City of Batavia DRI Projects Advance

Written by on October 2, 2018

News Release

The City of Batavia is advancing the Downtown Revitalization (DRI) Initiative to create a vibrant sustainable city that is inclusive of all ages and socioeconomic situations. The $10 million DRI funding investment will be concentrated in the downtown area and eight priority projects are moving forward. The $10 million DRI will have a direct return of $60 million of private investment into the community.

“City Council has ramped up engagement of our community and businesses over the last few years with the Batavia Opportunity Area planning, the Comprehensive Plan and the DRI,” said Eugene Jankowski, City of Batavia Council President. “We’re now ready to move into the implementation stage with the DRI projects and onward with our vision for a better Batavia,” said Jankowski.

The Governor’s DRI competition is in the third year. The program’s funds foster
transformative projects in downtown neighborhoods. Here in Batavia eight projects were
selected for funding; including the YMCA Healthy Living Campus, The Mall, Jackson Square,
Ellicott Station, Carr’s, Harvester 56 Theater, a Building Improvement Fund, and Ellicott Place
(Save-A-Lot building).

Artist rendering of Ellicott Place (Save-a-lot) Building

“Each of these projects is critical to the success of Batavia as a place that encourages arts,
culture and entertainment, healthy living, and prosperity for all,” said Matt Worth, Interim City
Manager. “The city will be working hard to execute on the Mall and Jackson Square projects and
assisting the other winners in the process,” said Worth.

There are parts of Batavia that are designated as highly distressed with higher than
average unemployment and poverty. However, the DRI, combined with the Batavia Pathway to
Prosperity (BP2), a program to reinvest PILOT payments from all taxing jurisdictions directly into
highly distressed areas, will help to combat poverty and revitalize brownfield sites. These
programs offer a long-term solution to reduce blight, build the economy, and provide prosperity
for all.

Rendering of Jackson Square renovation

The DRI project investments will bring immediate change that you will be able to see and
feel within the next year to five years. Grant winners will be working with state agencies soon to
enter into formal grant agreements. The Batavia Development Corporation is hopeful that the
$600,000 Building Improvement Fund ‘applications to property owners’ will be ready in the late
fall. The grant will reimburse up to 60% of a project, and awards will range from $10,000 to
$200,000, with eligible activities including facades, window/ door repair and replacement,
painting, masonry repair, awnings, building signs, exterior lighting, storefront upgrades, roofs,
and interior upgrades (heating, plumbing, electrical, walls, floors).

Drawing of proposed Healthy Living Campus on Main St. (site of YMCA)

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