Jamestown Awarded $10 Million For 10 Downtown Revitalization Projects

JAMESTOWN – The City of Jamestown has been awarded state grants for 10 local projects which will upgrade several buildings and also bring businesses and infrastructure to the city, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who announced the awards this morning. The grants are part of the $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative that was announced last year.
The 10 winning local projects include:
1. Redevelopment of the Key Bank Building into  a mixed-use downtown anchor which aims to increase residential opportunities, bring new commercial activity, and create jobs in the downtown. The renovations will provide 10,000 feet of office space, 8 market-rate apartments, a restaurant space, 4-6 pop-up retail spaces, a wine tasting room, and an escape the room-type attraction.
2. Convert the former Ramada hotel site into a Hilton DoubleTree, returning a full-service hotel to Downtown Jamestown. This project will address a financing gap and allow the development to move forward with the full renovation of the vacant hotel to provide a new, higher-end lodging option for visitors to the Comedy Center and other downtown attractions. The new hotel will include 144 rooms, a 4,000 square foot banquet space, two restaurants and a bar, which will enhance the street-level experience in the area.
3. Enhance public space along the Chadakoin Riverfront and improve public access to help turn riverfront into a destination for a variety of people and increases visitation both to the riverfront and to downtown. The project will install state-of-the-art LED lights to improve visual aesthetics and activate interest in the waterfront as an evening destination, support construction of kayak and canoe launches, and install a catchment system to collect debris flushed downstream from the Warner Dam before it reaches the downtown riverfront.
4. Redevelop the Jamestown Renaissance Center into Jamestown Brewing Company. The project includes complete interior and exterior renovation of the building to transform it into a new restaurant and craft brewery that will increase dining options downtown, provide banquet space for special events, and create a new draw for visitors from the region. Upgrades to the building will include façade improvements and exterior decks.
5. Rehabilitation of the Reg Lenna Center For The Arts. The goal is to transform the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts into a modern arts facility. The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts encompasses seven connected buildings in downtown Jamestown. This project will implement key parts of a master plan to consolidate and improve the facilities, creating a more attractive and functional cultural downtown anchor. Improvements will include renovation of street-level retail space, upgrades to the theater lobby including addition of a cafe, installation of a multi-media studio, renovated offices and apartments, and  space, and other safety and functional upgrades.
6. Installation of necessary rail infrastructure to support the advancement of a Regional Excursion Train connecting to Buffalo and Niagara Falls. The project will undertake key improvements necessary to bring the regional excursion train that will connect Buffalo to Niagara Falls into downtown Jamestown and allow passengers to disembark at the National Comedy Center. The project includes installing passing rail siding, providing a walkway from the disembarkment area to the Jamestown multimodal center, and providing necessary utility connections at the Jamestown station that is part of a regional excursion train initiative.
7. Improvements to streetscape and pedestrian environments within the city. The goal is to make targeted investment in three locations downtown to enhance the pedestrian experience in downtown and encourage pedestrian activity. Investments will include street trees, planting beds, and accent paving in the furniture zone to enhance the aesthetics of the streetscape. Pedestrian amenities such as benches, bike racks, and trash cans will be distributed throughout the area with the majority located adjacent to the primary attractions to support connections between destinations.
8. The plan includes action to coordinate and add to local efforts to provide year-round programs to attract visitors to the downtown.  All-season programming will attract a range of audiences to the downtown and Riverwalk throughout the year, and will encourage an influx of people to downtown businesses. Increased financial resources will improve coordination and supplement efforts currently undertaken by individual cultural attractions and local foundations.
9. Improvements will be made to enhance visitor experiences to the Robert H. Jackson Center and enable the center to grow as a local cultural and historic anchor institution.  Upgrades to the historic 858 Italianate mansion that houses the center will include stabilizing and improving the structure, modernizing infrastructure, and creating more useable space that enhances the Center’s collection and is conducive to program expansion. The upgrades will improve the facility’s visitor experience and enable more productive partnerships with local, regional, national, and international groups.
10. The grant also has funding to upgrade the Lucille Ball Little Theater to allow it to provide space for year-round events, attract high-quality performances, and draw visitors to the downtown. Installation of new air conditioning and fly systems and upgrades to the building’s façade, and the addition of outside display cases will contribute to the theater’s ability to draw an audience, expand programming, and provided needed overflow event space for the National Comedy Center during peak visitor seasons.
“With this critical investment, the City of Jamestown has the opportunity to become a major economic hub, boosting small businesses and spurring tourism across the region,” Cuomo said. “These projects will help ensure Western New York remains competitive, as well as spur growth and create a brighter future for Jamestown.”
Mayor Samuel Teresi (D) said, “Our treasured City of Jamestown has boundless potential – with the Governor’s investment, we will have the resources necessary to pull our beloved city up to that future. I thank Governor Cuomo for investing in our residents, our neighborhoods and our economy, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for our community.”
San. Cathy Young (R) said the projects will “reinvigorate Jamestown and be a windfall for the city and surrounding communities. Everyone has worked hard to put together a comprehensive plan that capitalizes on local resources to grow jobs and create economic opportunities. The state’s $10 million investment will ensure that our city is a vibrant and welcoming place for residents, businesses and visitors.”
Cooperation among various officials was key to the four-part strategy, Rep. Andy Goodell (R) said.
“Working as a team with Governor Cuomo, Senator Young, and local officials, the state is implementing a four-part strategy for helping the City of Jamestown.  First, the State made a multimillion dollar investment in the National Comedy Center, which is expected to bring over 100,000 new visitors to Jamestown each year,” Goodell said. “Second, the State awarded Jamestown a $10 million downtown revitalization grant to enable it to upgrade the downtown to capitalize on the anticipated influx of new visitors and to grow downtown business opportunities.  Third, the State granted Jamestown a $1 million poverty prevention grant to develop innovate means of reducing poverty within the City.  Finally, Governor Cuomo committed in his State-of-the-State message to providing Jamestown $2.5 million to help it restructure its governmental operations to reduce operating costs and restore the City to fiscal stability. All the grants awarded to Jamestown were based on a highly competitive grant application process.  Local leadership, involved community members, and a committed community were key to the success of these grant applications.”


  1. Money for a brewery but not police and fire contracts? Why is public safety staffing and equipment seemingly unimportant to a city being “revitalized?”

  2. I’m remembering how well the last major ‘revitalization’ of downtown went…back in the 70s… :-/

  3. Let’s see if all or at least half of the money goes to help and fix up Jamestown and not line the mayor an city counsel pockets!! We all know our city an we all know what we pay in taxs and we all know the horrible conditions or the roads and sidewalks. They never get fixed and if they do it happens late in the year and they crumble 2months later when it snows. Wake up Jamestown seewhats really going on

  4. And not a dime to provide parking for all these people they expect to visit downtown. In the parking available parking meters! I don’t visit downtown anymore after my third parking ticket I refuse to do anything downtown. I used to love going to the Taco Hut, after my last ticket there I haven’t been back. I am not going to be penalized for shopping or visiting a restaurant in the downtown area. I don’t do anything that revolves around having to do it in the downtown district either you have to circle the block multiple times to find parking and when you do you can always expect a freaking ticket when you come out. No more I haven’t shopped in the downtown district and More Than 3 years and I never will again.

  5. Gentrification lowers crime rates! Lakewood is a perfect example of what money can do for safety!

  6. LOL. Jamestown will always be scummy Jamestown know matter how much money you put into it! Nothing will ever change the thugs and the drugs from ruining everything

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