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Oswego's Old Fire Barn Development Moves Forward with Village Loan, Grant

Apr 01, 2015 09:13AM ● By Steven Jack

Work to demolish parts of the driveways leading up to the Old Fire Barn has begun at the future home of Oswego Cyclery. (Photo courtesy the Oswego Cyclery Facebook page)

The owner of Oswego Cyclery  will take advantage of economic incentives made available by the village as he works to rehab the Old Fire Barn on Main Street. 

In a 5-0 vote Tuesday night, Village Trustees approved $150,000 in revolving loan funds, $20,000 from a facade improvement grant and $14,000 for streetscape improvements to Art Black as he works to improve the long-vacant building. Black plans to move his business from across Main Street into the building’s upstairs and convert the lower level for occupancy by several health-related businesses. 

Black said Tuesday night he’s still on track for a June 1 opening of his business. 

“Everything is going well,” he said. “We’ve done some work out front and we’re working hard inside, too.”

In all, Black will spend about $750,000 on the project. He was able to secure traditional financing to purchase the property, but applied for village for revolving loan funding to help complete the demo and build-out of the inside. Black will repay the village's $150,000 over 10 years at a 3 percent interest rate, according to village documents. 

As for plans for the sidewalk, Black will remove the driveway leading to the building’s garage doors and create a sidewalk that matches the rest of the downtown streetscape. He also will spend about $70,000 total on facade improvements. 

Two other Oswego businesses have taken advantage of the village’s revolving loan fund in recent years. Emmett’s, which previously occupied the Tap House location, borrowed $360,000 from the fund and Firehouse Pizza borrowed $130,000. Village President Brian LeClercq said those loans have been successful and each business consistently has made their loan payments to the village on time.