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…]

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…]

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