City engineer: Factory Street project is ‘on schedule’

The Factory Street project is finally on schedule and is expected to be completed in October, despite delays and problems with excavating and other issues that have driven the project cost up to $13.5 million. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

The Factory Street project is finally on schedule and is expected to be completed in October, despite delays and problems with excavating and other issues that have driven the project cost up to $13.5 million. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

Manager Christopher L. Turck was relieved to hear that the brunt of the $13.5 million Factory Street construction project in front of Mo’s Place should be finished in October. [Read more…]

July 2016: Business Briefcase

MEDIA

Community Broadcasters expands into Florida

Watertown-based Community Broadcasters, LLC, has purchased four signals from Apex Broad Broadcasting, Inc., in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Fla., market and filed for transfer of the licenses pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission in June. [Read more…]

Roth Industries embarking on nearly $6 million project

Work is expected to start around July 1 on a nearly $6 million expansion at Roth Industries Inc. in the City Center Industrial Park on North Bellew Avenue. [Read more…]

Retiring city planner helped Watertown grow in his 30 years

Watertown City Planning and Community Development Coordinator Kenneth A. Mix retired Wednesday after 30 years of service. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

Watertown City Planning and Community Development Coordinator Kenneth A. Mix retired Wednesday after 30 years of service. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

Kenneth A. Mix now knows what happens to rubber bands after they’ve been lost in a desk for 30 years.

Mr. Mix, 55, the city’s planning and community development coordinator, learned they become brittle and fall apart, something he discovered while cleaning out his desk in his City Hall office while preparing to retire on Wednesday. [Read more…]

Watertown Trust approves incentive program for downtown business district

The downtown business district will be getting another shot in the arm from the Watertown Local Development Corp. [Read more…]

Momentum continues for the downtown Watertown development boom

Christopher Marshall of Augliano Painting in Clayton preps the front of the Lincoln Building on Thursday on Public Square. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

Christopher Marshall of Augliano Painting in Clayton preps the front of the Lincoln Building on Thursday on Public Square. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

WATERTOWN — Downtown is welcoming another round of a development boom, this time with a series of smaller projects that are dotting the city’s central business district. [Read more…]

Woolworth Building taking applications for tenants

Tenants should be able to move into the soon-to-be-restored Woolworth Building in mid-January.

The owners of the historic landmark will start accepting applications from potential tenants today.

They can find out about the application process by visiting a temporary leasing office in the Liberty Building, 210 Court St., Suite 15, or going online at www.woolworthwatertown.com, where they can find out about income requirements, look at the layout of the units and find out about the building’s amenities.

Donald W. Rutherford, CEO of the Watertown Local Development Corp., also known as the Watertown Trust, has been waiting to hear when the developers were going to start to reaching out to potential tenants.

“I think it’s good news,” Mr., Rutherford said, adding that he hopes to help the developers with finding tenants.

On Thursday, co-developer Erich H. Seber said that starting the lengthy application process now will ensure that the apartments will be occupied by the middle of January. It was a promise he made back in May, when the project was 25 percent completed.

Now, six months later, the $17 million project is about 90 percent finished, with work on the building’s exterior, ground-floor commercial space and some finishing work on the 50 upper-floor apartments still progressing, he said.

“Everything is taking shape,” he said. “But the last 5 percent is always the hardest.”

Once the apartments begin to fill up, the focus will be on getting the 11,000 square feet of commercial space done and attracting tenants to that space. There’s already been some interest in what could turn out to be a mixture of office and retail space, Mr. Seber said, but he would not elaborate.

The project is being funded by private investment, state Homes and Community Renewal housing tax credits, a $2.5 million Restore NY grant and other state funding. To get state tax credits, much of the original look of the 93-year-old building — where one of the first F.W. Woolworth stores operated for decades — was kept intact, Mr. Seber said.

All of the 35 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom units will be considered affordable housing, with monthly rent ranging from $434 to $690. Ten apartments are on each of the second through sixth floors.

High-efficiency refrigerators and other appliances and fixtures were installed. A community room, library, exercise room and room for private parties are just some of the amenities offered.

The building sits next to the CitiBus loop and within walking distance from restaurants and retail shops. A 31-space parking lot is being finished across the street off Public Square, between Cam’s Pizzeria and the Woodruff Professional Building, that will be used exclusively by tenants.

 

 

By Craig Fox, Times Staff Writer

Jain Irrigation may build $10 million plant in city industrial park

Jain Irrigation Inc. is eyeing a move from its cramped Water Street plant into a new $10 million facility that would be built on the last remaining land in the City Center Industrial Park.

Donald W. Rutherford, the CEO of Watertown Local Development Corp., also known as the Watertown Trust, has been working on the project with local representatives of the manufacturer of drip irrigation products.

Plans call for building an 80,000-to-100,000-square-foot plant on the wooded site — consisting of lots 9, 10 and possibly 11 — off South Bellew Avenue, behind Current Applications and adjacent to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building. [Read more…]

Kingston company eyes Watertown, plans to add 15 jobs

A Kingston, Ontario, manufacturing company wants to solidify its U.S. market by possibly building and leasing a 10,000-square-foot building in the City Center Industrial Park off Bellew Avenue.

At a Watertown Local Development Corp. meeting Thursday morning, CEO Donald W. Rutherford said he received a phone call Wednesday from a representative of the unidentified company interested in establishing more of a presence in the United States and wanting to set up shop close to its Canadian headquarters.

The venture would create about 15 “good-paying manufacturing jobs,” Mr. Rutherford said, adding the company “does a lot of business in the United States.”

“I’m not going to say who it is and what they do,” Mr. Rutherford said, noting the project “is in the preliminary stages.”

[Read more…]