UTICA, N.Y. – The state awarded the owners of Primo Property Management $800,000 to aid in the redevelopment of the former Oneida National Bank building in downtown Utica.
The owners of Primo Property Management, which also owns Ocean Blue Restaurant and Oyster Bar in the newly renovated Landmarc building in downtown Utica, announced on New Year’s Eve they would be opening a second restaurant.
"Next year we're opening a second restaurant. Right up the street. We plan on having a ‘friends and family’ party. All of you are invited to a party,” owner Francis Pezzolanella said to a packed crowd at Ocean Blue’s annual New Year’s Eve party.
That second restaurant will be located in the former Oneida National Bank building on Genesee Street in downtown Utica.
Empire State Development announced on Wednesday that the state agency awarded Primo Property Management $800,000 to be used to redevelop the former bank.
In the press release Pezzolanella said the project will create 30 construction jobs, 60 new permanent jobs at completion. He said the entire project is expected to cost $5.5 million.
“We would like to thank Empire State Development, the city of Utica and the Bank of Utica along with the community for our years of support as we push for the growth and continued revitalization of our downtown,” Pezzolanella said. “We are excited for not only our upcoming project, but the many current and future projects bringing renewal to our city’s core.”
The five-story building, which currently sits vacant, will be transformed into a mixed-use facility. The goal is house space providing food service, retail, office, commercial, and manufacturing capabilities.
"A vibrant downtown is key to a city's quality of life and economic health. By restoring this iconic property, we are preserving the distinct character of the city and bringing new energy and opportunities into downtown Utica," Empire State Development President and CEO Howard Zemsky said.
The company’s goal is to be operational by the end of this year, just in time for their annual New Year’s Eve bash, which they plan to move to their new restaurant.