Springville Center for the Arts acquires Main Street property for new arts cafe
“The project will save a historic, downtown building that likely would have faced demolition,” said SCA Director Seth Wochensky. “The interior of the building is completely destroyed, with a large portion of the roof sitting in the basement.”
A commercial appraisal of the building valued it at $1. Through the cooperation of the village of Springville, Eric County and New York state, the center was able to remove back taxes totaling more than $150,000.
The building’s rehabilitation will cost more than $500,000. “Two significant donations of labor encouraged the project to move forward in its early stages,” Wochensky said. “Jay Biscup of Seneca Steel Erectors donated the installation of all necessary steel to rebuild the interior and Jay Braymiller donated all the architectural design services.
“Community support and labor will be an essential component of the project. Additional donations have been received from Alan Chamberlin of Signature A Design, Alek Wochensky of EKL Pro, Bryan Cirbus of Cirbus Contracting and Kevin Buncy of Painting Pro,” Wochensky said.
“The project sounded like an impossibility from the start,” he continued. “But, as we worked at it, things began to fall into place and, with these donations, the project really became a reality. We can leverage economic development and historic preservation grants to bring this building back and, in the process, we hope to have a major positive impact on the downtown community.”
The center began looking at adding a Main Street presence a year ago and staff members said they hope that the project moves along at a rapid time frame. “The next phase of rehabilitation work at our church facility at 37 North Buffalo is scheduled to begin the first of the year,” Wochensky said. “We expect to have this café project eclipse that work. We have little choice but to move fast, due to the interior condition.” The center signed a development agreement with the village of Springville, spelling out a timetable, as part of the transfer of the property.
Wochensky explained the arrangement between Art’s Café and Springville Center for the Arts. “We’ve used a cutting edge business structure that allows us to create a cafe where 100 percent of the proceeds return to the local economy in the form of kids’ art classes, theater productions and other arts programming,” Wochensky said.
“Every time someone buys a coffee at Arts Café, they will be supporting the non-profit mission of the arts center,” he added.
Further information about the SCA’s Main Street project as it continues, its progress and information about how the community can be involved will be posted at www.facebook.com/springvilleartscafe.