By Jann Wiswall
Spring in Ellicottville isn’t just about daffodils and tulips. It’s also about gettin’ stuff done!
Once the snow melts, all the projects that have been hibernating through winter get started with a roar of construction vehicle engines.
Okay, maybe roads and infrastructure aren’t all that exciting, but they make possible all the other great resort town amenities and innovations that we love.
To that end, local governments are working on several major infrastructure projects throughout the area that will enhance the visitor experience for years to come.
The Town of Ellicottville has completed a large and important water project that will alleviate water pressure problems throughout the area, improve fire hydrant performance and allow expansion efforts for public safety and development. The project required installing a new water tank on the east side of Ellicottville and connecting its water lines.
With the completion of the tank, the Village of Ellicottville can begin construction of a $4.9 million wastewater treatment plant. The new plant, part of a consent order by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, involves extensive electrical upgrades, new equipment and new systems. Ultimately, the new plant will upgrade the aging system the area currently relies on and will provide for future development.
Fortunately, the village was able to obtain a zero percent loan from the state that means taxpayers will see little or no increase in their sewer bills related to this project.
While that project is not particularly noticeable to passersby, two major Ellicottville road projects are a bit more obvious.
One is the NYS Department of Transportation’s nearly completed work on a project that began last year. It involves constructing a new sidewalk along Route 242 from HoliMont to the village, improving handicapped ramps at several village intersections and improving the intersection at Route 219/Elizabeth Street/Fillmore Drive. Once completed, the project will provide for a more walkable, navigable Ellicottville.
The other is a major road project that involves rerouting Holiday Valley Road between the Tamarack Club and Valley Village. The new route will head up the hill across from Tamarack, along the top of the existing third tier parking lot and back around to the existing roadway. The existing road in front of the lodge, administration and operations buildings will be removed and replaced with more parking and a wide area with steps and landscaping leading to the main lodge. The project will improve both traffic flow and pedestrian safety year-round.
Watch carefully for detour and construction signs throughout the area as these projects proceed.
Meanwhile, at the Ellicottville Central School (ECS), significant construction progress is being made on the $9.8 million renovation project that includes a new multi-purpose gymnasium, renovation of 10 classrooms, repair of the elementary school’s ventilation systems and more. Now that school is out for the summer, workers have already begun knocking through walls to start bringing the old and new spaces together. When completed in January, ECS will be able to offer expanded arts, music and athletic programs in addition to new academic opportunities for all of its K-12 students.
Big Changes for Small Businesses
It’s been a great spring for Core Performance Fitness, located in the Ellicottville Square building on Bristol Lane off Fillmore Street in the Village. Owner Kim Duke grew out of her original space and recently moved her gym to bigger digs in the same building around back near the apartments. Duke now has space for more and larger classes and offers showers, a TRX station and plenty of room for strength training.
The space Duke vacated has been leased by Brittany Lowry who will be opening a wholesale food preparation business there. Wholesome Hideaway will specialize in dairy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free and other items that cater to people with special dietary needs or requests. Lowry expects to be able to expand her offerings beyond specialty granola bars and other items that are already being sold to retailers.
New Residential/Vacation Opportunities
The owners of the Gin Mill have purchased and are fully renovating 26-28 Washington St., the building at the corner of Washington and Monroe streets in the center of the village. This late 1800s building with an illustrious history is being restored to its original splendor. Plans call for a new restaurant on the first floor and renovated rental apartments for vacationers on the second floor.
If you’re looking to invest in the Ellicottville vacation scene, you should take a look at several new residential communities that are in various stages of planning and development in and outside the Village.
One of Ellicottville’s most historic buildings, the 1887 schoolhouse building at the corner of Jefferson and Washington streets, is being restored to its finest, as the new owners turn the interior into a 7-10 unit luxury condominium with underground parking.
Two new housing developments are being planned on Fillmore Street: the Glendale project, a townhouse community with nine buildings (18 units) on the east side, and the Sprague project, a 19-lot, single-family home subdivision, on the west side.
Just beyond the village off Poverty Hill Road, developers are creating 42 Degrees North, a 144-acre resort off Poverty Hill Road. The resort, which will feature 24 lots on 5-8 acres each, will be a four-season vacation property with a community lodge, tennis, a swimming pool, a Nordic spa, event space, designated trails and more.
And in the town of Mansfield on HoliMont property, construction of the first of the single-family homes at WestMont Ridge has begun. Plus, 18 new condominium buildings with four units each (72 total) that will be located in the Sunset area are in the design and planning stages.
Stay tuned to the Ellicottville Times via Facebook and at www.ellicottvilletimes.com for regular news and information about new projects, attractions and additions to the community.