Olean Receives Downtown Revitalization Grant

OLEAN – Twelve projects in Olean will receive grants as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the grants Monday afternoon.

“Through these targeted investments, we are highlighting all that Olean has to offer while ushering in new growth and prosperity for generations to come,” Cuomo said. “By preserving its historic architecture and revitalizing prime waterfront properties, Olean is sure to be a sought-after downtown destination for residents and visitors alike.”

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI include:

Redevelop the Historic Manny Hanny Building: Redevelop the vacant Manny Hanny Building, a historic landmark in the heart of downtown, for use as a restaurant, boutique hotel, and market-rate and luxury apartments. ($2,000,000)

Complete Renovation of Historic Row Buildings on North Union Street: Finish ongoing renovations of two historic row buildings at 319 and 321 North Union Street. DRI funds will complete Phase II, including framing and rough mechanicals for the first floors and basements of each building to accommodate restaurants or other commercial tenants. ($100,000)

Expand Four Mile Brewing: Improve a historic structure occupied by Four Mile Brewing and Allegheny Adventures overlooking the Alleghany River. The project, which will enhance a downtown anchor establishment and allow for new residential and commercial opportunities, includes roof replacement; canning equipment purchased and installed; a space renovated for a commercial tenant and two apartments. ($411,250)

Renovate the former Carnegie Library Building and Inn: Renovate the exterior and interior of the historic library building and current events facility to establish a destination restaurant, event center, and adjacent day spa in the heart of downtown at 116 and 120 South Union Street. Improvements will be made to lighting, flooring, atrium space, a bar or lounge, dining areas, the mezzanine, kitchen, and bathrooms. ($719,500)

Create a Downtown Revitalization & Rehabilitation Fund: Establish a matching grant fund to encourage and support investment in downtown properties. Funds could be used for façade renovations and interior renovations, including upper floor housing renovations or conversions and first floor retain improvements. ($600,000)

Improve the North Union Street Streetscape: Improve the streetscape of North Union Street and State Street through beautification, appropriate lighting, seasonal banners, sidewalk replacement, and seating in front of restaurants. Wayfinding improvements will also be made. ($900,000)

Implement Streetscape Improvements on West State Street: Redesign and improve West State Street to make it inviting and safer for pedestrian and cyclists, while accommodating traffic on the busy road. Improvements will be made to pedestrian crossings, landscaping, sidewalks, lighting, and street furniture. Space for on-street parking, bump outs, and road striping will help calm traffic. ($1,600,000)

Improve the South Union Street Gateway Corridor: Improve the downtown gateway corridor of South Union Street between Henley Street and South Street by eliminating a traffic signal and replacing it with roundabouts. The project will include bump outs, medians, a bike lane, crossing enhancements, and sidewalk replacements.            ($1,400,000)

Renovate 211 North Union Street: Renovate an existing Union Street building for mixed-use development, including retail or office space and four loft-style apartments on the upper floors. DRI funding will complement private investment already committed to the project, allowing for façade improvements and other exterior renovations that will transform the public appearance of the currently vacant building, making it attractive for new commercial and residential tenants. ($194,250)

Implement Walkable Olean Phase III: A combination of traffic calming, streetscape and crossing improvements will transform the East State Street mixed-use corridor into an inviting, walkable, vibrant area. Improvements will be made to intersections and streets, and include medians, landscaping, bump outs, parking improvements, and a shared use path. The project will create an important connection between downtown, a proposed Farmers’ Market in Lincoln Park, the Allegheny River Trail network, Bradner Stadium and War Veteran’s Park. ($1,200,000)

Establish a Permanent Home for the African-American Center: Renovate 201 East State Street, the oldest building in Olean, to create a home for the African American Center for Cultural Development. The interior will be outfitted for exhibition, performance space, and event space and include updated heating and electrical systems. Exterior work will include a new roof, siding, windows, and insulation. ($225,000)

Improve Oak Hill Park: The underused Oak Hill park will gain new life with improvements designed to upgrade existing facilities and install new amenities designed to complement the needs of the neighborhood and downtown. Improvements will include addition of a seasonal stage and a dog park, updated lighting and landscaping, restoration of pedestrian paths, as accessible park entrance, and other enhancements. ($350,000)

“The exciting DRI projects announced today represent the gateway to downtown Olean’s renaissance. With the state’s $10 million investment, the heart of our historic city will be transformed with new mixed use projects, business expansions and infrastructure improvements that will infuse new vitality into the corridor and create new jobs and economic growth,” Catharine M. Young said. “I thank Governor Cuomo for working with the Senate to secure these funds in the state budget and for his support for Olean. I also applaud city officials, the planning committee, the public and all those who played a role in this critically important process, which was a marvel of collaboration and partnership. I look forward with anticipation to the incredible things ahead for our community.”

“Olean is a wonderful place to live, work and visit, and thanks to Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, it’s transcending all expectations” Olean Mayor William J. Aiello said. “We are honored to see these investments come to our community and kickstart projects to rejuvenate our downtown.”

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