HORNELL, N.Y. (WETM) – New York’s Governor announced details of 19 transformational projects for Hornell Wednesday. It’s part of The Maple City’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. 

The governor said the projects, “will help to redevelop and repurpose underutilized buildings, improve streetscapes, and support downtown and local businesses.” It’s all part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities for the Southern Tier.

“As we build back New York’s economy better than before, we must embrace a bold vision and in ways that breathe renewed vitality into our communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “The critical resources provided by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative are helping communities like Hornell and Potsdam reimagine and reshape their downtown areas toward a brighter, more prosperous future.”

Hornell was named a round 4 winner in October 2019. Located on the western border of Steuben County, the city has a rich history as a regional commercial center. The city plans to leverage investment to foster the downtown’s cultural, historic, educational, artistic, recreational, housing, and commercial opportunities. The funding will help the city improve public areas, including pedestrian connections, streetscapes, and parks. Additional improvements include the redevelopment of underutilized buildings and enhancement of arts and cultural offerings. The city will strengthen existing local and regional assets, create long-term value to support future generations, and provide an inclusive and sustainable downtown experience for residents, workers, students and visitors. 

Projects funded through the initiative will:

  • Transform the Landman Building into Retail, Residential and Community Space – $1,500,000: Renovation of the existing building will create a mixed-use development, including four efficiency art studios, commercial and retail space, six apartment units, four townhomes and a rooftop terrace area and community room.
  • Renovate 121 Main Street as Maple City Savings Bank Offices – $580,000: Renovation of the building into 12 offices, a reception area, conference rooms, an IT room, two bathrooms and a small kitchen for Maple City Savings. Phase 2 includes the development of an additional 5,000 square feet of prime office space.
  • Develop STEM Academy to Educate Youth in Technology Fields – $423,750: Development of a 2,900-square-foot building to house a state-of-the-art STEM education facility for area youth. The project includes a building demolition, site work, building the structure, and HVAC work, in addition to design, permitting and code compliance.
  • Renovate and Expand the Crossroads Professional Building and Site – $420,000: Renovation and rehabilitation of the existing building to expand its medical office space. Renovate and create new outdoor space on the adjacent private property, following the demolition of an existing structure.
  • Renovate the Burdett Building to Introduce Market-Rate Apartments – $300,000: Renovation of building’s second floor to create three apartments, façade improvements, and upgrades to its first-floor entry.
  • Complete Rehabilitation of the Historic St. Ann’s Federation Building – $250,350: Complete the renovation of an existing rear façade to include a roof, entry doors, exterior lighting and building signage. The project includes the renovation of a vacant 7,500-square-foot first-floor interior commercial space.
  • Transform Hornell Community Arts Center into a Sought-After Community Space – $200,000: Transform the community arts center by through interior and exterior building enhancements, including building signage, façade improvements, landscaping, a new entry and restroom upgrades to make it ADA-compliant.
  • Renovate the Professional Building at 34 Broadway Mall – $143,690: Redesign and expand existing interior space to accommodate a state-of-the-art eye care facility. The project also includes façade improvements to bolster the building’s overall character.
  • Enhance the Mixed-use Building at 200-204 Main Street – $105,370: Façade and streetscape improvements near building with minor interior improvements and the creation of a one-bedroom unit in the rear of the existing commercial unit.
  • Rehabilitate the Exterior of a Downtown Fitness Center – $100,000: Rehabilitation of the existing fitness center building facade and shell to include façade painting and a new roof. Additional site improvements include landscaping, lighting, building signage and parking lot repair. 
  • Convert a House into Church Street Suites – $98,480: Renovation and adaptive re-use of an existing vacant building to create six residential units for short and extended long term housing for business professionals, tourists and visitors.
  • Enhance and Upgrade 198 Main Street to Create Housing Units – $82,500: Renovation and rehabilitation of the existing 4,901-square-foot building to create 3 to 4 residential units. Renovations include interior improvements and upgrades to all four floors.
  • Enhance the Warehouse into a Year-Round Event Space – $52,000: Installation of a heating system and new interior stairwell to upgrade the building for use as a year-round entertainment and event space. Install a fence that would allow views into the greenspace from Broadway.
  • Implement Downtown Grant Fund – $378,860: Establish a grant fund to assist downtown property owners with small projects to improve existing buildings/sites.
  • Implement Main Street Streetscape Enhancements – $2,800,000: Streetscape improvements to include a range of pedestrian and aesthetic enhancements, including decorative crosswalks, bump outs, streetscape furniture, and lighting upgrades along the length of Main Street within the designated area.
  • Implement Enhancements to Pedestrian Alleyways – $1,200,000: Enhancements to seven existing pedestrian alleyways connecting commercial corridors to public spaces and parking lots. These safety and aesthetic enhancements will help create a cohesive experience for visitors.
  • Redevelop an Underutilized Parcel to Create A Four-Season Park – $765,000: Creation of a new downtown park space for flexible programming and special events, including a raised stage, walkways, and pedestrian amenities.
  • Implement Downtown Wayfinding and Public Art – $250,000: Implement a comprehensive wayfinding system to provide directional guidance to downtown destinations and public parking facilities. Incorporate public art into the streetscape to enhance the wayfinding experience.
  • Establish Downtown Design Standards – $50,000: Development of building and site standards to ensure high quality rehabilitation and new construction projects consistent with established character of downtown.

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Judy McKinney Cherry, Executive Director, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development and Broome Community College President Kevin Drumm said, “The selected Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects will serve to further bolster Hornell’s future by investing in its local assets, attracting jobs and private investment, transforming the beautiful downtown area. These strategic and diverse projects will help to continue our focused efforts to build regional momentum, ensuring that the Southern Tier continues to soar.”

Steuben County Manager Jack K. Wheeler said, “Steuben County is very grateful for New York State’s continued investment in the revitalization of our communities. These DRI-funded projects are truly transformational for the City of Hornell and Western Steuben County. We thank our local and state officials for their hard work and creativity and are confident these efforts will benefit our communities for decades to come.”

Hornell Mayor John Buckley said, “This is a day for celebration in the city of Hornell. These transformative projects will help propel Hornell’s downtown to new heights and open the door to economic prosperity. This important investment in the Maple City couldn’t have come at a better time. With Hornell recently named the second fastest growing city in the state and the Alstom’s continued growth, our beautiful and prospering city is positioned for success for years to come.”

(Information in this story came from the New York State Executive Chamber Press Office)