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Batavia approves $400,000-plus for business renovations

Batavia appoints streetscape committee

BATAVIA — Five residents have been appointed to a newly established streetscape advisory committee to assist in the design of downtown improvements.

Mayor Jeff Schielke recommended the appointments of Carrie Sebold, Doris Sherer, Gail Zwemke, Thomas Gosselin and Chris Hermann.

The committee will have staff members and representatives from the City Council.

“I think this can be a strong group to sit down with our professional consultants to discuss long-term insightful (and) hopefully dynamic planning for the streetscape work in downtown Batavia,” Schielke said.

Streetscape project possibilities include new sidewalks, landscaping and trees, seating, lighting, signs, public art and gateway features.

The committee’s work is expected to last through 2011.

— Linda Girardi

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

BATAVIA — The city has partnered with two downtown building owners planning major restoration work.

Batavia aldermen this week approved a redevelopment agreement with Kluber Inc. that will provide $319,000 in tax increment financing grants for 10 S. Shumway Ave., the former movie theater city officials commonly refer to as the proverbial “downtown eyesore.”

With the same stroke of the pen, aldermen approved a $168,330 TIF loan to assist Don Robbins with the completion of work to four vacant apartments within the Robbins Flowers building at 143 S. Batavia Ave. to bring them up to city code.

The 10 S. Shumway project was scaled back originally from a $7.9 million redevelopment plan to demolish the existing two-story structure and replace it with a five-story mixed-used building.

The approved plan is priced at $1.6 million for a more affordable one-story rehabilitation of the existing structure, city officials said. The architectural engineering firm would occupy the offices in the building. Under the terms of the agreement, the renovation must be completed by June 2012.

“I’d like to thank Kluber Inc. for their investment in the downtown and keeping their faith in Batavia. This development is a glimpse into the future and a push for Batavia into the future,” Alderman Michael O’Brien said.

“We are not giving money away — it is money generated through a TIF district,” said Alderman Dave Brown, chairman of the City Council Community Development Committee. “There is no gift of money — it is an investment from the property owners in the district.”

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