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Decision on $10M DRI grant expected soon: Waterloo officials say they have made progress downtown

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Waterloo Economic Development Committee has issued a progress report on downtown revitalization efforts in the village. In the report, committee Chairman Joe Sposato said progress is being made in strides in downtown Waterloo.

The committee has been involved in the village’s application for a $10 million state Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant, and a decision is expected soon. If awarded, the grant money would be used to fund building improvements, streetscape upgrades, and canalside enhancements connecting downtown to the Cayuga-Seneca Canal.

The report also highlighted several economic development programs, including:

• The village has helped the new owners of the vacant Main Street School building on West Main Street obtain state funding to convert the iconic landmark school into apartments. The developer is working to complete more than 30 apartments by Memorial Day, and applications are being accepted.

• A daycare center on West Main Street has secured funding to convert the space that last housed Rampage Gaming in time for the 2023-24 school year in September. The village helped secure a state grant for the project.

• A new dance studio has opened at 11 W. Main St., the first of five storefronts being remodeled on the street level of the Velte block that is owned by Howard Fineman of New York.

• TK Tavern, formerly The Post Lounge and Miss V’s, is expected to open by Memorial Day.

• The Seneca County House of Concern opened at 22 Locust St. in September 2021 and attracts many customers for used appliances and household goods, as well as food pantry offerings.

• Renovation of storefronts on the west side of the downtown Virginia Street block, from Community Bank to the north, have been completed by Stivers Enterprises. Upper-floor apartments have been renovated and are occupied.

• The historic Grange Hall building at 33 Virginia St. has been restored by Stivers Enterprises. Three street-level storefronts are ready for tenants and the building is available for community events, concerts, private parties and other gatherings.

• The former Lux’s Market at 1 W. Main St. in the heart of downtown is being renovated by Stivers to create upgraded office space on the street level and six apartments on the second and third floors.

• On the north side of East Main Street, the Main Street Shoppe Center has been awarded a Main Street grant by the state to help upgrade the entire building’s infrastructure, including mechanical issues, and add a new roof. The ground-level tenants will have upgraded space, and new apartments will be constructed on the second and third floors.

• Village officials are looking for someone to reopen Stan’s Restaurant, which was renovated by the previous owner, but closed after a short time.