January 20, 2022

Main Street project to start in spring

Cortland Standard File Photo

Main Street in Cortland is seen from the roof of the Cortland Standard. File photo.

A $5 million plan to rebuild Main Street in Cortland, replace the infrastructure beneath it, and convert it to two-way traffic will go to bid soon, the mayor said, with construction expected to start next spring.

Half of the $10 million awarded to Cortland in 2017 as part of its Downtown Revitalization Initiative is being invested in rebuilding and restructuring Main Street. Mayor Brian Tobin said Friday the project will soon go out to bid.

“The actual work should start in March or April. We’re hoping it’ll be in March,” Tobin said.

The work will be done in sections to reduce difficulties, Tobin said. “Main Street will not be shut down. Business will always have the opportunity to open. … They’ll work in different hours of the day and provide ways for people to get to the businesses.”

The Cortland County Chamber of Commerce is planning ways to keep people drawn to downtown during the work, said Bob Haight, the chamber’s president and CEO. He said, a team of four “has already begun planning time ideas to keep people coming downtown for a long time. They have some games that’ll be going on during construction to lure people down.”

That said, Tobin said traffic flow might be a problem. “It might be another two or five minutes. It’s not like they’ll meet the traffic jams that keep people half an hour.”

A $386,000 project to install fiber-optic cable and improve high-speed broadband internet service will occur about the same time. That would allow the city to provide free wi-fi access downtown.

After that, the Crown City Artworks Project will install public art, including sculptures, a mural or other exhibits.

A $250,000 project to create a down town pocket park will instead become an outdoor music stage next to the Marketplace Mall. It will probably be done in the two years after the underground portion is done, Tobin said.

Other projects planned as part of the $10 million program are nearing completion, including a $500,000 renovation of 83-85 Main St.

“It’s almost finished. We’ll need to paint the backsiding as long as the weather permits,” said Jamie Yaman, principal broker of Yaman Real Estate. “It would probably be done in early spring.

Other projects
The Cortland County Business Development Corp. and Industrial Development Agency recently updated the status of these projects:

  • 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 — THREE COMPLETE.
  • The Orchard, 28 Main St. entertainment venue: $975,000 — PLANNING.
  • Building owner/Business Startup loan and grant fund: $600,000 — COMPLETE.
  • Vine Health and Fitness Gym at 20 N. Main St.: $270,000. — COMPLETE.
  • Crown City Artworks Project, featuring sculpture, murals or exhibitions: $200,000 — PLANNING.
  • SUNY Cortland Institute of Applied Geospatial and Drone Technology: $100,000 — DEVELOPING.
  • Cortland Business Innovation Center at 40 Main St.: $484,000 — COMPLETE.