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Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development Works to Restore Underutilized Properties

Working with the Schuyler County Legislature, the Village of Montour Falls, and the Village of Watkins Glen, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development facilitated three Restore NY applications in the most recent round of funding.

The Restore New York Communities Initiative (“Restore NY”) provides municipalities with financial assistance for the revitalization of commercial and residential properties. The program encourages community development and neighborhood growth through the elimination and redevelopment of blighted structures.

The Schuyler County Legislature supported an application to redevelop the abandoned church located at 127 E 4th Street in Watkins Glen. Under new ownership plans for this property include a first-floor tavern, second-floor event space, and apartments on the upper level. The total rehabilitation of this space is nearly $ 3 million dollars.

“There was just something about this building,” remarked Daniel Rafferty, property owner. “I have always admired this site and thought it was a shame for it to be empty for so long. It’s so close to Franklin Street, with lots of foot traffic and such a beautiful structure. When I learned it was for sale, I jumped at the chance to buy it with plans to restore and save it. I’m hoping this space will add to what is offered locally for food, and local wines and brews. This will be a place for locals and tourists, year around. Thank you to the Schuyler County Legislature for supporting this project.”

The Village of Montour Falls, in collaboration with Schuyler Redevelopment, submitted a Restore NY application for the environmental cleanup and site development of the former Shepperd Niles parcel on N Genesee Street in Montour Falls. This former manufacturing facility sits on 20+ acres, steps from downtown Montour Falls; the environmental cleanup is estimated at more than $7 million dollars. The future use of this site is unknown but has been discussed extensively at the Village Board level. With the recent NY Forward win of $4.5 million dollars, and this site being one of the future possible development projects, there may be a future for this abandoned site.

The Village of Montour Falls Mayor, Jim Ryan, remarked “The Schuyler Redevelopment site is crucial to the forward momentum of Montour Falls. This property sits close to our vibrant downtown and offers a unique opportunity for redevelopment, and attraction to our village, and will be vital to our local economy. Through programs like NY Forward and Restore NY these once distant dreams can finally be a reality.”

The Village of Watkins Glen is seeking funding to demolish and rebuild the former Rooster Fish site (109-111 Franklin Street) in downtown Watkins Glen. The application includes plans to demolish the existing building and remediate the property. A new, approximately 24,000 sq. ft. building will be constructed to include an experiential attraction, archival facility, and educational component that will service existing and new global visitors.

Mayor Laurie DeNardo commented, “This is a great project that can spur additional investment in housing, retail, lodging, and other commercial activities in and around the Village.”

Finding grant programs and matching them with opportunities in Schuyler County is just one of the many services offered by the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development. For more information on programs, opportunities and membership opportunities with the Schuyler County Partnership, please visit our website: or call (607) 535-4341.


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