red ugg slippers Construction of Elmira downtown mixed use building project set to begin
Construction of a new four story multi use building that will be the centerpiece of Elmira’s downtown revitalization is expectedto begin by the end of the January.Officials from the City of Elmira, Chemung County and developer Park Grove Realty held a news conference Wednesday to announce that shovels would be in the ground within a week to 10 days forthe planned building on West Water Street, where the former Harold’s and other buildings were torn down.Officials also announced that the anchor tenant for the first floor commercial space will be LaBella Associates, a Rochester based engineering, architectural and planning firm.”This is a big deal. It’s not often a community can transform itself,” said Michael Krusen, president of Southern Tier Economic Growth. “This project is that opportunity.”The$14.5 million project will add 16,700 square feet of first floor commercial space and about 50market rate apartments in the upper three floors.LaBella Associates will occupy about 6,000 square feet and a planned brew pub will take another 4,000square feet on the first floor, according to Park Grove Realty partner Andrew Bodewes.That will leave about 6,000 square feet of commercial space to fill on the ground floor, he said.Work will start soon on a new four story mixed use building at this vacant lt on West Water Street in Elmira. (Photo: FILE PHOTO)”We’re about to break ground. There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes,” Bodewes said. “Everybody has been incredibly supportive. We hope this successful building leads to further development in downtown Elmira. We’re really excited and pleased and honored to be a part of this.”The project is being supported by nearly $4 million of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative awarded to the city by New York state in 2016. Another $2.3 million will come from Empire State Development through the Restore NY Communities Initiative. “These projects will help ensure that the Southern Tier continues to soar by transforming this community and laying the foundation for future growth and development across the entire region.”New Elmira landscape could start taking shape soonLaBella Associates will fill its space with 30 employees, said company President Bob Healy, who was on hand for Wednesday’s announcement.”What our firm will add is energy to that commitment. We’re looking forward to the ribbon cutting,” Healy said. “Elmira has a lot going for it. We’re looking forward to being a part of this community.”It will take about a year to construct the building, so if everything goes as planned, a ribbon cutting can take place aroundthe end of 2018, Bodewes said.The West Water Street building is among several projects that are planned for downtown Elmira, and once it starts to take shape, other pieces should start falling into place, said Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli.