Hornell development could feature mixed-use space in Tribune building


Dave Militello wants to make headlines again at the former home of the Evening Tribune at 85 Canisteo St.

Militello, a Rochester native, is in the process of acquiring the property which sits prominently at the corner of Cass Street and State Route 36 in downtown Hornell.

Militello was struck by the exterior architecture of the building while working at Hornell on a construction project. A tour of the spacious interior left him even more intrigued.

“I fell in love with the building. It’s magnificent,” recalls Militello. “I thought to myself, I’ll figure out what to do with this building.”

On Monday evening, Militello presented his vision in a public hearing at City Hall before the Common Council approved a resolution to request Restore New York funds to support the project. Militello is considering a mixed-use redevelopment comprising 25-30 apartments and a cafe and patisserie in the ground floor office that once housed the Tribune press room.

The cafe and patisserie would also serve light fare like panini sandwiches. The store’s front door would be located directly across from the State Department of Transportation office building, with other offices for public administration and private businesses nearby.

“There are probably 500 to 1,000 people within walking distance who would like to have a good coffee there,” Militello said. “We might have deliveries and so on. It seems to correspond to this place. Another good thing is that the parking lot in the back is huge.

A slew of housing projects have sprung up around Maple City in recent years as Hornell’s largest employer, Alstom, has ramped up operations since winning a contract to supply Amtrak with high-speed railcars.

Restore New York grants are aimed at adaptive reuses. Hornell has previously received such grants to support housing projects at the Rockland Silk Mill and the Federation Building. Militello’s project is tentatively dubbed “Tribune Park Apartments”.

“It’s a great location just around the corner from 36. It’s very prominent with lots of traffic,” Hornell Mayor John Buckley said. “We think it can be very successful with the right project, the right idea. It’s something we’ve had our eyes on and discussed different options over the years. We are happy to finally have someone come along with the right idea and the capital to move a project forward.

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The apartments would accommodate students, young professionals, seasonal workers, seniors

The former Hornell Evening Tribune building at 85 Canisteo Street was erected in 1925 in memory of William Henry Greenhow, the Tribune's publisher from 1870 to 1918.

Militello plans to build mostly one-bedroom units in the old Tribune building, with some studios included in the design. The building provides approximately 25,000 square feet of space for development, Militello said.

He plans to target local college students, young professionals and temporary workers who come to the area for projects like building wind turbines, as well as retired residents looking to downsize. The cost of the monthly rent remains to be determined.

Apartments are planned on the upper floor which once housed offices, as well as the large area where the printing operations were used to produce the daily editions of the Evening Tribune. Militello said this section of the building is large enough to accommodate two-story lofts with a kitchen, dining room, and living room downstairs, and a bedroom, bathroom, and walk-in closet downstairs. the upper floor. A laundry room and a training center are planned in a part of the building devoid of windows.

The back of the old Hornell Evening Tribune building at 85 Canisteo Street.

Militello plans to expose as much of the original construction of the building as possible, giving it the industrial chic style popular with the modern redevelopment of historic buildings. The developers of The Lofts at the Rockland Silk Mill took a similar approach.

“All vestiges of modernization will disappear. I want everything that I can possibly exhibit 100 years ago to be exhibited,” Militello said. “I’m not just looking to give people a place to live. I want to give people a place to live that they will love and appreciate, that they will respect and where they will be proud to live. It’s my aim. It’s not just about giving them any type of flat, but giving them something unique – boutique style, if you want to call it that.

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Next steps include grant applications, highlighting the building’s history

The former Hornell Evening Tribune building at 85 Canisteo Street was erected in 1925 in memory of William Henry Greenhow, the Tribune's publisher from 1870 to 1918.

One of Militello’s first goals is to have the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a designation that would open the door to additional grant opportunities.

“My argument is, how much more historic can a building be than a building that has written about history?” says Militello. “It also has all the beautiful architecture. It is a 100 year old building that has marked the history of the last 100 years.

The main part of the building was erected in 1925 in memory of William Henry Greenhow, the publisher of the Tribune from 1870 to 1918. The building housed the Evening Tribune until 2013 when the newspaper’s offices were moved to Broadway Mall. Gannett, the Tribune’s parent company, then sold the building.

Militello plans to hang poster-sized cover pages of notable past editions of The Tribune throughout the cafe and apartment section hallways.

The old Hornell Evening Tribune building was erected in 1925 in memory of William Henry Greenhow, the Tribune's publisher from 1870 to 1918. The newspaper was founded in 1851.

Militello said the first step is to perform an environmental scan to determine if the printing operation left any contaminants on site. If so, mitigation efforts would move to the top of the priority list before the renovation project could proceed.

Grants could also take time to obtain, but Militello said he was determined to see the project through. He expects to close the property in the coming weeks, allowing interior cleanup efforts to begin shortly thereafter.

“I should be sitting on the banks with a pina colada, but there’s no way I can get up every morning and not have something substantial to do,” he said.

Chris Potter can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @ChrisPotter413. To get unlimited access to the latest news, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.


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