OLEAN, NY -- A $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative awarded to Olean in September will fund 12 projects that highlight historic properties, improve streetscapes and encourage new economic growth.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the 12 projects Monday.
The largest portion of the funds, $2 million, will be used to redevelop the vacant Manufacturers Hanover Building for use as a restaurant, boutique hotel and market-rate and luxury apartments. The building is located at 108 W. State St.
"Olean is a wonderful place to live, work and visit, and thanks to Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, it's transcending all expectations,” Mayor William J. Aiello said. “We are honored to see these investments come to our community and kickstart projects to rejuvenate our downtown."
The projects were selected by a Local Planning Committee comprised of municipal representatives, community leaders and other stakeholders. The committee was supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners.
"Through these targeted investments, we are highlighting all that Olean has to offer while ushering in new growth and prosperity for generations to come," Cuomo said. "By preserving its historic architecture and revitalizing prime waterfront properties, Olean is sure to be a sought-after downtown destination for residents and visitors alike.”
In addition to the redevelopment of the Manufacturers Hanover building, the funding will be used to:
Complete Renovation of Historic Row Buildings on North Union Street: Finish ongoing renovations of two historic row buildings at 319 and 321 North Union Street. DRI funds will complete Phase II, including framing and rough mechanicals for the first floors and basements of each building to accommodate restaurants or other commercial tenants. ($100,000)
Expand Four Mile Brewing: Improve a historic structure occupied by Four Mile Brewing and Allegheny Adventures overlooking the Alleghany River. The project, which will enhance a downtown anchor establishment and allow for new residential and commercial opportunities, includes roof replacement; canning equipment purchased and installed; a space renovated for a commercial tenant and two apartments. ($411,250)
Renovate the former Carnegie Library Building and Inn: Renovate the exterior and interior of the historic library building and current events facility to establish a destination restaurant, event center, and adjacent day spa in the heart of downtown at 116 and 120 South Union Street. Improvements will be made to lighting, flooring, atrium space, a bar or lounge, dining areas, the mezzanine, kitchen, and bathrooms. ($719,500)
Create a Downtown Revitalization & Rehabilitation Fund: Establish a matching grant fund to encourage and support investment in downtown properties. Funds could be used for façade renovations and interior renovations, including upper floor housing renovations or conversions and first floor retain improvements. ($600,000)
Improve the North Union Street Streetscape: Improve the streetscape of North Union Street and State Street through beautification, appropriate lighting, seasonal banners, sidewalk replacement, and seating in front of restaurants. Wayfinding improvements will also be made. ($900,000)
Implement Streetscape Improvements on West State Street: Redesign and improve West State Street to make it inviting and safer for pedestrian and cyclists, while accommodating traffic on the busy road. Improvements will be made to pedestrian crossings, landscaping, sidewalks, lighting, and street furniture. Space for on-street parking, bumpouts, and road striping will help calm traffic. ($1,600,000)
Improve the South Union Street Gateway Corridor: Improve the downtown gateway corridor of South Union Street between Henley Street and South Street by eliminating a traffic signal and replacing it with roundabouts. The project will include bump outs, medians, a bike lane, crossing enhancements, and sidewalk replacements. ($1,400,000)
Renovate 211 North Union Street: Renovate an existing Union Street building for mixed-use development, including retail or office space and four loft-style apartments on the upper floors. DRI funding will complement private investment already committed to the project, allowing for façade improvements and other exterior renovations that will transform the public appearance of the currently-vacant building, making it attractive for new commercial and residential tenants. ($194,250)
Implement Walkable Olean Phase III: A combination of traffic calming, streetscape and crossing improvements will transform the East State Street mixed-use corridor into an inviting, walkable, vibrant area. Improvements will be made to intersections and streets, and include medians, landscaping, bump outs, parking improvements, and a shared use path. The project will create an important connection between downtown, a proposed Farmers' Market in Lincoln Park, the Allegheny River Trail network, Bradner Stadium and War Veteran's Park. ($1,200,000)
Establish a Permanent Home for the African-American Center for Cultural Development: Renovate 201 E. State St., the oldest building in Olean, to create a home for the African American Center for Cultural Development. The interior will be outfitted for exhibition, performance space, and event space and include updated heating and electrical systems. Exterior work will include a new roof, siding, windows, and insulation. ($225,000)
Improve Oak Hill Park: The underused Oak Hill park will gain new life with improvements designed to upgrade existing facilities and install new amenities designed to complement the needs of the neighborhood and downtown. Improvements will include addition of a seasonal stage and a dog park, updated lighting and landscaping, restoration of pedestrian paths, an accessible park entrance, and other enhancements. ($350,000)
"The exciting DRI projects announced today represent the gateway to downtown Olean's renaissance,” Sen. Catharine M. Young, who represents Olean, said. “With the state's $10 million investment, the heart of our historic city will be transformed with new mixed-use projects, business expansions and infrastructure improvements that will infuse new vitality into the corridor and create new jobs and economic growth.”
“This Downtown Revitalization Initiative award is crucial to the ongoing work of supporting local business development, employment opportunities and entrepreneurial activities in our region,” Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, who also represents Olean, added. “The City of Olean should be commended for its redevelopment initiatives to improve the quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors, and I am pleased that the City will be able to continue its important work with the receipt of this award.”
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