Senator Nozzolio Announces $1.8 Million In Funding To Rehabilitate The Wegman Piano Building In Auburn

Michael F. Nozzolio

October 26, 2006

Auburn- State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R,C-Fayette) today announced that the City of Auburn has been awarded $1.8 million for the rehabilitation of the former Wegman Piano factory at 9-11 Logan Street. The grant money is part of the Restore New York’s Communities Initiative (Restore-NY), a program designed to aid municipalities in rehabilitating or removing obsolete or rundown commercial and residential properties, making these sites attractive to residents and businesses searching for new investment opportunities.

“The Restore NY’s Communities Initiative is a critical tool for creating additional economic development opportunities and improving the quality of life in communities throughout New York State,” said Senator Nozzolio. “The restoration of properties like the Wegman Piano factory is a great first step towards improving not only the visual landscape, but it also generates optimism among residents, and helps to foster an environment that encourages job creation and the development of a strong future economy.”

The City of Auburn will receive $1,797,510 for the rehabilitation of the currently blighted Wegman Piano factory into 15,500 square feet of commercial and residential space, including 27 new condominium units. Also in Cayuga County, the Village of Port Byron will receive $229,000 to restore the Port Byron hotel, a vacant building downtown.

In Seneca County, the Town of Romulus will receive $358,000 for the demolition of a building to make way for the Empire Biofuels development project and the Village of Waterloo will receive $175,000 for the Dempsey Building on Virginia Street. The vacant three-story, 9,600 square foot wood and masonry building is located at the northern gateway to the Village of Waterloo’s downtown. The Dempsey building is structurally unsound and has been condemned, blighting the downtown neighborhood. The continued deterioration has threatened adjacent buildings and the health and safety of residents. The Village hopes to market the property to private developers for future commercial/residential redevelopment in keeping with the historic character of downtown.

The $300 million Restore-NY Communities Initiative was established by the State Legislature in the 2006-07 State budget and is administered by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC). Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to municipalities over the next three years to demolish or rehabilitate qualified commercial or residential structures, making these cleared or restored sites attractive to residents and businesses. The grants will be made available through ESDC in three rounds: $50 million in 2006-07; $100 million in 2007-08; and $150 million in 2008-09.

“The revitalization of our communities across New York State is an essential component to generating economic growth and new investment dollars,” said Senator Nozzolio. “This initiative gives businesses an incentive to locate here, allowing them to fully take advantage of the tremendous economic and geographic resources that our state has to offer.”

More information regarding the Restore-NY initiative is available online at