National Grid Investment Boosts Watertown Public Square Redevelopment

By Virginia Limmiatis

National Grid and S&J Properties recently announced a $50,000 Main Street Revitalization Program incentive to help offset construction costs associated with the Court Street Commons Redevelopment in the City of Watertown’s Public Square Historic District. The vacant buildings at 138, 168 and 170 Court St. will be renovated into mixed-use facilities with a blend of retail, commercial, and market-rate residential.

Jerry Haenlin, National Grid Community & Customer Management and Joyce Bradley, S&J Properties of Watertown, LLC

“We are thrilled to be a part of the revitalization of Watertown’s Public Square Historic District,” said Alberto Bianchetti, National Grid Central New York Regional Executive. “National Grid is dedicated to the redevelopment of business districts and commercial corridors in Northern New York, and through our Main Street Revitalization Program, we are pleased to support locally owned businesses that contribute to the economic growth of the region.”

A total $500,000 in project costs for the estimated 28,300 square foot renovations is expected to attract commercial investments, improve housing stock, and revitalize the downtown core.

“The National Grid grant came at just the right time and was a great help to us in our ability to move forward with this project,” said Steve Bradley, S&J Properties of Watertown. “We are deeply appreciative of the company’s support to re-establish the Public Square as a vibrant historic district and a source of pride for the community. Overall, this project carries downtown Watertown’s path of progress forward in a cohesive, consistent, and transformational manner.”

Bradley noted that S&J Properties is among the area’s most successful downtown developers, helping to set the standard on transforming the Public Square. “With our extensive experience on rehabilitating downtown properties, S&J is eager to continue the momentum on the remaining key Public Square spaces.”

Since the inception of National Grid’s Main Street Revitalization Program in 2003, the company has approved more than 280 projects totaling more than $18 million in funding across upstate New York to stimulate investment in the rehabilitation of vacant buildings in downtowns, on Main Streets and in commercial mixed-use corridors in upstate New York communities.

The National Grid Main Street Revitalization program and suite of Shovel Ready economic development programs are used extensively in both small and large communities across the National Grid service area. In the past year, 1,300 projects were completed across upstate New York totaling more than $103 million in grant funding, creating or retaining an estimated 47,000 jobs.

The Main Street Revitalization Program provides matching grants to businesses, developers or not-for-profits undertaking efforts to revitalize critical Main Streets and commercial corridors. The program is designed to help communities promote “smart growth” and private-sector investment in central business districts and commercial corridors to help their competitive viability, attract investment and capitalize on their distinct development potential.

National Grid Economic Development staff work with municipalities, local economic development organizations, chambers of commerce and private developers to identify eligible projects.

For more information on the program and other eligibility requirements, please visit www.shovelready.com.