October 23, 2021

More funds awarded for downtown revitalization

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

A man works on a Main Street building facade in Cortland on Saturday as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The city recently received $540,000 in funding for projects.

Cortland’s downtown is on the way to be a top place to live, work and have fun with the allocation of $540,000 from the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative, said Garry VanGorder, the executive director of the Cortland County Business Development Corp.

The money was recently awarded to 11 projects on and near Main Street, reports Thoma Development Consultants. Funding includes:

  • Seven Valley Crossfit (50 Main St.) — $60,000 toward a $109,000 project to redesign the façade to match the historic character of the downtown, new lighting, new roof, HVAC system and minor interior renovations
  • Central Hair Studio (37-39 Central Ave.) — $60,000 toward an $88,000 project to create a one-bedroom accessible apartment, replacement of storefront windows and other interior and exterior improvements.
  • 1890 House museum (37 Tompkins St.) — $60,000 toward an $80,000 project to restore the 1890 House’s carriage house, including a new roof, repaired windows and trim, repaired siding, and new paint.
  • 35 Main St. — $58,000 toward a $100,000 project to complete facade improvements including masonry repair and painting and commercial improvements to restore the former bank lobby to its original appearance.
  • Community Restaurant, 1012 Main St. — $58,000 toward a $128,000 project to undertake façade improvements including new paint, awnings, siding and windows.
  • New York Bagel, 33 Main St. — $50,000 toward a $133,000 project to install a new facade, windows and exterior paint.
  • 77-79 Main St. — $60,000 toward a $138,000 project to restore the front façade to a more historic appearance.
  • Deli Downtown, 54 Main St. — $55,000 toward a $73,000 project to add new exterior paint; new roof; new heating and ventilation; new signage; new lighting and interior work.
  • Ricon Hispano, 130-136 Main St. — $59,000 toward a $116,000 project for repairs to the cornice and parapet; repoint masonry; repair windows; and install new awnings.
  • 1 North Main St. and 2 Main St. — Each awarded $10,000 toward facade lighting.

“The city is excited to assist these properties as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative,” Mayor Brian Tobin said in a release. “These smaller projects have the potential to be as impactful as larger DRI projects and will support a number of downtown businesses. The next 12 to 24 months will be very exciting ones for Cortland as all of the DRI projects come to fruition.”

The grants come from a $600,000 grant and loan fund created from the initial $10 million for the initiative the city received from the state in 2017, VanGorder said.

Other projects as part of the initiative include replacing sewer and water pipes underneath Main Street along with converting the street into two-way traffic. Adding city broadband hotspots and creating a pocket-park are also included as some of the bigger projects.

Different projects, though, are at different stages of completion, with the reworking of Main Street still in the planning and design stages but Vine Health and Fitness, one of the first completed, opened in 2018.

VanGorder said he hopes the projects can be completed in the next “year or so.”