More than $500,000 in private funding will be invested into businesses and buildings as part of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation's Downtown Block Challenge.
Greg Lindquist, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation executive director, said there will be eight projects in two downtown clusters this year. Last year was the first year for the block challenge in downtown Jamestown. Building improvements must fall within one or more of the following categories: facade and signage improvements; upper-floor renovations or building access; interior retail space enhancements; or streetscape improvements. The work is expected to improve the appearance and utilization of buildings, and attract new tenants.
''One thing we were looking at were building owners investing in their own buildings,'' Lindquist said.
The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation Downtown Block Challenge grant recipients this year include the Reg Studio Theater; Forte Restaurant; Labyrinth Press Company and Brazil; Ellicott Apartments; new ice cream shop, Sprinkle Cone; The Pub and Lisciandro’s Restaurant; storefront construction and interior renovations at 12 E. Second St.; and the M&T Bank Building. More than $500,000 in private investment will be made to buildings and businesses to improve facades, signage, building access and streetscape improvements.
P-J photos by Dennis Phillips
The total cost for all projects will be $632,427, with Jamestown Renaissance Corporation funding $120,000. The projects include radio studio renovations at Reg Studio Theater; kitchen floor and dining area replacement at Forte Restaurant; kitchen expansion and food service expansion at Labyrinth Press Company and Brazil; carpet replacement for Ellicott Apartments; renovations at 209 Pine St., a new ice cream shop, Sprinkle Cone; reconstruction of The Pub and facade and a sprinkler system for both The Pub and Lisciandro's Restaurant; facade, storefront construction and interior renovations at 12 E. Second St.; and interior renovations to the M&T Bank Building.
Lindquist said they had three block clusters apply for grants, with two being approved.
''It is based upon the project readiness and willingness to commit to the investment,'' he said. ''This will have a synergistic impact for existing downtown business owners.''
Lindquist said there will be $200,000 more invested this year by private business and building owners for the planned downtown improvements in 2014. Lindquist said the new ice cream business will be great for those touring or walking through the downtown area.
''What a great asset that will be to downtown during the summer time,'' he said.
Lindquist said the resurgence of The Pub following the January fire will be an enjoyable site for many Jamestown residents and downtown workers.
''This one was a full community push,'' he said. ''Everyone came together to get this longtime anchor business up and running.''
In 2013, downtown clusters included Carlson's Jewelry, Jochum Business Systems, Holmlund's Wallpaper, Field & Wright Building, Infinity Visual and Performing Arts, Mariner's Pier Express, Reg Lenna Theater, Dugan's Tavern, buildings located at 212 N. Main St., 12 E. Second St., 24 E. Third St., 106-110 E. Second St., and a city parking lot. The renovations to these areas range from facade improvements and rehabilitation to the public murals, marquee improvements and more.
The program is made possible by support from The Gebbie Foundation.