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The City of Batavia is out promoting itself as it encourages redevelopment projects.

Around 60 financers, bank representatives and developers throughout Western New York came to Downtown Batavia Tuesday as it showcased its Brownfield projects and other redevelopment opportunities.

City Manager Jason Molino says he is pleased with the event.

“The reception was very positive. It was overwhelming, actually,” he said. “The developers and investors mentioned to me during and after the event that they were really impressed with the positive energy and the activity that is going on not just in the city but also in the county as a whole. That was a very positive impression to do future investment in the city.”

The developers’ forum was conducted in conjunction with the Batavia Opportunity Area Project  -- the plan to redevelop sites like the Harvester Center, Carr’s Warehouse, the Della Penna site on Ellicott and the former Genesee Country Mall. The city was awarded nearly $267,000 from the state Department of State to fund development of a 350 acre area downtown consisting of underutilized and vacant properties. The funds can also be used to clean up contaminated sites to promote revitalization.

“This was something we identified that we wanted to do toward the tail end of the development of the master plan for the whole area,” he said. “It is the accumulation of the market analysis, the conceptual designs and really doing some promotion of the area to get the word out to interested investors and developers that there’s some opportunity here.”
Molino says now the city has to follow up on those contacts.

“I think there’s definitely opportunity in the future to do something similar to this,” he said. “Now our goal is to link up with some of the attendees in the next several months and try to have more one-on-one conversations with them to see where their interests are and to see if we can help move forward and facilitate some redevelopment.”

Through panels, discussion and demonstration, the developers were shown case studies of successful redevelopment projects, financing tools and why, they say, an under-utilized Brownfield site doesn’t always equate to a contaminated site.

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