ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – 18 News has confirmed the former Star-Gazette building in downtown Elmira could be turned into a boutique hotel. The building on Baldwin Street has been empty since 2015 when the paper moved out. Possible plans for the future of the 104-year-old structure came up during a meeting of the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency.

“Some of you may have heard the Star-Gazette building was broken into,” said Jill Koski, Vice President of Southern Tier Economic Growth. “They stole some copper. I heard it was a mess. I talked to the developer, and they assured me they are working behind the scenes on all the planning and stuff they need to do, and paperwork to move forward into possibly doing a boutique hotel. They’re looking for a local property manager, so I’m trying to connect them with someone to help with that because when the police called me, I’m the only contact, that’s not good.”

In an email to 18 News, Koski wrote: “A boutique hotel is a possible use. I believe the developer is still going through due diligence to determine the use. We are waiting on grant approval before moving forward with asbestos remediation.”

In 2019, a brewery showed interest in buying the property but passed. In 2020, the Gannett media company sold the building for $215,000. The new owner at the time said he would turn it into a studio and gallery space for artists, but the plan never materialized. In November of 2022, the current owner bought the building for $190,000. Property records show the new owner is Mark Tiedemann, CEO of Giuseppe Holdings Elmira, LLC.

Five people were arrested in connection with the copper burglary that happened on Friday, October 27th.