Renovation of a former Lake Street funeral home for mixed retail-residential use could become the anchor for the Village of Hamburg’s application for another Main Street grant.
But with the deadline about two weeks away, village officials aren’t sure if the application could be finished in time.
Special projects coordinator Paul Becker said he sent letters to 17 businesses along Lake Street who had expressed interest in being part of the state’s Main Street grant program, and only two said they are still interested. But he said the former funeral home could be the focal point or anchor for a new grant application.
The village has obtained several of the grants in the past. The grants, together with the reconstruction of Route 62 and installation of roundabouts, are widely credited with the revitalization of Buffalo and Main streets. Village Board members hope to effect the same type of change on Lake Street.
Michael Stachera told board members he has been working on plans to renovate the former Froehley-Dengler Funeral Home at 84 Lake St. for a year-and-a-half. It also is the former site of the Bella Day Spa.
“It’s a property that has fallen to the wayside the last three years,” he said.
He plans to spend nearly $600,000 on the project. It will have an updated salon, boutique, and coffee and juice bar, with the creation of about 30 jobs, he said. The second floor will have two apartments.
“I feel I am quite prepared for it at this point,” he said of the Main Street grant application.
But he has not yet closed on the property, and he needs to be the property owner to apply for the grant. He also must have various permits on hand that he has not yet obtained.
Village Board members suggested he talk to the village’s grant writer to see if the project fulfills the qualifications and has a good chance of being selected.
Stachera said once he owns the building, he expects renovations to take about six months. He said the building is located 1.5 miles from Thruway Exit 57 and has access on Lake and Union streets and has 40 parking spaces. He said he would like to convert the five-bay garage into a fresh-air garden yoga studio.