NORWICH — On Monday, May 22 Restore NY, a program through Empire State Development, announced the City of Norwich would be receiving a $2 million grant for the downtown Norwich boutique hotel project.
The Restore NY program has a main purpose of "revitalizing urban and rural areas, disadvantaged communities, and stabilizing neighborhoods," with the end goal being that revitalized properties will increase a municipality's tax and resource base, therefore lessening it's dependence on state aid programs.
The funding was secured thanks to a collaboration between the City of Norwich, Commerce Chenango, and Principle Design and Engineering, who will be doing the construction and renovation work on the hotel.
The hotel is located at 14-16 South Broad Street in downtown Norwich. The total cost of the project is around $8.4 million, with $3.36 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) funding allocated for the project, and now an additional $2 million from Restore NY.
"This $2 million will be used for construction over there, so right in line with the program. That’ll go a long way as far as helping out in getting this project ready to go," said City of Norwich Community Development Director Erik Scrivener. "The intention, I think, was with that amount of money, it’s going to be all new construction and renovation in there, in the interior."
The hotel will feature approximately 45 rooms, a restaurant, and an event room.
Scrivener said contracts with Empire State Development are in the works, but it could be a few months before they're completed and work can begin. However, he said the estimated completion date provided on the application was August 2024, and he's hopeful the project will be completed by the end of 2024.
"As part of the application I think we were looking at late 2024 for completion, if possible, because I think it’ll move pretty quick once the construction actually starts," he said. "But, I mean, really we’re going to be at the mercy of state agencies before we can get going."
Ultimately, he said the project will be a major investment into the future of the City of Norwich community. The goal is the hotel will attract visitors to stay overnight, and the South Broad Street location will increase exposure and revenue for downtown businesses.
"We have people staying downtown, they're going to walk to these businesses, they’re going to walk to places to eat," said Scrivener. "It’s exciting the possibilities we can build off of this and the other projects."
He also said the city planning commission hopes to assist more businesses with Restore NY grants and similar programs in the future.
"We’re looking to develop some processes to kind of standardize our reviews in the city. I mean, there’s things that we do, but we want to do more as far as planning commission is concerned," said Scrivener.
"This was a very good example of collaboration and what we can do in different agencies. The city, Commerce Chenango, and then private businesses working together. It’s a substantial amount of money for this project, so we’re hoping to repeat this and help other businesses out with other programs."