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Historic Auburn building up for $10M grant

Todd and Jonathan Borsa have some family history in Auburn’s Market Street Park area.

Their great-grandfather, tailor Carmelo Siracusa, once owned the flatiron building at the corner of Market and Genesee streets. Its triangular architecture made it beloved by the community. But in the early 1970s, at the height of the city’s urban renewal efforts, the building was demolished. It’s memorialized on a mural a block up Genesee Street, next to Colonial Laundromat.

Now, the Borsas are trying to stop another Market Street building from going in the same direction.

Last November, the brothers bought 55 Market St., which consists of 18 residential units and two commercial ones occupied by Faith Chapel of Auburn. They plan to restore the building, which will cost more than $500,000. But the Borsas could get a boost from Auburn’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant, as 55 Market St. was one of five historic properties included in a Main Street Improvement Program in the city’s application. As that and other projects are considered by a local committee for submission to the state, the Borsas hope their building makes the cut.

“We’ve seen the momentum that’s taken place over the past 10 years,” Todd said Friday. “We want to continue that momentum.”

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