ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- At the top of both the state and city's priority list -- a plan to revitalize and refresh 1 Clemens Square.

It's a project that's been on the table since the city of Elmira was awarded ten million dollars in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding.

"It's going to be a very different look for Elmira than we've had in a very long time," says Mike Krusen, President of Southern Tier Economic Growth.

 And now, it's prioritized on the list of projects looking to receive even more state funding.

"It will start to drive that ecosystem that you need in a downtown," says Krusen. "What comes first, the stores or the people? You put people downtown and the stores will follow."

The site, formerly home to retail and restaurant space, has sat vacant for years. The plan is to not only redo those storefronts, but also construct a new one.

"We haven't had a brand new building in downtown Elmira, other than first arena, in years and years and years," says Krusen.

Park Grove Realty is preparing to build 16,000 square feet of commercial space and even more residential space along West Water Street. Outside of the space will be a courtyard and entertainment area.
The nearby parking garage will also be redone.

And the location, right between First Arena and The Clemens Center makes it an ideal spot to try and create such a vibrant, downtown hub.

The project will be partially funded with a portion of the 10-million DRI dollars. The rest is being sought through the Region's Economic Development Council.

A final decision on which projects will receive that money will be announced on December 7th.