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More projects begin in Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN--Two more projects associated with the nearly $10 million state Downtown Revitalization Initiative in Watkins Glen are set to hit the ground running in 2022. The locations include 202 South Franklin St. and the former Veterans of Foreign Wars building on the corner of North Franklin and First Street. Combined, the two locations will see roughly $2.7 million worth of work being done that will bring new housing, new commercial space and a fitness center.
"These are transformational DRI projects that are located in the Empire Zone that encompasses Franklin Street in Watkins Glen," said Judy McKinney Cherry, executive director of the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development.
The property at 202 South Franklin St. is scheduled to become a two-story building with two apartments upstairs and commercial space downstairs. The former VFW building, which is owned by the Harbor Hotel, will be converted so that the top floor will contain housing and the first floor will become a fitness center.
Cherry noted the addition of housing opportunities is one of the key aspects of both projects.
"Watkins Glen and Schuyler County are in desperate need for year-round, market-rate housing for young professionals," Cherry said.
For the former VFW location, the total cost of investment is estimated to be $1,635,000 with $250,000, or 15.3 percent, of that cost coming from the DRI.
"For the former VFW, the estimated impact of $1.6M in investment is an additional $1,270,300 over five years," Cherry added.
For the 202 South Franklin location, roughly $1,100,000 is expected to be invested with the DRI portion capped at $486,628 or 44.2 percent of the total cost.
"The estimated economic impact based on the investment of $1.1 million is an additional $1,679,000 over five years," Cherry explained.
While the state is paying for a portion of both projects, both are receiving less financing than most other DRI projects throughout the state.
"The majority of the DRI grants from New York Department of Housing and Community Renewal are for 50 percent of the documented investment in the project," Cherry added. "These projects will provide great bookends for the village."

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