New Lease On Life

A house on Dewey Place was given a new lease on life thanks to a pair of local developers.

The project, which began last August, saw a run down rental property transform into a home fit to become an owner-occupied unit. Chautauqua County Legislator Lori Cornell lauded the completion of the northside home. She praised the efforts of developers Andrew Jarrett and Garrett Sell, who did the restoration of the home, located at 16 Dewey Place.

“I think that this project is an example of what we can achieve in private sector development,” Cornell said. “No government funding whatsoever was used to do this project. The idea is that this longtime rental property has been converted into an owner occupancy situation through private investment. Although flipping has gained some negative connotations, I think it’s something we can achieve in Jamestown in a positive light.”

Last year, Cornell was joined by Jarrett, Mayor Sam Teresi and Peter Lombardi, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation executive director to announce the reinvestment. Mancuso’s Garden Center of Dunkirk supported the effort by providing discounted shrubs for the landscaping. The model supports the JRC’s model for reinvestment in neighborhoods, whereby neighbors help ensure the properties find stable new owners.

“This particular property was chosen because it was such an eyesore,” Sell said. “This is a very nice street otherwise, and this was a chance for us to come in and restore the property and create a situation for a buyer to come in with a completely updated home.”

According to Sell, typically when investments are made in short-term properties such as this, the goal is to achieve a 20 percent rate of return on those properties. This project, which took roughly six months to complete, cost approximately $20,000 to rehab in order to get it to the point that it is now.

“We gutted the kitchen, upstairs, downstairs and both bathrooms,” Jarrett said. “We redid the garage as well, and updated all of the flooring and paint. There was quite a bit of investment on this property.”

Sell also noted that it’s important, as a developer, to make sure that the structure and roof are in good shape on a home, as those can be some of the most expensive aspects to fix.

“This property is unique that it offers so much square footage for the cost,” Sell said. “We’re actively looking and buying in the Jamestown market, and if anyone has an opportunity they’d like to present to us, we’d be more than happy to take a look at it.”