Sweet Jenny’s Ice Cream will rent space in the old Williamsville Water Mill for $650 a month starting in December, according to an agreement between the village and owners of the popular sweet shop.
The Village Board Tuesday authorized Mayor Brian J. Kulpa to enter into the month-to-month lease, capping a flurry of activity in recent weeks to secure a use for the vacant mill on East Spring Street.
“I’m very, very excited about this,” said Trustee Christopher J. Duquin. “For the holiday season – if not longer – it will be the home for Sweet Jenny’s.”
There still may be one hang up: the village is waiting to receive assurances from its architectural firm that the south wall of the 1800s-era building is stable and safe, an issue officials expect to be cleared up soon.
Meanwhile, the village – which rescued the property from foreclosure in 2005 – wants to begin fielding offers for the historic mill and two adjacent buildings in hopes the property can be redeveloped as an anchor for a planned “Village Square.”
Howard and Tara Cadmus, owners of Sweet Jenny’s, located two blocks from the mill at 5732 Main Street, approached the village in October about leasing space to sell its ice cream and chocolate.
The idea quickly drew widespread support from the community, particularly residents who remember the mill as a hub of festivity during the holiday season.
Sweet Jenny’s would occupy 1,000-square-feet of space inside the old mill and pay for all the utilities, according to the lease agreement.
How long the business leases space in the mill depends on its success at the location, as well as what the village decides to do with the mill long term, Howard Cadmus said.
The business owner also indicated Tuesday he is in the process of securing a commercial loan to buy the mill and is ready to make the village an offer.
However, Iskalo Development Corp. also still appears to be interested in the property. The company previously had an agreement to redevelop the parcel, but nothing came of the plans.
An Iskalo representative was at the board meeting on Tuesday night, but declined to discuss the company’s interest in the old mill property.
Since Williamsville took ownership of the mill, the village has allocated more than $1.7 million for its purchase and rehabilitation, which includes $883,956 in grant money and $897,852 from Williamsville, according to village figures.