More Private Housing Projects Needed

Many can talk about taking pride in Jamestown.

Andrew Jarrett and Gary Sell are putting their money where their mouth is. It was nearly a year ago when the realtors stood on the steps of 16 Dewey Place to talk about their plan to buy the house, renovate it and then return it to the marketplace as an owner-occupied home. On Thursday, Jarrett and Sell deemed the project complete.

16 Dewey Place had been a run-down rental house that was an eyesore on its street only a year ago and a drain on neighboring property values. Now, it is ready to be a nice home.

“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.”

Bravo.

As we said last year, the Dewey Street project is exactly the type of neighborhood revitalization project Jamestown needs. It wasn’t paid for with public dollars or grants from a foundation. It wasn’t a dreaded “flipping” project in which an investor buys a property, puts a few hundred dollars into it and then flips it to someone who has no intent on making any further property improvements. Sell and Jarrett also didn’t invest their money into a rental property – something of which Jamestown has far too many – but into what should be an owner-occupied home.

This project has been a productive partnership between the developers, the Jamestown Development Department and the Jamestown Renaissance Corp. Mancuso’s Garden Center of Dunkirk supported the effort by providing discounted shrubs for the landscaping.

It’s unfortunate this type of private investment in neighborhoods had been lacking in Jamestown. Let’s hope this first investment isn’t the last.