News & Updates

2018 Renaissance Block Challenge Pre-Application available now

The 2018 Renaissance Block Challenge pre-application is available now and is due by Friday, December 8, 2017. There will be two informational workshops at the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation located at 301 E Second Street, Suite 301. Each workshop will start at 6 pm on October 10th and 12th. These workshops are not mandatory, but are highly encouraged.

2018-Pre-Application-Instructions

2018-Pre-Application

The timeline moving forward is as follows:

Monday, October 2, 20172018 Pre-application Available
Tuesday, October 10, 20172018 RBC application workshop
Thursday, October 12, 20172018 RBC application workshop
Friday, December 8, 2017Complete pre-application due
January 2018Invitation to final application
Friday, March 9, 2018Final applications due
Friday, March 23, 2018Finalist announced

For more information regarding the Renaissance Block Challenge please visit: Renaissance Block Challenge

Market To Table Dinner Features Local Foods

This article appeared in The Post-Journal on September 15, 2017. Author: Katrina Fuller; Click here for original article

With twinkling lights, soft jazz and local foods, the Jamestown Public Market hosted a harvest-themed feast like none other.

Long tables lined the Winter Garden Plaza, adorned with flowers, candles and plates of cheese, fruit, entrees and salads chock full of local goods. Christina Breen, Farmers Market manager, said the event is a favorite of hers that brings the community together in a unique way.

“This is the second year,” Breen said. “It was smashing – it was a beautiful fall day, just like today. We’re so thankful we’re getting good weather for these events because we really wanted to activate the Winter Garden space.”

She said the idea is to raise funds for the public market all while showing the public what a special event would look like held in the unique Winter Garden Plaza. Studio D catered the event using local produce, meats and cheeses. The dinner also included local wines and beers as well as coffee from the Crown Street Roasting Company and dessert from Full Moon Rising Bakery.

Breen said the market tries to keep the foods as local as possible. Likewise, they aim to showcase items that can be bought at the market.

“The dishes they are creating today are used from local farms and local vendors,” she said.

We also wanted to make it a family style dinner, so all of the tables are connected so everyone is sitting together and getting to know their neighbors.”

Breen said it is exciting to take businesses and entities from across the county and put them together to see what comes of it.

“You have this beautiful event that’s happening tonight, and it’s kind of the culmination of all of that,” she said.

Breen said it is the perfect event to end on as she takes her leave of the market.

“It’s kind of emotional for me because I’m leaving and all these people have been such a huge, important part of the Farmer’s Market in just supporting it,” she said.

Kristy Kathman, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation program and administrative coordinator, and Sarah Gilbert, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation grant writer, thanked everyone in the crowd for attending and supporting the public market.

“This a really special night for us, and we love having you here with us,” Gilbert said.

Kathman and Gilbert then recognized Breen as the “guest of honor for the evening.

“When I first began working at the JRC, Christina was just returning from maternity leave and gearing up for the new market season, and we quickly bonded over motherhood and the challenges of going to work when all you really want to do is be home, snuggling your baby,” Kathman said. “As Christina and I got to know each other, Christina’s passion really began to come through. She is a highly passionate woman. While I’d say she’s most passionate about her son, Jack, her husband, Jeff and her family, one conversation with Christina shows how passionate she is about so many things.”

During the five years Breen spent with the market, Kathman said she has been an advocate for farmers and making fresh, healthy foods available for everyone. Breen also fought for the market to continue, even when the funding situation was precarious. Recently, she worked with Gilbert to write a grant to the USDA to expand the reach of the market.

“Christina strives to give a voice to those who may not be heard otherwise,” Kathman said. “I think that’s awesome.”

The JRC will be hard-pressed to find someone as dedicated and passionate as Breen, she said, wishing Breen the best in the next chapter of her life.

“On a personal note, I’ll miss our conversations on life and just how great Jamestown is and how great it can be,” Kathman said. “I’ll miss your smile around the office and your big heart.”

The Public Market will be open until October and is located on Cherry Street between Third and Second Streets in downtown Jamestown. It is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit www. jamestownrenaissance.org.

2018 Renaissance Block Challenge Applications Available Soon

452 Front Street – part of the 2017 RBC Front Street East neighborhood cluster

Since 2011, 35 neighborhoods have participated in the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s Renaissance Block Challenge (RBC) with almost 350 property owners investing more than $975,000 in exterior improvements and repairs. The RBC program, which assists neighborhood homeowners with exterior home improvements, is continuing for the seventh year.

Pre-applications for neighborhoods interested in participating in the 2018 Renaissance Block Challenge (RBC) program will be available on the JRC’s website jamestownrenaissance.org, under ”Healthy Neighborhoods” starting Monday, October 2nd. The pre-applications will be due Friday, December 8th.

City residents who would like to participate in the Renaissance Block Challenge need to form a neighborhood cluster with a minimum of five property owners that can include homeowners, landlords and businesses. Once a group has formed, the pre-application process can start.

In the neighborhood applications, participants outline exterior improvements they wish to complete and skills they can bring to projects in their cluster. Projects funded in the program include painting; porch repair; soffit repair; sidewalk repair; mailboxes; exterior lighting; front-yard landscaping; front doors/windows; driveways; driveway aprons; and gutters.

Important dates for the 2018 Renaissance Block Challenge:

Monday, October 2, 20172018 Pre-application Available
Tuesday, October 10, 20172018 RBC application workshop
Thursday, October 12, 20172018 RBC application workshop
Friday, December 8, 2017Complete pre-application due
January 2018Invitation to final application
Friday, March 9, 2018Final applications due
Friday, March 23, 2018Finalist announced

For 2018, each property owner is eligible for a match up to $2,000 to facilitate their projects. Aside from matching grant funding, participating homeowners have access to discounts from sponsoring hardware stores and garden centers as well as discounts on coordinated purchasing of materials, services and design.

Funding for the Renaissance Block Challenge program is being provided by the John Alfred and Oscar Johnson Memorial Trust, with support from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation , The Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, and The Lenna Foundation. In Addition, the following businesses are some of those providing special discounts and services to Renaissance Block Challenge participants: B & L Wholesale Supply, Brigiotta’s Greenhouse & Garden Center, Chautauqua Brick, Craig’s Landscaping, Everydays True Value, Kingsview Paving and Excavating, LaBella Associates, LaMar Seamless Gutters, Mike’s Nursery and Tactical Tree Services.

“While the Renaissance Block Challenge financially assists homeowners with curb appeal improvements to their properties, the real benefit is an increase in pride of ownership within each of these neighborhoods”, says Mary Maxwell, JRC’s Neighborhood Project Associate. “And on top of that, and more importantly, there is an increase in communication among the neighbors.” Block parties, neighborhood sales and group participation in volunteer activities become annual events.

A few neighborhoods have participated in the program more than once. Neighborhoods that want to participate again must have at least 60 percent of the homeowners be first-time participants to be approved.

The neighborhoods with the best chance of being approved for the program are those that can demonstrate a commitment to cultivating strong communication between neighbors and a shared sense of identity so that momentum gained in 2018 can be carried forward and result in a sustainable impact on the community.

“When you buy a home, you buy a neighborhood,” says Claire Tomassini. “Our priorities are to maintain this neighborhood for ourselves, our families and our children, who are the future of this city.”

Learn more about the Renaissance Block Cluster pre-application process by attending an informational workshop on Tuesday, October 10, or Thursday, October 12, 2017, at 6 p.m. at the at the JRC offices, 301 East 2nd Street, Suite 301. Reservations are requested. Call Mary Maxwell at 489-3493 or email mary@jamestownrenaissance.org for questions regarding the Renaissance Block Challenge or to reserve your space for a workshop.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is a nonprofit organization that supports downtown and neighborhood revitalization in Jamestown by promoting reinvestment, stakeholder engagement and innovation.

Neighborhood Revitalization Progress Report

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation recently had a report prepared by czb LLC entitled “Housing Market Analysis and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy.” This report was made possible by the generosity of both the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation.

The Report analyzes Jamestown’s current housing market, and assesses the impact of the Renaissance Block Challenge to this point. The report makes recommendations to further improve the Renaissance Block Challenge by focusing on four key areas. These key areas can be seen on the map below. The full report is also available through this link:

Housing Market Analysis and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Review

The Presentation version is available via this link:

Housing Market Analysis Presentation

4 Focus Areas

The Four Focus Areas of the Housing Market Analysis and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Review

1K Kids Run Registration

Our 1K Kids Run will continue this August 19th at Community Day. The run will start at 12 PM (Noon), but please arrive by 11:45 to complete registration. Please fill out the following form to guarantee your child a shirt!

Collaboration, Community and Creativity; Pearl City Arts Building to Hold Open House

PCA building

Entrance to Pearl City Arts Building

Within the 48,000 sq. feet of the Pearl City Arts building, a variety of local entrepreneurs now fill what was once a local union hall. It’s been under the same ownership for 15 years and the vision for the building has always remained the same; attract creative, enthusiastic and committed tenants. The architecture of the building is unlike any other in the core downtown area. It was built before the arrival of electric light, so its design includes an abundance of windows which adds to its present day charm.

In recent years, the Pearl City Arts building and the Jamestown Public Market have developed a unique synergy. With the markets expansion in 2014, the move to Cherry Street provided a larger area for the market to operate including a beautiful city park for visitors to enjoy. This also meant more foot traffic to the businesses within the Pearl City Arts building.

Courtyard

Courtyard of Pearl City Arts Building

Jamestown Public Market Manager, Christina Breen, sat down with a few of the business owners to talk about their latest recruitment effort as a group, which is an Open House on Saturday August 5th from 9-1pm. This event is a fun and interactive way for members of the community to see what type of space the building has to offer.

“I walked up the front stairs of the building to this beautiful courtyard, with a newly constructed deck, that was lined with kohlrabi and tomato plants that the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation gave away a few weeks before” states Christina Breen.

Tim Palmgren, owner of Gifts, Décor & More says, “whether you’re looking for 100 sq. feet or 3,000 sq. feet, this building has that and everything in between.” Palmgren also mentioned it was his dream to have an apartment above his store, and this month he is celebrating his two year anniversary in business.

Karen Hansen, owner and instructor of Sun Moon Yoga & Wellness, raves about the manageable rent and the positive energy amongst the tenants. Hansen describes Pearl City Arts as, “a communal space for artists and those in the wellness and health field to thrive.” Hansen recently held a Yoga Mala Day in June and had over 21 people attend the event, and hopes more health professionals will move into the building.

Besides its historic relevance and ideal location within downtown Jamestown, the rent is manageable compared to most storefronts and spaces in the city. The group stressed the need for art and wellness to be accessible and sees the Pearl City Arts building as a place for artists and entrepreneurs to get their start.  Businesses located in the building include; Gifts, Décor & More, The Gypsy Moon Cake Co., Trinity Martial Arts & Fitness, Bodies by Rosemary, Sun Moon Yoga & Wellness, Jessica L. Cobb Photography, The Cheeky Boutique, Coffee and Canvas, 38mm Photography, Light Benders and Phoenix Rising.

Stop down to the Jamestown Public Market and the Pearl City Arts Open House on Saturday August 5th, from 9-1 PM.

Lisa Hatch and Zach Agett added to JRC team

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has announced that Lisa Hatch has been hired as Executive Director for the organization and Zachary Agett has been hired as the Marketing and Events Manager. In addition, the organization recently completed its relocation to the third floor of the Lynn Building at 301 E Second Street.

Lisa Hatch

Lisa Hatch, Executive Director

“We are thrilled to welcome our two newest team members,” said Dr. Len Faulk, JRC Board Co-Chair.  “Lisa and Zachary bring a wealth of knowledge to the table and a unique set of skills that will enhance our vision to inspire stronger neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown and an engaged community.” An open house is being planned next month to welcome everyone to our new space and introduce our newest staff members.”

Lisa, a native of Buffalo, is returning to Chautauqua County, which has been a dream of hers since graduating from Fredonia State in 1994. At Fredonia State, Lisa earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology and Sociology, with a focus in Social Work. After graduation Lisa returned to Buffalo, where she spent 25 years working in healthcare, most recently as Administrative Director at Roswell Park. Lisa, her partner Sharon Przyblak, and their dogs are in the process of relocating to the Jamestown area. Lisa loves dogs and spending time on the lake, and is looking forward to joining the Chautauqua Rowing Club. When asked about her move to Jamestown, Lisa says, “People don’t realize how lucky and blessed they are to be here. It’s like I won the lottery! I’ve traveled a lot, and Jamestown has the friendliest people I’ve ever met.”

Zach Agett

Zach Agett, Marketing and Events Manager

A Jamestown native, Zach lives with his wife Breeanne and son Lincoln. He recently graduated with honors with a Master’s in Business Administration from Capella University. Zach’s previous work experience includes serving as a Career Transition Specialist for youth at the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy, as well as being selected as an intern for the Chautauqua Advancement Project. At JRC, his role will focus on promoting local businesses and attractions through the Jamestown Up Close initiative. In addition, he will manage JRC events and cultivate partnerships with organizations that support community revitalization activities.

“Over the past several years, I’ve watched with excitement as city blocks and neighborhoods throughout Jamestown have become cleaner and more modern,” said Zach. “It is very rewarding to be starting a career with JRC, an organization that has been so vital to the city’s rejuvenation, and to be able to assist in the growth and development of my hometown.”

Farmers Market Returns To Jamestown On Saturday

Print

Jamestown’s farmers market has a new day of the week and a rebranded name.

For this summer, the farmers market will take place on Saturdays instead of Thursdays along Cherry Street between Second and Third streets. Also, the new name is the Jamestown Public Market instead of the Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market. The market will be held on Saturdays through October, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Most people don’t realize that the Jamestown farmers market has been around since 1878,” said Christina Breen, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation events coordinator and project associate. “The name Jamestown Public Market was added to the city directory in 1913. We wanted to preserve that piece of history and honor the efforts of past farmers and artisans who fought for over a century to keep this tradition alive.”

The change in the day for the 21-week event has been in discussion for many years, as community members and downtown business owners continue to suggest that weekend hours will improve attendance by accommodating people who work during the week. It also allows participants to enjoy free parking for the event.

“Saturdays are a busy day for farmers, but Jamestown’s market has proven worthwhile for them, so they are enthusiastic to see what a Saturday morning market will bring this season,” Breen said. “We are hoping for a great turnout, which leads to improved foot traffic for downtown businesses and increased profits for vendors and farmers. Increased attendance also helps us acquire data needed to expand to a year-round indoor market at some point in the future.”

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has partnered with Univera Healthcare, UPMC Chautauqua WCA and UPMC Hamot to sponsor the market amenities to encourage full success and revenue retention for participating vendors. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s staff works hard to garner sponsorship and relationships with community partners to lessen the burden on vendors by charging a small vendor fee each week.

The market operates next to the Pearl City Arts building, which is quickly filling up with a variety of art, wellness, food and retail related businesses, Breen said.

“We feel privileged to be sharing the same block with a diverse group of businesses. We are hoping more people will become familiar with all that downtown has to offer this summer,” Breen said. “We are counting on our community to show up every Saturday to shop and support local.”

The Jamestown Public Market will feature free live entertainment from local musicians each week along with outdoor seating, food demonstrations and tastings and wellness events. This summer’s featured farmers include Abers Acres, Scotts Farm & Greenhouse and J & E Produce. For Peate’s Sake Homestead is back for their second season as the market’s only all natural fresh frozen meat vendor. Works from local artists, homemade baked goods, handcrafted caramel and cheese popcorn, maple products and local honey will also be available.

For those interested in being a vendor, contact Breen at 664-2477, ext. 226, or email christina@jamestownrenaissance.org. For additional information, visit jamestownrenaissance.org or join the Jamestown Public Market Facebook page.

 

Jamestown Community Prepares To Get Hands-On

IMG_0961

One of the teams from last year’s Hands On Jamestown event pose in Tracy Plaza. Last year over 800 volunteers came together to make the event a success.

Hands On Jamestown, a communitywide effort facilitated by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation to clean and beautify the streets of Jamestown, will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 20.

Participants assist the City of Jamestown Parks Department with flower planting, litter collection, raking, sweeping and other clean-up activities in downtown Jamestown and surrounding neighborhoods.  Complimentary refreshments will be available at City Hall from 8-8:45 a.m. at which time volunteers can pick up garbage bags and rubber gloves if they do not have their own. Check-in is not required, however Jamestown Renaissance Corporation staff will be available at City Hall throughout the event to provide assistance, directions and coordinate efforts.

“We had great success with the online registration for Hands On Jamestown last year and we are continuing that for 2017,” said Christina Breen, events and project associate for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. “Individuals, families, or groups interested in volunteering can visit our website to submit a digital registration and view a map of clean-up sites.”

An interactive map is updated daily to allow people to choose a clean-up area that is right for them. Most volunteers who sign up already have an idea of where they would like to work. For those who don’t, event organizers offer several suggestions of areas in need of attention each year including: Second Street between Foote Avenue and Buffalo Street, Washington Street between Fluvanna Avenue and the Washington Street Bridge, Allen Street, Crescent Street, city parks, school perimeters, main gateways into the city, I-86 entrance, and playgrounds. Volunteers are also encouraged to start clean-up and beautification projects in the neighborhoods where they live.

“While litter collection is the easiest task to perform, participants are also encouraged to pick up branches, leaves, sweep sidewalks and curbs, and help other community planting projects in the city,” Breen said.

Due to limited resources, people are encouraged to use their own tools and gloves and other equipment. In addition, participants are asked to wear green t-shirts, sweatshirts, or jackets to stand out to motorists.

For more information on Hands On Jamestown or to see the map and register for the event, visit jamestownrenaissance.org/handsonjamestown or call 664-2477, ext 226.

FREE HISTORIC TAX CREDIT WORKSHOPS ON MARCH 2

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (February 14, 2017) – One of the biggest challenges for Jamestown’s revitalization is the financial burden of renovating historic buildings. Grants and loan programs from the city, state, and foundations are available to help fill financial gaps however developers often need more support to sensitively restore older buildings and carry projects through to completion. Beginning in 2013, the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) worked closely with the City to formally nominate the downtown Jamestown commercial district for historic designation. By November 2014, the district and just over 100 downtown properties were listed on both the State and National historic registers. With the downtown district listed, JRC turned its sights to Lakeview Avenue in 2015 with over 200 properties. The NYS and Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit programs can be combined to cover 40% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures.

For the Downtown Jamestown Historic District, securing the historical designations means that most property owners can tap into historic preservation tax credits, one of the most lucrative and effective subsidies of recent years. The current federal and New York State tax credit programs have enabled much of the recent revitalization work in Buffalo and other parts of the state. Giving Jamestown property owners access to this subsidy significantly increases the chances of renovation downtown, improves the quality of the downtown environment, and increases the inventory of available space. Over time, this stimulates demand which brings new investments, rising rents, higher property values, a more stable financial picture for building owners, and a stronger tax base for the city.

The Lakeview Historic District is a unique opportunity to benefit our community, because unlike most states, New York State offers historic preservation tax credits to homeowners. This is the first residential neighborhood in Jamestown to be nominated. JRC worked with the State Historic Preservation Office to define the boundaries of the Lakeview district to be as broad as possible so that a large number of property owners would be eligible for the tax credits. Ultimately, over 200 properties were included in the designation. In December of last year, the nominating paperwork was approved by the State Preservation Review Board which added the district to the state register. It is now awaiting approval at the federal level.

 NYS AND FEDERAL REHABILITATION TAX CREDIT FOR INCOMEPRODUCING COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES

Thursday March 2 from 2:30-4:30 PM

Wright Conference Room, 2nd Floor

Reg Lenna Center for the Arts

116 East 3rd St, Jamestown

Presented by Julian Adams, NYS Parks and

Jason Yots, Preservation Studios

 

NYS HISTORIC TAX CREDIT FOR HOMEOWNERS

Thursday March 2 from 6:30-8:00 PM

Christ First United Methodist Church

663 Lakeview Ave, Jamestown

Presented by Sloane Bullough and

Jennifer Walkowski, NYS Parks

 Realtors, contractors, business and home owners, community leaders and anyone who wants to learn about new opportunities for community reinvestment should attend. These workshops are free and open to the public however advance registration is strongly encouraged as seating is limited. Please RSVP by February 27th by calling Mary Maxwell at 716-664-2477 ext. 224 and indicate Commercial or Homeowner.

To be eligible, your home or property must be located in the Lakeview Historic District or the Downtown Jamestown Historic District. For more information, call Larry Moss at (518) 268-2187. You can also learn more by visiting: https://parks.ny.gov/shpo/tax-credit-programs/

View the flyer here:

Historic Workshop Flyer