Two downtown Watertown properties have been submitted for Restore NY grant funding

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:44 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The City of Watertown is in the middle of downtown renovations with plans like the Downtown Streetscape project and the YMCA’s Community and Aquatics Center on Arsenal Street.

Restore NY, a state grant program provides funding for just this, projects which will revitalize commercial and residential areas.

The Y and the owners of the building at 75 Public Square, that’s the old Wind and Wire building, want to apply for as much as $2 million dollars of that grant.

“It provides a great opportunity for typically downtown buildings to get some renovation money that they will normally not be able to get,” said Watertown City Manager Ken Mix.

The Y would use the grant towards its aquatics center.

While, Jennifer Voss, City of Watertown Senior Planner, says owners of 75-79 Public Square, Mike Pierce and Ken Bodah, plan to restore both the building and the walkway next to it.

“It sounds like it’s going to be a mixed use building with a mix of commercial spaces on the first floor and then some type of residential space in the second and third floor, with the possible use of the roof as a rooftop of some sort,” said Voss.

Both groups have submitted the necessary forms, now it’s a waiting game to hear back from the state.

“It will be up to the Empire State Development to decide maybe one of those two projects is not eligible for funding, or if they decide both of those projects are eligible for funding, then it will be up to the city to decide which of the two projects they want to do a full application for and that application would be due October 11,” said Voss.

Watertown City Council will discuss how to move forward with the application process Monday night.

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