Local News

Governor Announces DRI Projects For Village of Homer – 11 Projects Awarded Funding


Governor Kathy Hochul announced yesterday the projects that have been approved by the state for Homers Downtown Revitalization Initiative. In total, 11 projects have been announced for the village.

“Our downtowns are the epicenters of our communities, and I am dedicated to making sure residents and visitors alike can enjoy all they have to offer,” Governor Hochul said. “These projects will go a long way in making these villages welcoming to all.”

The Village of Homer was a Round 6 winner of a $10 million dollar Downtown Revitalization Award back in February of 2023. The Governor’s Office says the 11 projects that were selected will help further the village’s historic role as a premier arts and cultural destination in Central New York.

Projects awarded for DRI Funding are:

  • Improvements to the Homer Festival Grounds – $1,420,000
  • Restoring the Village Food Market Interior – $139,000
  • Redevelopment of the Little White Church – $1,170,000
  • Homer’s Boutique Hotel – $3,500,000
  • Administer a Small Projects Fund – $650,000
  • Create a Downtown Marketing & Signage Program – $300,000
  • Develop a Wellness Spa – $500,000
  • Develop Commercial Space on Wall Street – $396,000
  • Construct a Riverwalk Overlook – $652,000
  • Develop a Commercial Kitchen, Community Center, and Year-Round Farmers Market – $823,000
  • Restoration of Water Street Bridge – $300,000

Alongside our partners, the other awardees, and the community at large, the Center for the Arts is honored and privileged to continue making Homer, New York a premier arts & cultural destination. Many thanks to Governor Hochul, our regional and local representatives, the variety of state agencies, consultants, and our local contractors for working together to make this possible. As we honor our past history, we also look forward to a vibrant and enriching future for Homer, New York.”

Executive Director of the Center for the Arts, Ty Marshal said to X101 News

Additional details on each project can be found below

Improve the Homer Festival Grounds ($1,420,000)
The Village will improve the Homer Festival Grounds, creating an appealing amenity in the DRI Area with the development of an east/west pathway from Main Street and overflow parking areas for downtown events. “Greening” of the entire area will include pavement reduction, new sidewalks, introduction of additional grass and trees throughout, rain gardens, naturalized storm water outfall and small craft boat launch.

Renderings of Village Food Market (Rear viewing)

Restore the Village Food Market Interior ($139,000)
Owners of Homer’s Village Food Market, a Main Street fixture for nearly 200 years, will update the interior of the grocery store. The project will complement the exterior façade restoration done in 2012 with new flooring, grab-and-go-counter and butcher counter, accessible rear entrance and handicapped parking to provide 21st century service in a charming and attractive restored setting.

Initiate Redevelopment of the Historic Little White Church ($1,170,000)
The Homer Center for the Arts will undertake the first of four phases of restoration and renovation of the Little White Church on the Village Green, transforming Homer’s first religious building into the Homer Cultural Center. The vision for the Homer Cultural Center is of a venue for meetings, events, programs and festivals for the Village of Homer, Homer School District, Landmark Society of Cortland County, and Homer Center for the Arts and others.

Boutique Hotel proposed at 11 N. Main Street.

Develop a Boutique Hotel ($3,500,000)
A new boutique hotel will transform the 1825 Manor at Briggs Hall, 11 N. Main St. The 34-room full-service hotel with dining, lounge, and conference facilities will be attached to a Wellness Spa to be developed in the neighboring property.

Administer a Small Projects Fund ($500,000)
The Village will administer a fund to finance interior and exterior building improvements and improve the aesthetic appeal of downtown’s historic buildings. Improvements can include façade improvements, installation of new exterior lighting, replacement windows, code and safety updates and handicapped accessibility improvements.

Create a Downtown Marketing & Signage Program ($300,000)
The Village will create downtown promotional materials, wayfinding and gateway signage to draw more visitors into Historic Homer and help define the downtown. The program will enhance the DRI area for drivers and pedestrians and promote downtown Homer’s unique destinations.

Develop a Wellness Spa ($500,000)
A deteriorating residential building will be transformed into a Wellness Spa designed to pamper and rejuvenate body and soul with services that include hair styling, manicures and pedicures, saunas, facials, and body treatments. The 3,000 square-foot destination for Homer residents and visitors will be connected to a boutique hotel, proposed under a separate DRI project submission.

Develop Commercial Space on Wall Street ($396,000)
The 11 Wall St. building will undergo extensive renovation and restoration evocative of a Victorian-era train station. The mixed-use development will include a café, indoor and outdoor seating, local art and gift items, an area to display the works of local artists and performance area are also planned. A trail to the Tioughnioga River will lead patrons to the water’s edge.

Construct a Riverwalk Overlook ($652,000)
The Village will construct a Riverwalk Overlook on the banks of the Tioughnioga River at the Homer Festival Grounds. This project is the anchor for a future Riverwalk, a long-imagined multi-use waterfront pathway that will be developed in phases. The overlook will feature a plaza that can host small outdoor events and where residents and visitors can linger on the water’s edge.

Develop a Commercial Kitchen, Community Center, and Year- Round Farmers Market ($823,000)
Seven Valleys Health Coalition in partnership with Cortland Collective Impact Initiatives will renovate a 4,600 square-foot space at 41 James St. to include licensed commercial kitchen and multi-use space for a year-round farmers market and community center offering low- and no-cost programs, performance and rehearsal venue, and rental classrooms for educators and instructors.

Water Street Bridge Rendering.

Restore the Historic Water Street Bridge ($300,000)
The historic double lenticular truss Water Street Bridge will be restored, reopening it for pedestrian use. Safety and aesthetic improvements include painting, lighting, and railings compliant with environmental, transportation and historic preservation agency requirements.

The investment by the state totals $9.7 million dollars. The projects presented will leverage millions more in additional public and private investments as part of the revitalization process.

The Village of Homer joins the communities of Oswego, Cortland, Auburn, Fulton, Oneida, Syracuse and Cayuga/Union Springs/Aurora which were Central New York’s winners in the first seven DRI rounds.

“The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as amplifying the city’s unique sense of place with a genuine and authentic experience that will be catalytic for future organic growth and will foster development that is inclusive while embracing its strong heritage and ethnic diversity.”

According to a release by the Governor’s Office.

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