Two revitalization projects are moving ahead in Elmira's downtown and Historic Westside neighborhoods. The city council will vote Monday on refurbishing the Marvin, Harold's and Rosenbaum's buildings on West Water Street, as well as the sale of a newly-renovated house on West Gray Street. Our Lara Greenberg takes a closer look at Elmira's latest developments.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- For years, the Marvin, Harold's and Rosenbaum's buildings on West Water Street have been nothing more than an eyesore. While some remember the good old days of Elmira's downtown...
"I miss the old downtown Elmira myself. Newberry's and Kreske's and all that."
…The city is looking ahead. Monday night, city council will vote to transfer development plans from Victory LLC to Harmony Water LLC.
But the plans remain the same, turning the rundown properties into apartments, retail space and a day care center.
"It's a great opportunity to hook people up with the riverfront again and just make it an enjoyable place to be," said Elmira Mayor Sue Skidmore.
And the Historic Westside neighborhood is also getting a facelift, with the city set to approve the sale of its first refurbished home on West Gray Street.
"That whole area is starting to grow and develop and being rehabbed. And of course with that area comes the dedensification," said Skidmore.
Though beautiful, some neighbors have concerns about the newly rehabbed homes.
"But to me the way the economy is, to buy houses is not good right now. I mean a lot of people are looking for houses to rent," said Jackie Williams of Elmira.
But since the funding for the revitalization comes from a federal HUD grant, there are requirements. And one of those is that the homes must be sold and not rented.
Buyers must also meet an income requirement and agree to live in the house for a certain period of time. But a cleaner, safer Elmira is something everyone can get behind.
"It has been a tough neighborhood with drugs. I've heard about the shootings that have happened here, so it's going to be great to clean it up."
City council will vote on both projects at Monday night's meeting. Once approved, the new developers of the West Water Street buildings will have 100 days to organize design plans and estimates and apply for funding.