ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – 18 News has obtained the first renderings of a new entertainment venue being built on the ground floor of the Centertown Parking Garage. It will be a brewery-style bar with a large gaming area called “Centertown Social.”
“There’ll be rooftop decks. There’ll be a deck that actually extends out over the square,” said Mike Krusen, Director of Development for Capriotti Properties. “We want to be able to utilize the bandstand area and obviously hold some festivals and weekly music over the hump nights. We’ll also be doing Alive After Five here. So, the Square will finally realize its potential by having festivals and music and other things that people can come down and enjoy.”
The 7,700 square foot space will also include a 3,500 square foot gaming area that will include pool tables, golf simulators, and other games.
“The entire front of the building will be rehabilitated, consistent with the front of the Elmira Works co-working space, which will be a series of garage doors that will open up in all new glass along the front of the building as well. All in the project is about a million and a half” said Krusen.
Capriotti Properties also received a $550,000 tourism grant from the City of Elmira to develop the property. The money is from the American Rescue Plan.
“We’re just trying to get something for people to have to do in downtown Elmira year-round,” said Krusen. The goal is for ‘Centertown Social’ to open at the end of 2023 or early in 2024.
“That’s great. I feel I like I love living Elmira, but I have to make up stuff to do cause there’s not much to do. So something like that, I think that sounds awesome,” said resident Aly Runyan.
Krusen says a new juice bar is also set to open at the Centertown Garage. There are also plans to open a new restaurant at the former location of the Deister and Butler Jewelry store.
Crews also started replacing the awnings at the Mark Twain building. Krusen tells 18 News windows and doors will be replaced next, as Capriotti Properties continues to redevelop 30 more units inside the historic former hotel.
‘Centertown Social’ will not be the only new game in town. The owners of WMC North Restaurant and Jazz Club on West Water Street are redeveloping a vacant 18,000 square foot property across the street. 18 News learned the bottom floor of 212 West Water Street will feature a restaurant, an arcade-style gaming area, as well as suites available for rent to help develop small businesses, including beauticians, hair stylists and tattoo artists.
The bottom floor is expected to open at the end of 2023 or in early 2024. The five apartments on the top floor are expected to be ready in the 3rd quarter of 2025.
“I’m in my twenties,” said Elmira resident Aly Runyan. “A lot of kids my age that grew up here and kind of hated it when we were younger are like, actually, why would we hate it? Let’s like, make it better. I’ve just noticed a lot of people are like, let’s just do things. Why would we complain if we’re not trying to fix it. So I think that’s awesome. I enjoy being here.”
“Do you agree?” 18 News reporter Nicolas Dubina asked a friend sitting at the lunch table.
“I agree, yeah” said Hannah Button.