The 17 Tupper Lake DRI projects proposed to the state

TUPPER LAKE — These are the 17 projects up for a piece of the Tupper Lake village’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grants. They were approved unanimously by the DRI Local Planning Committee in June.

Uptown Streetscape Enhancements

Three village public works projects are seeking funding under the umbrella project “Uptown Streetscape Enhancements.” The village is requesting these projects, estimated to cost $3.6 million, to be fully funded by the DRI.

The projects would add signs, lighting, trees and benches for pedestrian ease and aesthetic purposes. The village is seeking $970,000 for Cliff Avenue improvements from Park Avenue to the Waterfront Park; $1.15 million for the Waterfront Park and ballpark grandstand, including greenery and public art; and $1.48 million for Demars Boulevard along the park for a multi-use bikeway along the park, parallel to the road.

Transformative Housing Improvements In Tupper Lake

This project, sponsored by the Northern Forest Center and its Adirondack Program Manager Leslie Karasin would renovate properties at 167, 179 and 185 Park St. — including the former Plaza Hotel — into apartments with unit sizes ranging from one- to three-bedroom workforce housing.

“The project aims to retain talented members of the workforce by increasing the local supply of affordable rental housing, while improving aesthetics and public safety in the Uptown zone,” the application reads.

The NFC is asking for a 27%, $725,000 contribution toward a $2.6 million estimated total project cost.

Tupper Lake Village Mayor Paul Maroun said he likes all the proposed projects, but he singled this one out as a favorite because it would increase housing.

Village Trustee Ron LaScala said the properties are owned by his wife Amanda and her family. Over the past couple years, he’s been renovating the Plaza Hotel and renting units out as apartments.

LaScala said their initial plan with the Plaza building was to turn it into a series of vacation rentals, but they wanted the building to benefit the community. He runs an appliance repair business and said he’s seen his customer base in Lake Placid changing from families to vacation rental corporations.

“We didn’t want to see that happen to Tupper,” he said.

Then, Karasin asked if the NFC could buy the former hotel and their family home and use them for workforce housing.

There is public funding for low-income housing and private funding for high-income housing, but not a lot of public funding for “middle-market housing,” Karasin said. She said the DRI is a rare opportunity for this.

“We liked it. They’re making affordable housing for working people and families,” LaScala said.

Karasin is a member of the LPC and said housing was discussed often as one of the goals the DRI projects should have.

She said the NFC’s goal is to attract and keep young people in the Adirondacks, and especially Tupper Lake. She said a lack of housing prevents employers from hiring, the community from growing and the economy from improving.

The property sale is still pending. LaScala said it was a hard decision; Amanda lived in their home since she was 14. But he knew they don’t have the time or money to do it fast enough to meet the rising housing demand.

LaScala said they left money on the table in the sale, not making as much of a profit as they could have. He was glad the NFC plans on paying full property taxes on the land even though it is a nonprofit organization.

Karasin said NFC believes it’s important that the properties stay on the tax rolls to support the community.

She said NFC plans nine units in total — eight at the Plaza and one in the LaScala’s home.

LaScala said there used to be 20 hotel rooms, but they were pretty small. He’s been combining them. He said five are finished, one is half-done and others need work. People are currently renting the finished apartments, and he said they will keep their apartments.

Oval Wood Dish Redevelopment

This project, at 100 Demars Boulevard, is sponsored by Christopher Trevisani and OWD Development LLC, who plan to redevelop the abandoned woodworking factory into a complex for affordable workforce housing, co-work space and new production facility for Raquette River Brewing.

They are asking for a 5%, $1.9 million contribution toward a $35 million estimated total project cost.

Oval Lofts Redevelopment

This related project, sponsored by Joe Gehm and Oval Lofts Owner LLC, would redevelop the Fletcher and Sons Company part of the OWD factory into 70 market-rate apartments with parking, a fitness center, community space, garden and grills for residents.

They are asking for a 17%, $3.5 million contribution toward a $20 million estimated total project cost.

Tupper Lake Entrepreneurial Center

This project, sponsored by the Franklin County Economic Development Corporation, proposes to turn a portion of the OWD building into a business center for entrepreneurs, like The Carry co-working space on Main Street in Saranac Lake.

This building would include 2,600 square feet of co-working space with a kitchen and meeting room.

EDC CEO Jeremy Evans said The Carry has been getting used often and they want to take what they’ve learned there and apply it to Tupper Lake. They’re building a core group of locals who use the space regularly.

He said The Carry gets more use in the summer as vacationers and second home owners seek out a quiet place with good internet connection. He added that this allows people to stay longer in the area, which he said is good for the economy.

They are asking for a 63%, $400,000 contribution toward a $632,000 estimated total project cost.

Tupper Arts Rising

This project, sponsored by Tupper Arts and its board of directors President Susan Delehanty, would renovate the State Theater at 100 Park St., which Tupper Arts is in the works to buy from Sally Strasser. The theater would continue to show movies and upgrades would also expand the stage to be used as an all-season indoor performance space.

Delehanty said the building is set to be sold for $200,000 with all the projection equipment inside.

The project would include facade and marquee upgrades to the exterior of the theater building and stage and screen upgrades to the interior. It would also include insulation, HVAC and roof upgrades to the theater and the adjacent Tupper Arts building at 106 Park St. Both buildings need new roofs, she said.

They are asking for a 78%, $693,000 contribution toward a $893,000 estimated total project cost.

Delehanty said she was worried if someone else bought the building they would not run it as a cinema.

Tupper Arts is also running a capital campaign to fund the projects.

Tupper Lake Crossroads Hotel

Tupper Lake Crossroads LLC, owned by Tri-Lakes area residents Betsy Lowe and Nancy Howard, is looking to build a new, 44-room boutique hotel at 129 Park St., on the corner of Park and Mill streets.

This hotel would be managed by Skyward Hospitality of Saranac Lake and include a restaurant, bar and meeting room.

They are asking for a 16%, $2 million contribution toward a $12.2 million estimated total project cost.

Timberjaxx Pass

James Dukett and Dukett LLC are proposing to build a mini-golf course and ice cream shop at 86 Demars Boulevard. This seasonal business would be open between May and October.

Dukett is asking for a 40%, $119,000 contribution toward a $502,000 estimated total project cost.

Tupper Lake Brewing Company

Sara Kriwox is looking to build a new 850-square-foot brewery with a taproom and outdoor beer garden at 138 Park St.

She is asking for a 40%, $148,000 contribution toward a $370,000 estimated total project cost.

Amado Gastronomy Experience

Cory and Lilian Rohrbach who own Amado, a restaurant on the corner of Cliff Avenue and Lake Street, are seeking a $280,000 DRI contribution toward a $700,000 project they want to undertake, improving the interior and exterior areas of their upscale restaurant.

The project would also include the installation of a covered walkway and a “live kitchen” with electrical and plumbing upgrades to make it happen.

The Rohrbachs are asking for the DRI to fund 40% of their total project cost.

High Peaks Cyclery

Brian Delaney, who owns High Peaks Cyclery in Lake Placid, is looking to open a second bike and ski shop location at 76 Demars Boulevard. He says the project will require interior and exterior renovation.

Delaney is asking for a 25%, $100,000 contribution toward an estimated $400,000 total project cost.

Restoration of 70 Park St.

Rachel King and Brandon Cooke want to restore a two-story building on this property. The first floor would be retail space for both of their jewelry businesses — Earth Girl Designs and Gahwista-Lagah Artistry. On the second floor there would be one short-term vacation rental.

The work includes updates to the interior facade, deck and interior remodeling.

King and Cooke are asking for a 35%, $110,000 contribution toward a $310,000 estimated total project cost.

Cliff Avenue Mixed Use Construction

Nathan Lewis, who owns Tip Top Electric, is looking to build a new building at 4 Cliff Ave. with a “market rate” apartment on the second floor, retail space on the first floor, and storage for Tip Top Electric in the basement and rear.

He’s proposing to have an “Adirondack style” exterior on the building.

Lewis is asking for a 40%, $320,000 contribution toward a $799,000 estimated total project cost.

Tupper Lake Steps Up Business and Resident Recruitment Program

The village is requesting 100% funding of a $100,000 branding fund for market research, message development, and implementation of a business and resident recruitment program for Tupper Lake.

Renovation of 47 Park Street for Retail

Donald Bennett is proposing to renovate this building on the corner of Park and Wawbeek avenues to accommodate the Thrifty & Nifty thrift store which recently moved to that location. The second floor would have residential apartments

His project request says the building will need work on its facade, siding, insulation, HVAC, loading dock, parking lot repaving, walls and roof for second story, windows, doors, landscaping and solar panels.

Bennett is asking for a 40%, $200,000 contribution toward a $503,000 estimated total project cost.

87 Park Street Renovations and Uplift

This project, sponsored by Patrick Fillette and Adirondack West Properties, proposes a renovation of this building where Well Dressed Food currently is to have two market-rate apartments on the second floor, a short-term vacation rental on the third floor and retail space for Well Dressed Food on the ground floor.

The work would include the building’s facade, HVAC, interior renovations, and a handicap-accessible entrance for the business.

They are asking for a 33%, $131,000 contribution toward a $401,000 estimated total project cost.


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