JAMESTOWN – The city’s Director of Development said on Tuesday that the optimism expressed by some professionals and business owners around town is fueled by the out-of-town investment dollars that are slowly trickling in.
“I believe that’s what’s driving confidence in the city right now, is outside interests,” said Vince DeJoy. “These urban design plans are a result of a plan that was adopted in 2006 that Goody Clancy did.”
DeJoy spoke to WNYNewsNow at an event organized by a group called the Jamestown Young Professionals, which took place at the Tarmac Cafe.
The city’s scrutinized urban design plan has come under fire from long-time residents who demand change as the city tries to transition out of the collapse of the manufacturing industry and settle into the belief that there is indeed a brighter day on the horizon.
DeJoy said the plans that were displayed on Tuesday are concrete and are reflective of the next 10-15 years.
“The Mayor and I were just in New Orleans a week ago to accept a national award for the best plan implementation in 2018 and that resulted from a plan in 2006,” DeJoy said.
The event brought a mix of local business professionals, city leaders, out-of-town consultants, and some people that aren’t used to being included in the discussions about the future of the city, like Angelo Guiffre, who owns the Spire Theatre.
“We got a personal invitation, and that was really cool,” Guiffre said. “We want to feel like we are being recognized downtown, and this was a really huge step in that direction.”
The Tarmac Cafe, which relocated eight months ago to the Pearl City Arts Building, had an opportunity to showcase its new concept as a catering-intensive company with rental space available as well.
“You can’t go into business thinking, ‘OK I know what I am doing,’ and just hire people to do this and do that,” said Craig Benson, Owner of the Tarmac Cafe.”You have to do everything yourself, especially in this state, it’s tough, it’s a tough state to do business in.”
Benson started his restaurant in the Chautauqua County Jamestown Airport, and then moved to a pricey location on Fairmount Avenue that’s served as a proverbial revolving door for many businesses over the last several years.
Most of the attendees that we spoke to believe that the success of the National Comedy Center will continue to fuel a perceived rebirth in the City of Jamestown.