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New Life to Old Buildings

Thanks in part to a National Grid grant, Oswego developer Warren Shaw recently completed renovations to two downtown buildings — one at 161 W. First St., which was once occupied by Coffee Connection, and the other at 75 E. Bridge St., which once housed the 1850 House Restaurant And Antiques.

Warren Shaw’s Creative Developments of Oswego Inc. awarded $50,000 in grants from National Grid renovate former 1850 House Restaurant and building previously used by Coffee Connection

Creative Developments of Oswego Inc. was recently awarded $50,000 in economic development grants by National Grid to support its work on the Oswego community development plan.

Warren Shaw, the Oswego developer, is rehabilitating two buildings on the Route 104 corridor thanks in part to grants from National Grid’s economic development program.

Creative Developments of Oswego recently completed work at 161 W. First St. on the river’s west bank. Construction in the building previously used by Coffee Connection began prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which stalled work due to labor shortages and skyrocketing supply costs. The builder completed a total renovation of this property, replacing all windows, plumbing, electrical, walls, floors and ceilings. New HVAC systems were installed. The roof assembly was replaced as was the entire front façade. All three commercial spaces have been leased, two of which are occupied by new businesses.

“My goal has always been to restore underutilized, existing buildings that reflect the historical perspective of our community,” said Shaw, president of Creative Development of Oswego. “Restoration is difficult at best and the whole COVID situation made this even more challenging. National Grid has been instrumental in their support of these projects as well as a pleasure to work with. I greatly appreciate the professionalism of their staff as well as their commitment to helping our city be a better place to live.”

Across the Oswego River is Creative Developments of Oswego’s other project at 75 E. Bridge St. The developer acquired the 6,000-square-foot former 1850 House Restaurant And Antiques, which has sat vacant for six years, and recreated the block: 3,600-square-feet is devoted to commercial space with the remainder for residential units. Among the replacements installed were new soffits, building fascia, bricks and windows, while the dining and kitchen areas downstairs were restored with hopes of leasing the property as a restaurant.

“Supporting the renewal of existing properties ignites economic and civic growth,” said Alberto Bianchetti, regional director of customer and community engagement for National Grid. “Creative Developments’ work in the city of Oswego didn’t just restore buildings that will house new or growing businesses, it improves the aesthetics of the neighborhood and gives the people who work and live in this area another reason to be proud.”

Each project was awarded $25,000 through National Grid’s Main Street Revitalization program, which funds programs in small- to medium-sized urban centers and main street corridors that possess unrealized potential.