First Penn Yan DRI project complete

John Christensen
The Chronicle-Express

PENN YAN — With the official ribbon cutting for Blue Heron Bakery Nov. 19, The Finger Lakes Economic Development Center celebrated the first project completed in Penn Yan’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

At the ribbon cutting of Blue Heron Bakery at The Landing in Penn Yan were FLEDC Economic Development Specialist Mike Lipari, Rev. Dan Burner of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, building owner Ray Spencer, baker Ryan Lacourse, Blue Heron owners Catherine Graves and Todd Hatch, building owner Sandy Spencer, and Penn Yan Mayor Leigh MacKerchar.

According to Mike Lipari of FLEDC, building owners Ray & Sandy Spencer still have one invoice and a canceled check to include in their proof of expenditure for it to then be submitted to the state for reimbursement of $63,500 as a grant toward the project costs. One submitted, Lipari expects reimbursement to arrive in six weeks or so.

The Spencers called Blue Heron Bakery the “final piece” of their total renovation of what was one a vacant warehouse, which now houses their business, Water Street Wines & Spirits, their home on the upper floors, while the bakery joins Union Block Italian Bistro and Shoreline Rentals on the lower level facing the Keuka Outlet.

“It’s good to see a project get to full completion during COVID-19 days,” says FLEDC CEO Steve Griffin. Other projects that have made good progress are the Laurentide Brewery and Inn, which Lipari says is moving forward under a three-phase reimbursement plan with the state; and the Building Improvement Fund, which had awarded several projects preliminarily awaiting environmental and historical approvals from the state.