DeSantis buys 2 city properties, plans renovations

Third Ward Councilman Vincent DeSantis has purchased the buildings at 31 and 33 N. Main St. in Gloversville and has plans to renovate them for retail and living space. (The Leader-Herald/Kerry Minor)

GLOVERSVILLE —Vincent DeSantis is planning to make over two downtown buildings to get them ready for potential businesses.

DeSantis, the Third Ward Councilman and a former city court judge, purchased 31 and 33 N. Main St. in October and plans to renovate the buildings.

DeSantis said 31 N. Main St. will undergo the greatest change.

“I’m really excited about the development of downtown, and I think that this will help,” DeSantis said.

The building, which currently features a white marble front with three small windows near the top of the first floor, will be overhauled. DeSantis said he is looking to bring it back to its Victorian-era storefront.

“I’m hoping to restore it,” he said.

Inside the building, the first floor will be transformed to potentially house two businesses. The second floor will be turned into two loft-style apartments.

In the future, DeSantis said he is hoping to turn the third floor into a single apartment. He said that level is currently accessible only through a ladder, and he said he hopes to add a staircase for access during the first phase of construction.

He said the third-floor apartment is like a time capsule, since it hasn’t been touched since 1910. He said it is deteriorated, with the kitchen and bathroom both gone.

“That’s my long term plan,” he said. “This project will not include [the third floor] since it’s just too much to do all at once.”

DeSantis said he is looking to file applications for a grant from the state historic preservation office.

The building at 33 N. Main St. won’t undergo extensive renovations. DeSantis said the exterior of the building will remain largely the same. The interior will get new flooring and the drop ceiling will be removed to expose a tin ceiling.

“There is not a whole lot of restoration work to be done in that building, it’s more remodeling the interior a little bit,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis said he has parties interested in 31 N. Main St. They plan to open a bakery and juice bar, he said.

“There are two business owners interested, and I’m hoping to build to suit their needs,” he said.

He said there is another interested party for a retail business at 33 N. Main St. He said he has already spoken with the current occupants about his plans to bring in a retail establishment.

“It takes interesting homegrown businesses to make downtown interesting,” he said.

DeSantis will be going before the planning board on May 2. He said he will have the conceptual artwork for what the buildings will look like on the outside.

The building at 31 N. Main St. will need approval for a change of use, since it previously functioned as Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and would function as a retail outlet under DeSantis’ plan.

DeSantis said he has a demolition permit and hopes that work can be completed before the end of May, with the interior construction starting at some point after that.

He said he would like to see the construction completed and businesses moved in by the end of summer, but he said that depends on a number of factors.

“We’re moving forward carefully and thoughtfully,” DeSantis said.

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]

By Chad Fleck

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