardi also said the state grant application for the Wintergarden Plaza improvements would be to cover 75 percent of the cost for the $130,000 project and would include improved seating and a canopy to provide more shade for the plaza.
As for the excursion train service, it’s something that Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi first discussed publicly earlier this month, when he said the city department of development has created a task force, consisting of various community and regional stakeholders, to determine what would be needed to bring an excursion train service to Jamestown. As part of that process, it has identified a couple of consulting firms – including Stone Consulting of Warren, PA – that would be able to help create a detailed study and plan.
The mayor said the feasibility study will focus on four main areas, including the economic impact the excursion service would have o the region, as well as outline any opportunities and challenges associated with the project. It would also focus on what would be needed to renovate the abandoned engine house just to the west of the Train Station, and provide details of the business and operational plan needed for the excursion service.
All grants would be submitted through the New York State Consolidated Funding Application program, which has a deadline of July 31 in order for any proposed project to be eligible for the next round of founding from the state’s Economic Development Council.