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New City Center Proposed
Plans for major renovations and upgrades to some historic downtown buildings, designed to bring more residents, shoppers and business to the city and city leaders are hoping will change Elmira forever
September 5, 2012
Elmira (WENY) - Plans for major renovations and upgrades to some historic downtown buildings, designed to bring more residents, shoppers and business to the city and city leaders are hoping will change Elmira forever. The plan calls for more than $40 million to to build a complex of apartments, businesses, a restaurant, banquet hall and conference center downtown. The complex would be called the Elmira Regional City Center. Elmira's City Manager predicts this project will be successful and become an example for other cities across the nation.
“It's going to be great for business, I'm right here and everything is happening downtown.” says Katie Clark owner of Katie's Cafe in Elmira. “I have always had faith in downtown that's why both my businesses are here and I look forward to more people coming in.”
That's the key for Clark, people, the more the better.
“This would have to be your destination to come downtown for business to go to the bank or come to Katie's” says Clark. “This will be right there. They are going to need places to eat the gym the video stores the t-shirt stores it will be great for everybody.”
Tom Weidemann the Executive Director of the Clemens Center feels the new complex will give his venue more opportunity.
“When they start to envision conference possibilities with the hotel and meeting rooms over there, I would love to talk with the developers and dream a little bit about how we can shape our sense of the Clemens Center to integrate into he notion of the conference centers.”
So who's going to live there? What businesses will open? According to city Manager, John Burin, it's an "if we build it, they will come" scenario. And he's got a developer excited to invest and make it happen, and the Southern Tier Regional Economic Council working to bring in state money.
“This will inject people into the area. Its all about rooftops in an urban environment. If you don't have rooftops if you don't have feet on the ground your not going to get people to want to open businesses, they don’t have a market,” says Burin.
The Developer will present his proposal to the city council tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. That meeting is open to the public.