Date ArticleType
6/2/2017 Chamber News
State Grant Funding Builds on Positive Momentum

$10-million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funds that will flow to the City of Jamestown will build upon the positive momentum occurring in Jamestown.  The state award will be used to leverage private investments and to create a series of attractions and settings in downtown Jamestown that are worthy of the community which is poised to host a national attraction.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, in her announcement of the awards last week, called it a “new lease on life” for Jamestown.  She is right.

Ten local projects receiving funding are:  $2.4 million to rehabilitate a closed downtown hotel and turn it into a Hilton Double Tree; $1.5 million for upgrades to the Robert H. Jackson Center; $1.5 million to implement much of the master plan for the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts; $1 million for the redevelopment of the former KeyBank building which will become a multi-use facility including commercial, office, and residential space; $830,000 for the Jamestown Brewing Company development; $670,000for the excursion train infrastructure and depot to prepare for an excursion train from Buffalo to Jamestown; $610,000 for streetscape and pedestrian improvements; $600,000 for downtown programming and activities; $325,000 for lighting and other improvements for the Riverwalk park project; and $265,000 to improve the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown.  The remaining $300,000 will cover the costs of consultants and administrative fees.

It’s important to note that the DRI funding is in addition to state funding already committed to the National Comedy Center through Empire State Development.  It’s also on top of state funding for other projects in Chautauqua County including the Athenex plant in Dunkirk and the Northern Chautauqua Regional Water District.  Hochul, who is a native of Hamburg, noted that all of this attention represents a “sea change in how state government views upstate New York.”

One of the greatest testaments to Jamestown securing the DRI award is the people who have helped to make this possible.  Dozens of individuals representing a broad cross section of the community from business, education, tourism, non-profits, and elected officials, participated in the planning process.  Nothing good happens without people who are determined to work together for the benefit of an entire community, and that is a resource we have in this region that outweighs many challenges.  Congratulations to all who helped to bring these projects to this point!  We eagerly anticipate the construction seasons ahead. 

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