JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council has given its endorsement to the submission of three applications for the latest round of development funding from New York State Empire Development’s Consolidated Funding Application program. The endorsements include a last-minute resolution involving a $1.5 million grant submission for the redevelopment of the historic Furniture Mart building in downtown Jamestown.
According to the resolution added under new business Monday night, the grant application is being submitted by the Gebbie Foundation for the redevelopment of the Furniture Mart Building at 111 West Second Street and the construction of an adjacent multi-level parking facility.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said Gebbie is working with a yet-to-be-named, out of town developer on helping to secure funding for the project, which would have a total estimated price tag of $20 million. The proposed project will include a mix of commercial and residential units in the 172,000 square-foot, nine story structure, along with an estimated 300+ parking spaces.
If the project were to move forward, it would require the developer to purchase the property from the current owner Art Bailey under the name US Comm Habitat Co. According to the county tax map, the full property value is $800,000.
Before the Gebbie Foundation could submit the grant application, it had to have the city council’s support for the submission. The council voted 9-0 in favor of the resolution.
The Gebbie also tried to secure state funding for a redevelopment of the property in 2017 when it was included in the local list of prospective projects for the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant. That application was made on behalf of Ellicott Development Company, whose chairman is Buffalo area developer and former Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. It ultimately was left off of the final list of projects that would be sharing the $10 million in funding.
In addition to the Furniture Mart CFA grant submission, the city council gave its unanimous approval to two other CFA submissions.
One would be for $200,000 in funding for the Enchanted Mountain Spirits distillery to help pay for its $500,000 relocation effort from its previous location on Water St. to its new location at the former HSBC Bank building in downtown Jamestown.
The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is sponsoring the Enchanted Mountain Spirits relocation effort and the businesses is operated by Mick O’Neill. O’Neill told WRFA earlier this month that if all funding for the relocation is secure, his operation will begin producing spirits out of the new location by March of next year, with a goal of employing 40+ within three years.
The other CFA application was for $100,000 for the proposed Jamestown Skatepark Project.
Earlier this year it was announced that the project was awarded a Built to Play Skatepark grant of up to $250,000 in matching funds. Built to Play Skatepark Grants are made possible through a partnership between the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., Foundation.
The up to $250,000 award requires the Jamestown community to raise at least $50,000 in local matching funds in order to qualify for the Built to Play grant money, but includes ongoing support and guidance from Tony Hawk Foundation staff. The skatepark would be a poured concrete structure. The proposed location would be the site of the former Jamestown Trolley building between the Chadakoin River and the West Third Street to Fairmount Avenue section of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk, fronting Fairmount Avenue.
Because the proposed site is in the designated downtown development area, it is eligible to apply for the CFA funding. In addition to the CFA grant, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has also established a local fund for residents and businesses to donate.
Once the applications are submitted, the Empire State Development council will review and announce whether or not it will receive any or all the grant funding by the end of this year.
The council also approved submitting the 2019 Community Development Block Grant action plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This year the city will get just under $1.17 million in CDBG funds and just over $315,000.