On October 16, 2020, construction began on a $2.5 million mixed-use redevelopment project designed to help revitalize downtown Batavia, New York.
Assemblyman Stephen Hawley said, “The continued revitalization of our community through dedicated donations and the hard work of community members shows just how strong Western New York is. I’m thrilled to see that redevelopment of Ellicott Place is well on its way to starting, and like many other members of the community, I eagerly anticipate seeing the fruits of the labor of this project.”
The Ellicott Place project, awarded $1.15 million through Batavia’s $10 million DRI and managed by Empire State Development, will improve a 48,899 square foot building by renovating 10,000 square feet of vacant first floor space for commercial use, and adding first floor interior parking, ten second floor 1-2-bedroom units, a new elevator, and façade upgrades. Once completed, this project will create approximately 30 jobs in the newly developed commercial space.
“Batavia is on the rise with development projects underway and a renewed sense of energy and optimism,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The start of construction on Ellicott Place will serve as a gateway to downtown and create new jobs and opportunities. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is transforming communities across the state, including Batavia, as we work to build back better and reimagine New York State for the post-pandemic future.”
Located at 45-47 Ellicott Street in Batavia’s downtown, the building was originally constructed for a department store and is now occupied by a retail grocer that utilizes approximately half of the first level. The remainder of the structure is currently vacant.
Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “Thanks to the vision of Governor Cuomo, Batavia’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative is bringing a new development project that will expand the city’s transformation into the area where people can work, live and play. We are celebrating this mixed-use project that will help the local economy with its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and will become a center piece of resurgence of commercial and residential buildings at the heart of downtown. I am proud of the role that the Department of State has played in this project and look forward to the continued transformation of Batavia.”
V.J. Gautieri Constructors will be constructing this project, which will re-activate the entire building and bring additional activity and residents to downtown Batavia. The DRI award for this project is $1.15 million with a total estimated project cost of $2.5 million.
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “Our strategic investments in smart mixed-use projects, like the redevelopment of Ellicott Place, will create a more livable and vibrant downtown Batavia. The DRI continues Governor Cuomo’s vision of encouraging regionally-based economic momentum by creating communities where people want to build their lives and futures.”
In 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched a major new statewide community regeneration effort: the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Through the DRI, the Governor moved to aggressively accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all ten regions of the state. The DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation.
“For many New Yorkers, the economic recovery from the pandemic is tied directly to the availability of quality homes and jobs,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new mixed redevelopment project continues our commitment to investing in communities across the state, improving quality of life for residents and building back a better, stronger New York for all.”
In the first four years of the DRI, the State has committed $400 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity. Participating communities are nominated by the state’s ten Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown’s potential for transformation, and each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community’s vision for revitalization.
Interim Batavia City Manager Rachael Tabelski said, “With the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to our economy and way of life we are excited to see DRI projects like Ellicott Place continue to move forward to provide downtown living and commercial space in the heart of Batavia. The Gautieri family has been investing in Batavia for years and I am proud they have sponsored this project and will continue to help Batavia grow and prosper.”
Batavia was named a DRI Round 2 winner. The downtown area is a mixed-use, affordable neighborhood with access to jobs, anchor businesses, and city and county services. The area has an excellent foundation upon which to continue its revitalization, including amenities such as recreational sites, healthcare facilities, food markets, a library, and various retail and restaurant venues in a walkable environment.
Genesee County Economic Development Center President and CEO Steve Hyde said, “Having another of our downtown buildings transformed is an achievement in Genesee County’s economic growth. The housing demand created by economic growth in our county is being answered by great projects like Ellicott Place, and I thank our leaders at the state for providing the DRI’s benefits across a wide range of opportunities in Batavia.”
The Strategic Investment Plan for downtown Batavia is working closely with private partners and local assets to implement the other eight projects awarded. These projects alongside all the projects that will be awarded through the DRI Building Improvement Fund will create opportunities for economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with the community’s vision for downtown revitalization and that are ready for implementation.
Project owner Victor Gautieri said, “This project is deeply important, as my family has been involved with Ellicott Place from its original construction in downtown Batavia. Our commitment to the revitalization of Ellicott Place was met by the strong support of the DRI, and we are excited to see this project welcoming new residents and new business to our community very soon.”
The downtown Batavia Strategic Investment Plan is guiding the investment of DRI grant funds in revitalization projects that advance the community’s vision for its downtown and that can leverage and expand upon the state’s $10 million investment.
Rendering courtesy of City of Batavia.