Johnstown ice cream shop plans move forward

JOHNSTOWN – The city Planning Board will review a project to build an ice cream shop on Briggs Street at its next meeting at 4 p.m. Nov. 1 at City Hall.

The project is being done by developer Mark Hayes at the vacant, former Demi’s Leather plant site on Briggs Street.

“He will be at the Nov. 1 meeting,” city Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Heberer said Monday of Hayes.

Heberer said Hayes is using engineer Charles Ackerbauer to design the new ice cream shop.

The city had owned the former Demi’s Leather Corp. plant at 24 Briggs St. since 2008, after the property was razed and cleaned up through a state Brownfields program. The land has been assessed the last few years at $27,000.

Heberer, city fire chief, said during the summer that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ended cleaning up the old half-acre Demi’s site, with no costs coming back on the city.

The Common Council on July 18 sold the vacant commercial land to Hayes for $8,000. Sealed written bids for the property were advertised in February as part of foreclosure proceedings and no bids were received by the bid opening date of March 11. But in April, the council decided to offer it for private sale and on July 18 decided to accept a private offer from Hayes.

Hayes, of 18 E. Green St., said in August he would like to open the shop in 2017. He said the shop will have plenty of private parking.

He is planning a 750-square-foot shop with service windows. He said it will be a “local community” ice cream shop. The he project is estimated to cost $65,000.

Hayes has a family member who used to own Udderly Delicious, a popular ice cream business on Route 30A. That business may get competition in the city in 2017.

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