AMSTERDAM & Gloversville — Amsterdam and Gloversville are both vying to be selected for an HGTV show that is looking to have a group of renovation experts help revitalize a community.
The series “Home Town Takeover” on the HGTV channel, hosted by Ben and Erin Napier is looking for a community in the U.S. that meets three criteria:
• A population of less than 40,000 people.
• Homes with “great architecture longing to be revealed.”
• A Main Street that “needs a facelift.”
The TV show has encouraged people to submit applications that include either photos or a video of their community that show places that need a makeover, like diners, coffee shops, homes or playgrounds. According to the application page, which can be found at hgtvhometowntakeover.com, applications should also include a virtual “tour around the town” and include examples of people who love the small town and explanations of why people love it.
Amsterdam Community and Economic Development Director Amanda Bearcroft said Amsterdam has contracted with South Side resident Andrew Iannotti, and his company Port Jackson Productions, to produce a short video explaining why Amsterdam should be chosen for the show.
“We’re trying to come up with the voice of what we have to offer,” she said. “We’ve been doing research on what other communities are submitting all over the country, and they always say ‘You should come here and fix our town’ — but our approach is we have all these amazing projects happening; we’re really taking off. Amsterdam is truly going to be a different city in the next two to five years and we want you to have the opportunity to help us makeover our town, because we’re already on that path. That is our approach.”
Gloversville Mayor Vince DeSantis said he thinks Gloversville, particularly with its historic downtown architecture, could be a perfect fit for the show. He said City Clerk Jennifer Mazur has taken the lead in preparing the city’s application for the show, but the city is also encouraging Gloversville citizens to make their own applications, in an attempt to deluge the producers with images of Gloversville, hoping to get their attention.
“You are able to send them up to five photographs to show that your city has significant, historic buildings that would be really beautiful and serve as a really positive change for the community,” he said. “It doesn’t cost anything to submit an application, and it doesn’t have to be the city government, anybody can apply to nominate their hometown.”
Bearcroft said she is viewing the application process for the show as a “casting call” so she will emphasize the positive, hoping to draw a contrast with some other cities applying for the show.
“We’re going to keep the video to five to seven minutes, not too long to the point that people would lose interest, and keep everything on point,” she said. “We’re going to feature a community member, a business owner, people who’ve been around to see the decline and rise of Amsterdam, a mix of everything we’re working with, and truly say who Amsterdam is.”
The application deadline for the show is Feb. 7. Applications can be made at hgtvhometowntakeover.com.