LDC announces building revitalization program

SARANAC LAKE – The village’s Local Development Corporation has announced a new fundraising initiative designed to fast-track revitalization of commercial and mixed-use properties in the community.

Through private donations and grants, the Saranac Lake Revitalization Program will provide bridge funding between the costs of improvements to facades and other public building elements, and the costs that building owners are able to bear. This aid will take the form of matching grants.

The LDC is seeking benefactors from the community to invest in commercial and mixed-use revitalization projects in the village.

“Like most small towns, Saranac Lake faces challenges,” LDC Chairman and village Trustee Paul Van Cott said in a news release. “Small businesses struggle constantly to make ends meet. Our historic buildings are expensive to keep up and to heat. But our intrepid business owners have dreams. They want to restore historic buildings and to pursue ideas for new commercial growth, and they want to invest in Saranac Lake’s future.”

“Funded projects will improve the physical condition of buildings, increase the attractiveness of building facades and/or create new business opportunities,” said Keith Wells, the LDC’s vice chairman. “Our goals include restoring historic buildings, establishing a more vibrant connection between our commercial core and the Saranac River that flows through the heart of the village, and providing growth opportunities for all Saranac Lake businesses.”

The LDC so far has identified seven projects totaling nearly $600,000 in improvements. It recently applied for $250,000 under the state’s Main Street grant program for three revitalization projects.

Van Cott said the state prefers shovel-ready projects.

“They want to see projects built soon after monies are awarded,” he said. “Starting right now, the SLLDC will begin working with commercial and/or mixed use property owners to have more revitalization projects ready to go as funding becomes available, whether through grants awarded to the LDC or private benefactors.”

Van Cott said the investments to commercial and mixed-use properties can help expand the tax base, relieve the local property tax burden and help businesses thrive.

Donations to the Saranac Lake Revitalization Program will be tax deductible and administered by the LDC. All donated money will be spent on revitalization projects.

For more information, contact Van Cott at 518-637-3612 or at saranaclakeldc@outlook.com.