Renaissance Block Challenge Area Announced for 2019

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Article Contributed by
Jamestown Renaissance Corporation

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) would like to announce the Allen Park/UPMC Chautauqua WCA area as the first selection of the Jamestown Renaissance Block Challenge 2.0 target area for 2019.

A Housing Market Analysis and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy study was performed by czb LLC. Producers of the housing report are the same urban planning and community development consultants who created the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan report in 2010, which led to the start of the Renaissance Block Challenge.

This study suggests that city officials focus on four areas of the city for housing revitalization. The four areas include the north side of the city around Lakeview Avenue area and North Main Street; the west side around Fairmount, Hall and Livingston avenues; the south side around Hazeltine/Forest avenues; and the south–east side around Allen Park and UPMC Chautauqua WCA along Foote Avenue.

“These four areas have been identified as having the most potential to maintain strong or improving markets where they exist and to transform general attitudes about the city and its neighborhoods,” said Mary Maxwell, Neighborhood Project Manager. “These areas sit in transitional zones between strong and weak areas where the RBC will pay off.

2019 Target Area

After many discussions with community partners, including Chautauqua Opportunities (COI) Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC), the Land Bank of Chautauqua County, the City of Jamestown, and local foundations, the decision for the 2019 target area has been decided. The target area chosen is the south eastside area around Allen Park and UPMC Chautauqua WCA along Foote Avenue.

“Forming partnerships will be the key,” said Randy Sweeney, JRC Neighborhood Committee Chair. “It will be important for JRC officials to continue working with community partners when it comes to implementing the RBC 2.0 housing rehabilitation program.”

Len Faulk, JRC board member and former co–president of the JRC board, said the study suggests that $285,000 should be invested during the next five years in the Allen Park and UPMC Chautauqua area, which, according to the study, is on the outskirts of some of the best housing in the city. He said the czb study also suggests that homeowners in this area of the city have deferred funds that could go toward housing maintenance. He added JRC officials are still working on how to implement the new Renaissance Block Challenge program.

“We need to find a creative way to do it,” he said. “The city will only survive if the middle–market housing survives.”

Information and applications for the new program will be advertised soon.

The Renaissance Block Challenge encourages groups of neighbors to collaborate on exterior improvements to their properties in order to boost confidence in Jamestown’s neighborhoods and inspire others to reinvest.

Since 2011, 45 neighborhoods have participated in JRC’s Renaissance Block Challenge, with almost 450 property owners investing more than $1.3 million in exterior improvements and repairs. This year will be the last for the current format of the Renaissance Block Challenge. For more information, contact Mary Maxwell at (716) 489–3493.