A request to apply for a $500,000 Restore New York grant to redevelop the Furniture Mart Building has been approved by Jamestown City Council.
Director of Development Crystal Surdyk said Savarino Companies of Buffalo would be the developer of the building at 111 West Second Street. She said they have a negotiated offer to buy the 172,217 square foot building from owner Art Bailey along with at least two other nearby parcels. The property is currently assessed at $800,000.
Surdyk said other properties were looked at downtown for the Restore New York program, but only the Furniture Mart Building project was far enough long to meet criteria to apply to Empire State Development Corporation.
She said that criteria includes the building being vacant, or 50% not occupied, “The community must be qualified as a disadvantaged community, it must be in a Brownfield Opportunity Area, it also needs an Empire Zone qualification, feasibility and readiness need to be completed, committed financing, expected to start within 12 months, induce commercial investment, and improve local housing, and leverage other state and federal programs.”
Surdyk said the property will be mixed use with low-income and market rate apartments, “As far as the rest of the building program, they’re anticipating a mix of apartments, a boutique hotel, and then the rest will be commercial.”
Surdyk addressed a concern raised by citizen Pete Miraglia about parking in the area, “There are two other parcels that are part of the package. So, as Mr. Miraglia mentioned, in the past there had been discussions about doing a parking ramp. That is still part of this plan and would not fall on the city. That would be part of the development and the developer would be responsible for that parking ramp.”
The Furniture Mart Building project did receive $1,346,000 in Consolidated Funding Application monies in 2019 which Surdyk said is unexpended. She said Savarino will have access to use that funding addition to whatever grant funds received. She anticipates they also will be applying for Historic Tax Credits in addition to other funding for the project.
If the Restore New York grant is awarded, the City of Jamestown would be required to provide a 10%, or $50,000, match. Surdyk did not say where that funding would come from at this time.