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Historic Elmira, Inc. and Near Westside Neighborhood Association Announce Grant Award

Secures NYS funding for former Ritz Carriage House stabilization

Historic Elmira, Inc. and Near Westside Neighborhood Association (NWNA) of Elmira are pleased to acknowledge that they were successful in obtaining a $333,910 grant from the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation that will facilitate the stabilization of the Richardson-Kennedy House at 359 West Church Street, Elmira. This is a vital step in preparing the property to make it marketable to a developer.

Although NWNA is the property owner and direct grant recipient, the grant request and making the case for the project was a shared task involving both organizations. Historic Elmira also committed to provide the required 25% match for the grant through fundraising.

“A great big thank you goes out from us to all of those who sent letters of support for this project; Preservation League of New York State, City of Elmira Community Development, City of Elmira Historic Preservation Commission, Southern Tier Economic Growth, Chemung County Department of Aging, residents and businesses in the Near Westside Historic District,” states Kaye Newbury, President of Historic Elmira. “It's a truly collaborative project that benefits Elmira's economy, increases neighborhood safety, and is totally in keeping with the historic architectural character of the Near Westside. We've been steadfast in our efforts and I'm delighted that we've succeeded in bringing this grant money to our community.”

“I think the collaborative nature of this grant and its benefit to the Near Westside neighborhood and larger community clearly shows the benefits of persistence and partnering with the right team,” states Beth Farr, Executive Director of NWNA. “We are looking forward to receiving follow up from the state regarding a timeline.”

The badly damaged Richardson-Kennedy House has history dating back to the late 1800’s and was owned over the years by many well-known people in Elmira. In 2010 the Elmira City Council voted to hand over the building at 359 West Church Street to the NWNA. Historic Elmira shares responsibility for its care and redevelopment.

At a ceremony last Thursday in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers announced more than $709 million in state funding to the 10 regions for round four. For the third consecutive year, the Southern Tier was named a top performer in the 10-region battle for state grants, tax credits and bonds.

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council’s award of nearly $81 million includes $38 million for 91 projects, $35 million in economic development financing and almost $8 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. Each region has a panel of college presidents, lawmakers, and business and labor leaders that come up with a development plan and highlight priority projects, battling for funding with the other councils.

About Historic Elmira, Inc.

Historic Elmira, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 2007, with a mission to champion historic preservation in the Elmira region by providing education, advocacy, collaboration, and facilitation in activities supporting preservation and enhancements of buildings and sites of historic significance. More information about Historic Elmira can be found at www.HistoricElmira.org.

About Near Westside Neighborhood Association

The Association was first formed in 1977, by a group of West Gray Street residents who became alarmed by the deterioration of the neighborhood. The group was incorporated in 1978, to become Near Westside Neighborhood Association, Inc., (NWNA) a non-profit organization.

Aided by Federal, State and Foundation funds, NWNA offers a variety of programs for revitalization of the neighborhood including loans and grants programs for housing rehabilitation. NWNA's membership includes property owners, tenants, business, and persons interested in the general welfare of the Near Westside and the City of Elmira. More information about NWNA can be found at http://www.nwnainc.com.

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Media Contact: Kaye C. Newbury, President, Historic Elmira, Inc.
Telephone: (607) 731-0395
Email: knewbury@HistoricElmira.org

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Historic Elmira, Inc.
PO Box 252, Elmira, NY 14902