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Buffalo developer Savarino lays out $20 million vision for Ellicott Station in Batavia

BATAVIA – Samuel J. Savarino credited city and county economic officials with laying the groundwork as he announced on Wednesday his company’s plan to revitalize a rundown, 3-acre parcel that formerly housed Santy’s Tire Sales and Soccio & Della Penna Construction on Ellicott Street.

“I feel that Julie (Pacatte), the Batavia Development Corporation, the City of Batavia and the Genesee County IDA have put together a long, sustained 12-play drive and brought us in to kick the extra point,” the CEO of Savarino Cos., of Buffalo said at a gathering of about 60 community leaders inside the old Santy’s building.

It is estimated the project, which will consist of several phases, including site cleanup, will cost about $20 million.

Savarino said he was impressed with Batavia Development’s Pathways to Prosperity strategy that is utilizing a portion of payments in lieu of taxes from three taxing jurisdictions – the City of Batavia, Genesee County and the Batavia City School District – to support an investment fund to target highly distressed locations and brownfield opportunity areas in the city.

The redevelopment of Ellicott Station, as the project is called, is the first to participate in the Pathways to Prosperity program.

“We would not be here today – not be close to being here today – if it were not for the efforts of the Batavia Development Corporation,” Savarino said. “They did an awful lot of work … to get any developer or any investor to even want to come close to doing anything here.”

Savarino said the redeveloped site, when completed, will include more than 50,000 square feet of commercial office space and more than 50,000 square feet of luxury apartments, as well as a locally maintained brewery, restaurant and outdoor beer garden with a public gathering area, and a building dedicated to light manufacturing – likely hops production.

He said there also will be a link to and parking spaces for the Ellicott Trail bicycle and walking path that is in the works as a joint venture between the City and Town of Batavia.

“Come to this site two years later and you will see a mixed-use development,” said Savarino, adding that his design follows guidelines set forth in the brownfield opportunity program through the state’s Department of State.

Savarino Cos. is expected to seek incentives from the Genesee County Economic Development Center, administrator of the Pathways to Prosperity fund, as well as from other state and local economic funds.