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Nelson starts renovation in Watkins

    WATKINS GLEN—Developer Bruce Nelson officially started work on the Village Waterworks with a groundbreaking and first monthly open house, Friday, Sept. 14.
    The development at 65 Salt Point Road was formerly the village’s water and electric building. Nelson proposes renovating it into four loft-style living spaces and expanding on the existing structure with 12 townhouse-style condos level with the lakefront. There are possible future plans, which include a gallery space and boat facilities, with event areas and terraces. The completion date is expected to be in 2014.
    The groundbreaking attracted several officials who spoke at the event. Empire State Development Southern Tier Regional Director Kevin McLaughlin said his agency has helped Nelson with his two previous Schuyler County projects: The Montour and the Flats on Broadway. He explained that these types of projects are hard to put together. McLaughlin added, “the Bruces of the world are few and far between.”
    Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn said the public/private partnership “further epitomizes how this is supposed to work.” He added this is the first project for Nelson that includes new construction. His previous projects kept the exterior shell intact and renovated the insides.
    Watkins Glen Mayor Mark Swinnerton thanked Nelson for his help with the project. The village board had previously sold the building at 65 Salt Point Road to another developer, but the project fell through. Watkins Glen recently purchased it back. Swinnerton said a year ago Kelsey Jones, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development executive director, contacted him about this partnership.
    With the project officially started, Nelson said, “we just got roll up our sleeves and get down.”
    Nelson will open the building up the second Friday of every month for a free open house, 6 to 8 p.m.



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