October 27, 2021

Main Street redesign planning on track

Work set to begin this year on other projects under DRI

Travis Dunn/staff reporter

This pocket park between the Community Restaurant and Pawn Boss in this March Cortland Standard file photo is one area of Main Street slated for a major facelift as part of the city’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Planning and designs for work on Main Street in Cortland under the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative is almost fully complete, but no timeframe for construction has been set, city officials said Tuesday.

The roughly $5 million component of the initiative would include:

  • Replacing old water, sewer and stormwater pipes.
  • Reconfiguring Main Street to two-way traffic.
  • Reconfiguring parking spaces.

Nic Dovi, the city’s deputy superintendent of public works, said he’s meeting with consultants Fisher Associates on Thursday to review plans.

Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin said he’s working to speak with business owners and stakeholders of Main Street businesses to hear their concerns and to minimize harm to businesses from work that will be done.

“We want to make sure we are doing this in a way that won’t hurt businesses,” he said.

Tobin said work on the DRI was slowed last year due to concerns relating to the pandemic.

“We’re progressing,” Tobin said. “It’s just a matter of progressing at the right rate of speed.”

Eleven smaller projects totaling $540,000 as part of the initiative will likely commence and be completed by December, said Rich Cunningham, president and senior consultant of Thoma Development Consultants.

Cunningham said bids for the projects at 54 Main St. along with work on the carriage house at the 1890 House will likely go out in the next three weeks.

Plans and paperwork are almost complete for Central Hair Studio, which would be the next to have bids for work be sent out. Cunningham said work could begin on these in May or June and expects work on the remaining projects to be completed by December.

The projects will give “attention to buildings that haven’t received it before,” he said.


<strong>Major projects</strong>

  • Renovating four properties — 13-15 Central Ave., 73 Main St., 83-85 Main St. and 37-39 Port Watson St. — for mixed commercial and residential use: $1.35 million.
  • The Orchard, 28 Main St. entertainment venue: $975,000 n Building owner/Business Startup loan and grant fund: $600,000.
  • Downtown fiber optic and high-speed broadband: $386,000 n Vine Health and Fitness Gym at 20 N. Main St.: $270,000.
  • Pocket park between 10 and 16 Main St.: $250,000 n Crown City Artworks Project, featuring sculpture, murals or exhibitions: $200,000 n SUNY Cortland Institute of Applied Geospatial and Drone Technology: $100,000 n Cortland Business Innovation Center at 40 Main St.: $484,000

<strong>Other Projects</strong>

  • 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. n 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, 10 Main St. — $58,000 toward a $128,000 project to undertake façade improvements including new paint, awnings, siding and windows. n 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 for 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 N. Main St. and 2 Main St. — Each awarded $10,000 for facade lighting.