Officials hope co-op move helps revitalize Gloversville downtown

The old maple floors should be gleaming soon as the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market continues r


The old maple floors should be gleaming soon as the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market continues remodeling the former Open Window Cafe and prepares to move in sometime in May.

The synthetic floors installed by the previous owners have been removed and contractors are busy.

Manager Chris Curro said Monday the timetable for moving across the street into the much larger space will depend on a number of variables, including the ability of the building’s new owner, Gloversville Economic Development Corp., to complete plumbing and roof repairs.

Glove EDC bought the building last month from the former owners for $1. The deal, controlled by NBT Bank, required EDC to pay back property taxes and other fees — about $25,000 in total.

Curro was excited Monday as he discussed the co-op’s plan to expand operations with a deli, cafe’ and bakery.

The co-op opened two years ago in a small storefront about 50 yards father north on North Main Street.

Curro said the planned format will also support a symbiotic relationship with a new artists’ co-op that will exhibit work and perform on the premises.

“We’re doing what should be done for a beautiful space, a beautiful building,” Curro said, discussing the significant investment the co-op is sinking into the former Open Window.

While co-op officials are concentrating on the move and expanding operations, Curro said there is an awareness that success in what is regarded as the best storefront on North Main may have a ripple effect in a declining business district.

“We’re hoping it’s the spark that rejuvenates interest in downtown,” he said. “We’re going to give everybody a reason to come downtown.”

Wally Hart, the EDC secretary and Chamber of Commerce president, said he is optimistic the co-op will generate increased traffic in the business district.

Citing the positive effect the co-op has already had in the downtown area, Hart said, increased traffic “may inspire other entrepreneurs” to open businesses in the neighborhood.

Hart said EDC has estimates for the roof repair, but is still in the process of evaluating the extent of work necessary to address the problems. Plumbing leaks are still being discovered, he said.

Pipes burst during late January when temperatures dropped below zero for an extended period.

Hart said EDC has partnered on the project with Crossroads Incubator Corp., the real estate arm of the Fulton County Economic Development Corp. CIC developed the former Johnstown Hotel and the Estee Commons apartment complex.

The CIC staff, Hart said, is evaluating the necessary repair and remodeling costs.

Hart said while final estimates are not yet available, it is apparent the Gloversville EDC will qualify for funding from the North Main Street grant awarded by the state. That program could provide up to $50,000 for interior work and up to $20,000 for facade improvements, Hart said.

Co-op officials have commissioned new signs, which must be approved by the Historic District Review Board.

Volunteers are lining up to help with the move.

Curro is already imaging how nice it’s going to be across the street.

“It’s going to smell wonderful,” he said, sharing his anticipation of roasting coffee beans and baking bread.

Categories: Schenectady County

Leave a Reply