Like other buildings on Cortland’s Main Street, the building at 107-111 Main St. dates to the early to middle 1800s.
Also like other old buildings, it needs many repairs, said its owner, Steve Wineburg.
Wineburg, who also owns Bernard’s Custom Logo and the six apartments housed inside the building, is hoping that major work can be done to repair and refurbish the building as the Cortland Common Council voted Jan. 19 to apply for a $500,000 New York Main Street Downtown Anchor grant for the project.
Work would include replacing the surrounding sidewalk and renovating the facade and structural work inside, Winbeburg said. This will include filling a hollow room in the basement under the sidewalk.
Additionally, the six apartments above the store would be renovated.
“We’re hoping it goes through,” Wineburg said. “We’ve dotted our I’s and crossed our T’s.”
The grant program provides funds to establish or expand cultural, residential or business anchors that are key to local revitalization, according to the grant program website.
The building lies at the corner of Port Watson Street, one of the busiest intersections in Cortland County.
Total cost for the project is just under $710,000, said Rich Cunningham, the president and senior consultant of Thoma Development Consultants, which works to mediate the grant writing process. Wineburg will cover the rest of the cost.
Cunningham said Wineburg originally applied for funding through the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which the city was awarded in 2017, but was not included as one of the program’s projects.
The downtown anchor program, Cunningham said, is not a yearly program, but city projects typically seek funding from it frequently.
“Obviously, you’d have to have a developer who’s looking to do a downtown project,” he said.
Wineburg said his family’s store has been in business and owned the building for more than 80 years. He hopes that helps win the grant.
“We’re just keeping our fingers crossed,” he said.