UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The recipients of Utica’s Business Assistance Fund, which was first announced last summer, are finally being revealed.

In total, Utica will invest $535,000 in a total of 21 local businesses. The projects throughout the city are said to increase commercial and residential options in downtown as a whole. 

Recipients Include:

Amount Project DescriptionRecipient
$56,709165 Genesee St. (enhance commercial space and ass residential)Enessa Carbone
$50,855104 Genesee St. (commercial renovations and building upgrades)Christopher Salatino
$26,700238 Genesee St. (complete rehabilitation)Travis McNeil
$56,709310 Broad St. (renovate last two commercial spaces)Gary Thurston
$48,05964-73 Genesee St. (building renovation)Joe Gehm
$12,602131 Genesee St. (creation of common corridor to link residential units)Anthony Onernesser
$48,059600 State St. (assist completion of renovation)Joe Gehm
$31,924108-116 Bleecker St. (upgrades for residential units)Dominic Steppello
$27,632266 Genesee St. (renovate basement into office space)Preston MacDiarmid
$26,700315-317 Court St. (replace window glass)Michael Pezzolanella
$23,362200 Genesee St. (upgrade signage and revamp interior)Frank Vita
$26,70013 Hopper Street (turn second floor into usable commercial space)Dave Giglio
$26,70015-17 Hopper St. (add vinyl siding, replace windows and add signage)Neighborhood Center
$12,816216 Genesee St. (front door restoration with custom gate)Isobel Bliss
$6,00098 Genesee St. (add HEPA filter system)Vincent Ficci
$15,000106 Genesee St. (variety of upgrades incl. expanded outdoor seating) Sharen Sofer
$15,00094 Genesee St. (new four-season awning and other upgrades)Christian Talgo
$10,000106 Genesee St. (new awning, repair brick exterior)Christian Talgo
$15,000108 First St. (masonry restoration)Michael Claire
$14,000201 Bleecker St. (upgrade to agency computersJennifer Van Wagner
$15,0001301-1305 Oneida Street (gym equipment, paint and HVAC)Alice & Bob Donnelly

Mayor Palmieri made the announcement at 238 Genesee Street, which is just one example of an iconic city building that is being restored to facilitate a new commercial tenant.

The new owner of 238 Genesee Street, Travis McNeil, says this project should be done very shortly.

“Once we get with the city and we’ve met with all of the review boards and met all the guidelines, I plan on getting going, and hopefully within three months of starting, it will be complete,” said McNeil.

McNeil also explained how he’ll work to keep the building as close to the original façade as possible, adding that this was part of a vision created back in 2021.

“The year before we were downtown for the Bank of Utica’s New Year celebration, and I remember standing in the street, and we looked over at this building and I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if we own that building, and each year we put up lights and decorations so that during the celebration, that’s what you saw?” explained McNeil.

And while it has been announced that there is a tenant in talks to rent the building, it’s not yet being announced what the business will be.

“Let me just say this, as a little caveat,” said Mayor Robert Palmieri, “It’s going to be something that we haven’t seen in downtown in a long time.”

Be sure to keep up with Eyewitness News for the latest developments.