BATAVIA – A long-abandoned, century-old storage barn hidden in a downtown alley may get an unlikely new life if a deal made Monday by the City Council works out.
The Council voted to transfer the structure to the Batavia Development Corp., which hopes that within one year it can develop a mix of retailers, offices and apartments.
Once used for storage by the C.L. Carr department store, which closed more than a decade ago, the three-story wooden warehouse was foreclosed on by the city two years ago. Since then, attempts to find a developer have been futile.
Thompson Builds Inc., of Byron, now proposes a mixed-use building in what is known as Jackson Alley, the convergence of two alleys in a downtown block. It’s best known as the site of a Friday night summer concert series attended by hundreds.
The Genesee County Planning Board approved a required special-use permit a month ago. The city issued a Request of Development proposal but got no offers until Byron’s Paul Thompson presented his plan.
The transfer to the BDC for $1 is contingent on a “commitment by a developer to acquire, rehabilitate and develop the parcel under an approved plan within 12 months.”
The Council also:
• Amended the rules for the use of parks and their pavilions. A permit is required from the city clerk, and there are restrictions on tobacco products, alcohol, glass containers and the sale of food or drinks.
• Established a Vibrant Batavia Committee with 11 members for “neighborhood revitalization strategies, community development initiatives and downtown business objectives.” Two months ago, the Council appropriated $45,000 to support the task force’s first year.
• Approved the Batavia Concert Band’s request to use Centennial Park for seven weekly summer concerts. The Wednesday evening free concerts have been a popular feature for years.