SENECA FALLS – Finally.
Two years after receiving a $ 10 million state grant for the downtown revitalization initiative, and a year after submitting a list of projects for the use of that money, local officials learned on Thursday which projects had been approved by the state for DRI funds.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul came to the National Women’s Hall of Fame to make the announcement. The Hall will receive $ 1 million for the restoration of its new home in the former Seneca Knitting Mill. The money will be used to install permanent exhibitions and a new elevator in the three-story building.
Other projects that have been approved for DRI funding:
â¢ It’s A Wonderful Life Museum, located at 32 Fall Street, received $ 912,000 to modernize the museum, focusing on the belief that the fictional community of Bedford Falls in Frank Capra’s 1946 film was based on Seneca Falls. âThe museum has great potential and a great concept and history,â Hochul said. “It will help the museum to take it to the next level.”
â¢ The old train station and Village Hall at 60 State St. will receive $ 605,000. The funds will be used to restore part of the building to its days as a station and transform the rest into an Italian restaurant.
â¢ Hochul said the number of vacant downtown storefronts will be improved through a $ 600,000 building improvement fund. She said this will allow interior and exterior improvements for existing and new businesses, including facades.
â¢ The Gould Hotel in the heart of downtown will receive $ 405,000 to complete renovations as a downtown hub.
â¢ The conversion of the Huntington Building at 201 Fall Street into housing units, including some for veterans, will receive $ 400,000. Home Leasing Inc. of Rochester purchases the property from owner Peter Koch, saving it from possible demolition.
â¢ The Finger Lakes Health Institute, located at 81 W. Bayard Street, former St. Patrick’s School, will receive $ 400,000. This will be used for the construction of 10 housing units in the Kingsley Kabari-owned joint health and wellness enterprise which is now located in the building.
â¢ The Daniels Block on State Street will receive $ 253,000 to help the owner create five new loft apartments on the second floor, including an elevator.
â¢ Upgrading the north side of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal that runs through the middle of downtown would receive $ 3.6 million in funding. This would help pay for upgrades to the skateboard park and kayak launch area near the community center, as well as the People’s Park on Water Street.
â¢ The Ludovico Sculpture Trail on the south side of the canal would receive $ 177,000 to upgrade this facility.
â¢ The Seneca Falls Heritage Information Center on Fall Street would receive $ 533,000 for upgrades.
Waiting for Thursday’s news, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, did not seem to bother local officials.
âWe are absolutely thrilled to see the $ 10 million DRI get back on track,â said Joell Murney-Karsten, President of Seneca Falls Development Corp. Seneca Falls. “
âSeneca Falls already has a rich history, and with the help of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we now have immense potential,â said SFDC Executive Director Greg Zellers. “We are ready to leverage this award for long-term economic development and look forward to the collaboration to come as we collectively advance this initiative to ensure a prosperous future.”
City Supervisor Mike Ferrara thanked Hochul and Governor Andrew Cuomo.
âWe are proud,â Ferrara said. “A lot of time and effort has gone into the app, and we celebrate the commitment of those who made it possible.”
Hochul urged the community to start working on the implementation of the project.
âStart now. Go ahead and complete these projects ASAP,â she said. âYou have an amazing new era in your future. The best is yet to come.â
The city has submitted 21 projects for review, for a total price of just over $ 15 million.