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New projects taking shape downtown

GLOVERSVILLE — Several new projects are taking shape downtown, according to officials with the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth.

CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters and Downtown Development Specialist James Hannahs on Friday briefed the Board of Directors on a pair of progressing development projects and a recently opened business that is preparing for an official grand opening, all located downtown.

Kala-Lillies Boutique located at 34 N. Main St. opened its doors on Sept. 17 and is preparing for an official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony in early October with the CRG and Micropolis Development Group.

“They have been working with Micropolis to really make sure that event goes over smoothly, and we want to make sure that we are really advertising and giving good press to new businesses happening in downtown,” said Hannahs.

The boutique opened by Kelly Cincanelli features wedding dresses, ball gowns and vintage consignments for purchase or rental with custom alterations to ensure customers walk away with their dream dress at an affordable price.

Preparations are also underway at the CRG for the planned demolition of the former Littauer building at 12-18 S. Main St. Ownership of the building was turned over to the CRG in 2019 along with two other neighboring buildings by the city which acquired the properties as part of an agreement with former owners, Two Great Guys Corp.

The Littauer building underwent major renovations while in the possession of Two Great Guys that saw the majority of the wooden floors running through the upper stories removed, leaving the building structurally unsound with the bearing walls unbraced.

As a result, a portion of the rear west roof and fourth floor bearing walls collapsed in July 2017. No injuries resulted from the vacant building’s partial collapse. The building was further damaged when two large sections of roofing materials were blown off during a windstorm in April 2018.

The CRG plans to demolish the partially collapsed building and construct a parking lot on the site. According to Peters, contractors recently visited the property to finalize plans while engineers were expected to visit the site to collect test bores from the soil to further inform plans.

“To make sure that when we start demolition there’s no surprises, no additional cost that we’d have to worry about,” said Peters.

The CRG is hoping to break ground on the project in November depending on how planning work progresses. The created parking lot will support another planned project by NVP Development at 20-24 S. Main St. calling for commercial space on the ground floor level and approximately 14 apartments on the upper floors that required designated parking spaces to support the level of planned development in order to secure approval from the Planning Board.

NVP purchased that building and the neighboring building at 26 S. Main St. from the CRG for a total of $25,000, both buildings were previously owned by Two Great Guys before they were acquired by the city and turned over to the CRG to be marketed for sale.

The CRG is now working with NVP to help the developers secure financing for the project that was previously awarded $500,000 Main Street Anchor grant through the state Homes and Community Renewal agency secured through a city sponsored Consolidated Funding Application.

Another building that was previously awarded state grant funding for a redevelopment project, the former City National building at 12-24 N. Main St., is also reportedly seeing plans come together under new ownership.

The property was awarded a $750,000 Restore NY grant in March 2018 to cover up to 75 percent of the cost of renovating the space. Then owner Scott Hohenforst planned to convert the former bank building into a restaurant and brew pub.

The project never came to fruition and in August the property was sold to Downtown Development LLC, a holding company for Bowers Development of Syracuse. City Building Inspector David Fox at a Planning Board meeting earlier this month reported that developers plan to renovate the building to once again serve as a bank, with a financial institution apparently already interested in the space.

Peters on Friday reported that the Restore NY grant funding had successfully been transferred to the new owners to support the planned renovations that are already underway.

“We’re seeing much, much more action on that property,” said Peters.

Hannahs agreed, noting the recent flurry of construction crews moving in and out of the building as work has gotten underway for planned completion in spring 2021.

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