Village of Geneseo
Geneseo Main Street construction projects set to begin
Nine private owners of 11 Main Street properties in Geneseo are embarking upon what will be a major exterior and interior building renovation program fostered under a grant from the New York State Office of Housing and Community Renewal.
The grant is contributing a total investment of $334,500 towards the private projects, representing 75 percent of the total being spent.
Including the required 25 percent contribution from the individual private owners raises the full investment to $446,000.
The owner of the Riviera Theater, which had been one of the major projects within the program, opted out several months ago.
Consequently, funds which were slated for the theater renovations were reallocated to other projects which had not received funding to their full, original request.
“There were far more dollar amount requests than there were dollars to be distributed,” noted Julie Marshall.
Marshall is assistant director at the Livingston Count Department of Economic Development, which is administering the Main Street grant at the Village of Geneseo’s request.
There have been no other project drop-outs. Eleven separate properties are on board for undertaking their projects between now and the grant program deadline of Dec. 31, 2013, by which time all of the grant funds are to be drawn down and disbursed.
Residential units slated for rehabilitation are for the most part college student housing leased for the academic year. They therefore will optimally be worked on between May of August of next year, during the summer break. Exterior and first floor work will not be constricted by that timeline.
Below, individual properties participating in the program are reviewed:
On the east side of Main Street:
• Muddy Waters Cafe, whose building is owned by Eric Rasmussen, has erected a new awning, now in place. This is the only project in the series which has been commenced and completed.
• Touch of Grayce owned by Angela Caplan will be doing exterior facade improvements.
• The one-time state Labor Department office building, owned by Joe Bucci and Greg O’Connell, now occupied by dental and hair dressing businesses and Quinlin’s medical supplies will receive facade improvements.
• The split shop at 97 Main Street — possibly the oldest commercial building on Main Street — occupied by barber Dick Peraino and owned by Mark Scoville, will be undergoing major renovations inside and outside, on the commercial first floor and upper residential floor.
• The Not Dot Shop at 127 Main, owned by Marcia Podhorecki, will be doing a variety of exterior facade and porch improvements.
• The Wadsworth Homestead at the south end of Main Street, owned by William Wadsworth and now converted as an event center, will be undergoing upper floor renovations for accommodating guests. In the absence of the theater project, this is now the most extensive individual project in the grant program.
On the west side of Main Street:
• Three contiguous buildings owned by Rocco Dragoni, 112 through 118 including B&D Art/Keri’s Cut-Above, the Marine recruiters/Democratic headquarters and Stagecoach Florists/University Hots, will be receiving extensive renovations inside and out, upstairs and down.
• Royaltees at 90 Main Street, owned by Neil Moynihan, is putting decorative curved glass in its front upper story windows, filling out the classic arches.
• Sharon Miceli at her namesake deli at 82 Main will be doing the same second story window renovations as her neighbor at Royaltees, as well as interior renovations in the upstairs residential apartments.
Complementing the private improvements will be $45,000 spent in public improvements for new street lights, signs, trash receptacles, bike racks, flower holders, and benches. (See the story on this week’s Homes page.)
Participants in the program must initially pay the full amount and complete their projects, after which they are reimbursed 75 percent under the state agreement.
“There is a pretty quick turnaround once we get all the receipts and submit them,” Marshall commented. “The owner will have the money in three-to-four weeks.”
The county’s Office of Economic Development has also administered or is administering similar Main Street state grant programs for the villages of Mount Morris, Dansville and Lima. The first round in Mount Morris concluded in 2010 while the Dansvillle and Lima programs must be concluded by the end of this year.
A new round of grant funding is presently being sought for Mount Morris, and first rounds for Nunda and Avon.
Marshall noted that the gentleman who oversees the state program, Matthew Nelson, president of the Office of Housing and Community Renewal, was visiting last week, inspecting projects throughout the county.
“He was very thrilled and pleased at what he saw,” Marshall reports. “He found many of the things we are doing here in Livingston County noteworthy. He thought much of what we’re doing are ‘best practices’ of things he’d like to see in other communities.”