Gloversville DRI Strategic Plan released

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Local Planning Committee consultant Lisa Nagle points out some of the details of the proposed $1.6 million “Activating St. Thomas Square” project

GLOVERSVILLE —  After a unanimous vote, Gloversville’s 15-member DRI Local Planning Planning Committee (LPC) on Thursday announced it will submit 16 economic development projects seeking a total of $11.5 million in state funding as part of its Downtown Revitalization Initiative “Strategic Investment Plan.”

Mayor Vince, co-chair of the LPC, Thursday said the Strategic Investment Plan is the culmination of the committee’s work over the past six months, which included gathering economic development ideas for the $10 million grant and then narrowing down the list down from about 24 projects to the final slate of 16 that it will now submit to New York state for final approval for funding.

“It’s a very quick process, and it was very intense,” DeSantis said of the LPC’s work. “We met quite often. We did a lot of public engagement, and we had to keep those goals in mind, because we want all of these projects that are funded ultimately by the state to comport with the strategy to get to our long term goal of a vibrant downtown. So, we want each of these projects to be a meaningful contributor to moving our entire downtown forward.”

DeSantis said local officials have been talking about downtown revitalization for a long time, and he’s hopeful that the $10 million grant from New York state is the final piece that will “make it feasible.”

“This will bring it right to the frontburner over the next few years, and I can really see major change,” he said.

Not all of the 16 economic development projects submitted to New York state will receive funding from the grant. State officials explained to Gloversville’s LPC during its process that state officials prefer to see between $11 million and $12 million worth of projects submitted for funding from the grant to enable some discretion for the state to pick the projects officials feel with have the greatest positive impact.

The projects seeking the most funding from the grant are:

• Glove Theatre Renovations — The nonprofit Gloversville Theatre Corp. is seeking $1.96 million in DRI funding, 98% of the cost of $2 million renovation project that will include improvements to its balcony, the sprinkler system — required to increase the theater’s capacity beyond 100 people — air conditioning, needed to restore plaster walls, and stage equipment, needed for safer, modern productions, as well as restoration of the decorative plaster walls and the exterior marquee

• Revitalization of Daniel Hayes Mill — Project sponsor 177 W. Fulton Street Inc. is seeking $1.6 million in DRI funding, 40% of the $3.9 million project cost, to redevelop a portion of the the Daniel Hayes Mill site to include 20
apartments lofts and greenspace for recreational use near the Cayadutta
Creek.

• Glove City Lofts — Kearney Development has proposed the $21.2 million 75-unit loft-style affordable housing unit building at 52 Church St. for mixed income tenants, including some units dedicated specifically to income eligible artists and a 2,000 square foot art gallery run by the Glove Cities Arts Alliance. The project is requesting $1.3 million in DRI funding, 6% of the total project cost.

• Mixed-Use Renovation of the Carriage House — Capano Enterprises is requesting $1.3 million in DRI funding to pay for 40% of the $3.4 million cost to redevelop the historic Carriage House building at 39 N. Main St. The project calls for creating a “full-service microbrewery” and restaurant with outdoor seating, an event/exhibit room in the basement. The second and third floors will be converted into seven studio apartments, and improvements will be made to the historic building facades.

• Activating St. Thomas Square for Year-Round Activities — The City of Gloversville is sponsoring this project, which is seeking $1.1 million in DRI funding, 70% of the total project cost of $1.6 million to create a network of green and public spaces connected to Main Street with year-round activities. It will include a new pedestrian area around the Farmers Market Pavilion with decorative pavers, public art, greenspaces, and a memorial to the St. Thomas Factory workers, seasonal activities including a winter ice skating rink with associated amenities such as outside fire pits and skate rentals; and enhancements to Castiglione Park.

• Downtown Business Fund — This project is always funded with all of New York state’s DRI grants, but Gloversville’s will be larger than most with $1 million available, $600,000 from the DRI grant and $400,000 from the city, for business improvements within the city’s DRI zone. DeSantis said some of the proposed DRI projects that didn’t make the final slate of 16 projects will likely seek to tap into this fund.

One of the smaller projects projects in the plan is another project from Capano Enterprises Inc., the Restaurant at Former City Hall, which is requesting $250,000 of DRI funding to pay 33% of a $750,000 renovation project to renovate the ground floor of the former City Hall building and open a restaurant and bakery in the now vacant space, while also enlarging it to increase customer capacity from when it was previously Salvator’s Italian Restaurant. The project also includes the relocation of Matt Capano’s existing restaurant New York Lunch at 21 Bleecker St., allowing for the expansion of the Capano’s Gloversville True Value Hardware business next door.

DeSantis said altogether the City of Gloversville will be contributing about $1.9 million to the DRI process. He said the city will also tap the board of directors of the city’s revolving loan fund to administer the DRI Downtown Business grant. He said the officers of the revolving loan fund include the city mayor, three members of the Common Council and three members of the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth’s board of directors. He said currently the revolving loan fund board only meets “as needed” but he expects the board will be meeting much more frequently in the first quarter of 2023 as applications to tap into the $1 million grant start coming in.

The complete list of the 16 projects in Gloversville’s Strategic Investment Plan can be found at www.cityofgloversvilledri.com.

During Thursday’s announcement, Danny Lapin, a community revitalization specialist with the New York state Dept. of State Office of Community Development Planning and Infrastructure, told the assembled members of the LPC that as things stand now it appears likely New York state will announce which DRI projects will be funded either at the end of year or early in 2023. Lapin said Gloversville’s DRI grant, along with the other winners of the 5th round of that program, are all funded from last year’s state budget, and the 6th round of the contest will be funded through the current fiscal year’s budget.

 

 

By Jason Subik

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