After a significant pause due to pandemic restrictions, the SFDC is elated to announce that the Seneca Falls Downtown Revitalization Initiative is back in motion. Today, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul made an appearance at the National Women’s Hall of Fame to announce the DRI projects selected by the State for funding.

Included within this funding group is a $600,000 Building Improvement Fund, which can further help local businesses and building owners with interior and exterior upgrades, repairs, and enhancements.

Since writing the DRI proposal for consideration back in early 2019, the SFDC has enjoyed collaborating with a wide range of community members, government officials, business owners, and local organizations to make the DRI a reality.

Today’s announcement marks the start of a new journey for Seneca Falls with ongoing economic development leading the charge.

The SFDC would like to extend our gratitude to Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who has been a staunch supporter of Seneca Falls – and Governor Andrew Cuomo – for their vision to build better futures for the communities aided by the DRI.

To our DRI State representative, Chris Bauer, thank you for your ongoing guidance throughout the process. To Ed Flynn & his team from Labella & Associates, you’ve done an amazing job as our assigned DRI consultant and we appreciate you keeping everything on track.

To Vinny Esposito, Jamone Turner, and everyone at ESD…thank you for your continued stewardship.

To the members of the Local Planning Committee and all of the community members who helped shape the project slate and propose allocation of the DRI funds, we thank you for your time & dedication.

Thank you as well to the Seneca Falls Town Council, Supervisor Mike Ferrara & former Supervisor Greg Lazarro for their support of the Seneca Falls Development Corp and our mission to secure the DRI and other economic development opportunities for the Town of Seneca Falls.

Our town already carries a rich history, and with the help of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we now carry immense potential as well. We’re prepared to leverage this award for long-term economic development, and look forward to the collaboration to come as we collectively drive this initiative forward to ensure a prosperous future.

The specific projects announce by the State to be funded through the DRI include:

Establish the National Women’s Hall of Fame as a Destination – $1,000,000: Renovation of the iconic smokestack, installation of new permanent exhibits, and construction of a code-compliant elevator and external stairwell for access and expansion to the 2nd 3rd and 4th floors for additional museum space to enhance historic cultural destination.

Transform It’s A Wonderful Life Museum – $912,000: Museum expansion to include structural stabilization of the building, façade renovation to reflect its historic appearance, enhanced accessibility, and improved signage. Expansion is the first phase of expected multi-phased improvement.

Activate the State Street Station – $605,000: Renovate the former historic train station into a full-service Italian restaurant and banquet hall.

Establish a Building Improvement Fund – $600,000: A Building Improvement Fund will be established to provide grant funding for downtown building owners to support interior and exterior building improvements.

Reinvigorate the Gould Hotel – $405,000: Renovation of hotel’s first floor including lobby upgrades, conversion of the restaurant into a dual-purposed café & gastro-cocktail lounge and relocation of the bar.

Renovate the Historic Huntington Building – $400,000: Repurposing of the historic Huntington Building into a 50-unit affordable residential complex. Half of the units will be reserved as permanent supportive housing for veterans.

Launch Culinary Arts Studio and Apartments – $400,000: Renovation of two downtown buildings for a ground floor hands-on culinary arts studio and conversion of vacant upper floors into affordable housing units.

Create Residential Units at the Finger Lakes Health Institute – $400,000: Conversion of the vacant second floor classrooms of the former St. Patrick’s school into 10 affordable residential units in the mixed-use facility.

Renovate the Daniels Block – $253,200: Conversion of the vacant 3rd floor space in the Daniels Block into five new accessible residential loft units that will be serviced by a new three-stop elevator.

North Canalside Enhancements – $3,690,000: People’s Park improvements including new pathways and decks overlooking the canal; burying utility lines and providing better access to the Canal from downtown.

Improve the Heritage & Information Center of Seneca Falls – $533,082: Provide upgrades to the Heritage and Information Center including façade improvements, updating permanent interior exhibits, installation of a new elevator and renovations to boater spaces.

Enhance Community Recreation – $324,000: Installation of “street league” obstacles to the Seneca Falls Skate Park and an ADA-compliant kayak launch at the Community Recreation Center.

Enhance Ludovico Sculpture Trail – $177,718: Installation of a new gateway entry plaza, upgrading the trail surface to be accessible to all, and the addition of descriptive sculpture plaques.

We’ve been eagerly awaiting this day and remain honored to be selected as a DRI community. The SFDC is ready to continue our work and on behalf of the entire SFDC Board, we thank the entire community for their input, involvement, support, and patience through the process.


Greg Zellers
SFDC Director

Joell Murney-Karsten
SFDC Board Chair