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Revitalizing Finger Lakes: Unveiling 27 Transformational Projects for Perry, Geneseo, and Medina


Details on 27 transformational projects for the Finger Lakes region as part of two economic development programs, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and NY Forward, were unveiled on Friday. A total of 11 projects were announced for the Village of Perry, the Round 6 winner of a $10 million DRI award; eight projects were announced for the Village of Geneseo, a Round 1 winner of a $4.5 million NY Forward award; and eight projects were announced for the Village of Medina, also a Round 1 winner of a $4.5 million NY Forward award.

The Village of Perry was named the Finger Lakes region winner of the sixth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative in 2023. The specific projects selected seek to build on the recent momentum in Perry by encouraging an inclusive and accessible downtown, providing a range of diverse housing units, and promoting the Village as a year-round tourist destination in proximity to Letchworth State Park.

New investment combined with past investments will create a robust environment for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic downtown buildings and infill development that incorporates mixed-income residential opportunities.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as continuing investments in recreational amenities, and amplifying the Village’s distinctive character that will foster additional development to support the retention and attraction of residents as well as increase tourism options in the downtown.

The Village of Perry joins the communities of Geneva, Batavia, Penn Yan, Seneca Falls, Newark, and Rochester which were the Finger Lakes region winners in the first five DRI rounds.

The $9.7 million State investment in these projects through the DRI will leverage additional public and private investments as the revitalization process proceeds and builds momentum.

The 11 Perry DRI projects, totaling $9.7 million, include:

Extend Silver Lake Trail through Downtown Perry: $2,100,000 

Construct and enhance trail segments from Federal Street into downtown Perry, across the Silver Lake Outlet and beyond, to create a cohesive, off-road active transportation connection that supports walkability and attracts visitors, accompanied by landscaping, street furniture, and public art at key nodes. 

Transform Assembly Hall to Expand Accessible Community Venues in Perry: $2,016,000 

Renovate the second floor of Perry’s historic Village Hall to create a new accessible, multi-purpose venue that can support art, cultural and community programming for local residents and visitors.

Restore the Historic Perry Academy to Create Housing and a Childcare Facility: $1,950,000

Renovate former classrooms and office space in the former Perry Academy to create a mix of new one- and two-bedroom housing options and a childcare facility one block from Perry’s Main Street. 

Provide New Housing Opportunities in the Historic Rufus Smith Building: $800,000

Restore a historic building in the heart of downtown Perry to improve the building’s façade and provide a new boutique lodging option for tourists alongside visitor-oriented retail and services.

Activate the JW Olin Block with Mixed-Use Development: $750,000 

Rehabilitate a currently vacant historic building on Covington Street, a key point of entry to downtown, to improve the appearance of the building, as well as create new housing units and retail options downtown.

Create the Village Trail Apartments: $500,000 

Construct a new building on a vacant, former industrial property to create new housing options downtown, as well as on-site amenities which may include a community garden, bike and ski storage and public art. 

Establish a Building Improvement Fund to Support Smaller Scale Investments: $495,000

Create a fund that supports building improvements in downtown Perry to enhance the appearance of facades, rehabilitate buildings to provide new housing and commercial space, support small businesses, and create public art.

Complete Main Street Streetscape Improvements: $350,000

Upgrade the streetscape along South Main Street and Mill Street to create a cohesive appearance and character along the length of Main Street, which includes enhanced sidewalks, street trees, lighting, and street furniture.

Rehabilitate the 1908 Wainman Building and Create Spaces for Entrepreneurs and Artisans: $321,000

Renovate a vacant historic building to create artist loft units that foster emerging local talent while activating the south end of Perry’s Main Street.

Develop Boutique Lodging and Retail at 17 North Main Street: $283,000

Restore a historic building in the heart of downtown Perry to improve the building’s façade and provide a new boutique lodging option for tourists alongside visitor-oriented retail and services.

Create Visibility & Visitor Traffic for Perry’s Revitalized Downtown & Destinations: $135,000

Develop a series of web-based content and materials, such as videos and brochures, that highlight Perry as a unique destination from which to explore the surroundings.

The Villages of Geneseo and Medina are the first communities to be awarded funding through the NY Forward Program Round 1.

State Senator Pam Helming said, “This is a critical next step in the Village of Geneseo’s downtown revitalization and I commend Mayor Chris Ivers and members of the Local Planning Committee for their continued vision and hard work, as well as community members who offered input. Downtowns are centers of economic and cultural activity and I look forward to seeing these projects move forward to benefit Geneseo’s vibrancy and growth.”

The specific projects to be funded through Geneseo’s NY Forward will position the downtown as regional destination for culture, world-class education and exceptional quality of life. These projects will create new commercial spaces, enhance connectivity throughout the downtown and improve upon the Village’s unique assets and recreational offerings.

The 8 Geneseo NY Forward Projects, totaling $4.5 Million, include:

Enhance Recreational Facilities at Highland Park: $1,300,000

Upgrade the recreational facilities at Highland Park with a new playground, nature play area and walking trails.

Enhance the Main Street Streetscape: $1,100,000

Create bike lanes and improve the pedestrian experience on Main Street with additional lighting and improved crosswalks.

Transform Center Street into a Flexible, Pedestrian Space: $550,000

Redesign Center Street as a flexible space that can be temporarily closed for events, with improved pedestrian safety.

Transform 5 Chestnut Street into a Mixed-Use Development: $500,000

Redevelop the former laundromat at 5 Chestnut Street as a mixed-use space with commercial space on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floor.

Create a Downtown Small Project Grant Fund: $320,000

Create a small project grant fund to support business and property owners with smaller-scale building renovations and improvements.

Redevelop the Conrad’s Building into New Commercial Spaces: $275,000

Convert the first floor into multiple rentable commercial spaces and improve the front facade.

Install Downtown Wayfinding Signage: $255,000

Develop a system of directional and informational signage that connects downtown destinations and promotes the area’s brand.

Create a Dog Park at Kelsey Field: $200,000

Transform an underutilized portion of Kelsey Field into a large, off-leash community dog park.

The specific projects to be funded through Medina’s NY Forward will seek to leverage the Village’s location along the Erie Canal by expanding connectivity between downtown and the waterfront, providing additional diverse housing options, and focusing reinvestment on Main Street that will yield unique lodging facilities, new commercial spaces and refreshed building facades. 

The 8 Medina NY Forward Projects, totaling $4.5 Million, include:

Transform Canal Basin Park into a Waterfront Gateway: $1,345,000

Transform the parking lot along the Erie Canal into a “waterfront gateway” complete with green space, seating areas and boater/cyclist amenities.

Expand the Canal Village Farmer’s Market: $675,000

Upgrade the Canal Village Farmer’s market campus by modernizing the existing building, constructing a pole barn for additional vendor space and beautifying the site with green space.

Redevelop the Walsh Hotel: $560,000

Convert the upper floors of the former Walsh Hotel into studio and one-bedroom apartments.

Upgrade the Hart House Hotel: $500,000

Upgrade the Hart House Hotel with new amenities including an enhanced outdoor courtyard space, a gourmet gastropub, a hotel guest lounge, a new front porch and an improved facade.

Develop Arenite Brewing Company on the Canal: $500,000

Create a microbrewery with a tasting room and outdoor seating overlooking the canal, complete with a rooftop solar installation.

Rehabilitate the Upper Floor Apartments at 409-413 Main Street: $370,000

Renovate the second floor into a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

Establish a Downtown Small Project Grant Fund: $300,000

Create a pool of funding to support business and property owners with smaller-scale projects like facade improvements, window replacement and other repairs.

Install Downtown Wayfinding Signage: $250,000

Implement a system of directional, informational, and interpretive signage to direct visitors to key locations and destinations throughout downtown.

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