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Wayne Post
  • Residential growth spurs Farmington business

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    • What's new?
      1. Advent Automotive
      Address: 6146 Route 96, across from Wade’s Market
      About: Locally owned and operated automotive shop, relocated from 6600 Route 96 i...
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      What's new?

      1. Advent Automotive

      Address: 6146 Route 96, across from Wade’s Market

      About: Locally owned and operated automotive shop, relocated from 6600 Route 96 in Victor, made major exterior and interior upgrades to the former Beal’s Auto Service

      Status: Completed, moved in Dec. 2

      2. Family Dollar

      Address: 6186 Route 96, across from Wade’s Market

      About: Single-story 8,080-square-foot retail store

      Status: Exterior is completed, interior still under construction, target opening is January 2014

      3. FLGR Remedy

      Address: 5857 Route 96

      About: Addition of new Remedy lounge and Wolfgang Puck Express restaurant, and space for an additional 320 video lottery terminals

      Status: Completed

      4. Mattiacio Orthodontics

      Address: Corner of Hathaway Drive, Perez Drive and Route 332

      About: New 4,000-square-foot medical office building, relocating from 1386 Hathaway Drive

      Status: Exterior is completed, target opening is Jan. 2, 2014

      5. Farmington Town Court

      Address: 1023 Hook Road, next to highway complex

      About: 5000-square-foot, single-story structure with walk-out storage basement includes a courtroom that will seat 100, clerks' and judges' offices, judges' chambers, holding room and separate counselor rooms

      Status: Under construction, target opening is May 2014

      6. Generations Bank

      Address: 6130 Route 96, next to McDonald's

      About: Single-story 3,221-square-foot bank, a branch of Generations Bank of Seneca Falls

      Status: Final site plan approved in September 2013, plans need to be signed, construction starts in March 2014

      7. McDonald's upgrade

      Address: 6092 Route 96

      About: New two-point drive-through lanes, interior dining room and counter renovations, modernization of exterior, new landscaping to be completed in spring 2014

      Status: Completed

      8. Sewer upgrade

      Address: Route 96 between Wade’s Market and Sterling Optical

      About: Replacing and upgrading aging infrastructure

      Status: Under construction, target completion is December

      9. Dollar General

      Address: 5991 Route 96, west of Eddie O’Brien’s

      About: 9,397-square-foot retail store

      Status: Preliminary approval granted, target for final planning board approval is January 2014, target opening date is April 2014

      10. Home Power Systems

      Address: Corporate Drive, off of Route 332, past Thompson Medical Facility

      About: Supplier and sales of mounted portable generators is building a new single-story headquarters

      Status: Framed, working on siding and roofing, target opening is March 2014

      11. Ewing Graphics

      Address: 6101 Loomis Road

      About: Full-service graphics company providing vehicle wraps, signage, decal kits, and logo design; relocation to existing renovated structure with added second story, printing areas and truck service bay

      Status: Completed, occupied

      12. Auto Zone

      Address: Former CVS store, Farmington Plaza, corner of Routes 332 and 96

      About: Automotive parts retail, will do interior renovation and exterior modifications

      Status: Target opening date is end of January 2014

      Also: Bridges for Brain Injury

      (Not featured on map)

      Address: 5760 Duke of Gloucester Way, off Route 332

      About: Non-profit that serves individuals recovering from traumatic brain injuries and their families, relocated from Canandaigua into an existing building, interior renovations, including housing for a menagerie of wild animals used in one of the agency’s programs: Wildlife Defenders

      Status: Completed, received special use permit for menagerie, animals have moved in
  • FARMINGTON — The Farmington community did the building, and as evidenced by a flurry of construction activity along Routes 96 and 332, new businesses are indeed coming. At least 12 new or upgraded businesses are pumping energy and dollars back into the local economy, and all within the last 10-12 months.
    Farmington officials credit a forward-focused strategy of robust infrastructure and creative rezoning, coupled with a healthy swell in residential growth, for the uptick in commerce.
    “Over the past several years our residential growth has been unbelievable,” said Farmington Code Enforcement Officer Floyd Kofahl. “Now we’ve got a good population. You start with residential growth and then the businesses come.”
    “Businesses follow population,” affirmed Farmington Supervisor Ted Fafinski, “only because they need somebody to buy their stuff. We’ve had a lot of people migrate here from other places in Monroe and Ontario counties. And a growing percentage of our population is retired — they’re moving to where their kids are.”
    When houses are built, businesses start springing up around them, Fafinski said, pointing to multiple phases of the Auburn Meadows development, which brought about 200 single-family homes to the Canandaigua-Farmington Town Line Road area, and the neighboring Beaver Creek development, which brought about 50 single-family homes.
    Kofahl and Farmington Planning Board Chair Scott Makin also credited rapid growth to the west, and said as Victor reaches residential saturation, home buyers now must look outside of the immediate Victor area in places where sewer systems, water and natural gas are not available. Many opt instead to put down roots in Farmington, where services are still easily accessible.
    The magic word: infrastructure
    Although the residential component is very important, Kofahl said a foundation of robust infrastructure is an essential predecessor of commercial growth.
    “You start working on your infrastructure to be able to accept that commercial,” said Kofahl. “The residential is a big part of it, but if you aren’t prepared to have that commercial coming in, as we’re doing now, replacing that sewer line on Route 96 that was old and outdated, then who cares if they want to come in if you can’t have them?”
    Kofahl said Farmington has prepared well with a multi-million-dollar upgrade in waste water treatment a few years ago, and is “ready for new businesses to come in now.”
    “If you build the infrastructure, they will come,” agreed Farmington Director of Planning and Development Ron Brand. “We have seen that ever since we completed that $17 million improvement over at the sewage treatment plant. We’re finding that that is a very real stimulus to growth and development.”
    New life for existing businesses
    Page 2 of 3 - Kofahl said there’s an added bonus triggered by new business growth that may not be immediately apparent to passers-by.
    “There are an incredible number of existing businesses that are reinvesting in this town,” said Kofahl. “And that’s as important as well as the new growth. With new buildings like CVS and Family Dollar — that’s generated more interest in the existing businesses.”
    One example is Ewing Graphics, a Farmington staple for years, Kofahl said.
    “Now they’ve more than doubled their size and bought a new facility at 6101 Loomis Road, as well as sold the old one at 1100 Hook Road, which is now occupied by Townline Truck and Trailer,” Kofahl said, citing other recent upgrades made by McDonalds, ESL Federal Credit Union, Canandaigua Medical Group, Wade’s Market Center and Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack.
    Destination businesses
    In the past, Farmington’s main arteries have presented some challenges for hopeful new business owners.
    “Route 332 is recognized as a commuter route, and not a ‘stop and buy’ route,” said Fafinski. “They are people trying to get home; you don’t necessarily stop to shop because you’re trying to get someplace.”
    The kind of establishments that thrive on a commuter route are destination businesses, he said.
    “Mattiacio Orthodontics is a perfect example," Fafinski said. “And Prosecco’s carved themselves a niche market through quality food, service and people. It’s a very needed service.”
    Contributing factors
    A growing population and healthy infrastructure are not the only influencers when it comes time for a business owner to select a new location.
    “The new businesses are moving in for a number of reasons — one is, of course, the tax structure,” said Brand. “Farmington is a very favorable community to start a business in and to operate in. The school districts that we have, especially in the business areas, are also very favorable.”
    A $2 million grant to further develop the Auburn Trail is also now pending, Brant said. This could potentially help stimulate economic development in the community.
    In addition, the town’s comprehensive plan that is consistent with the state’s Public Policy Infrastructure Act also helps pave the way for investments that fund public utilities and infrastructure improvements, he said.
    Another growth factor has been strategic rezoning, which, though tedious, has also proven to be well worth the effort, Brand said.
    “We took a look at some of the existing zoning that we’ve had for years, and pointed out that some of that was a hindrance to economic growth and development,” said Brand. “That resulted in us rezoning that entire Centerpoint Park North site up there where Thompson Health is. It was a dinosaur to deal with — the approval processes were unbelievable. But ever since we’ve rezoned that land, we’ve seen development there.”
    Page 3 of 3 - Raising the bar
    Farmington has come a long way in establishing a “new normal” for its new businesses.
    “We’ve done battle with developers in the past,” said Brand. “They’ve challenged us on certain standards and design criteria that we’ve adopted, and it’s clear that after having established those standards, people come in and say, ‘oh, those are the rules — now we know what we’ve got to do.’”
    Putting the criteria in black and white has paid off for the community, and expedited the approval process for interested business owners, Brand said.
    “You see developers wanting to be part of it,” said Brand. “And when they make that kind of investment into the community with their buildings — even if the business goes south — the buildings and the property will turn over quicker because of the standards that have been put into place.”
    Makin said he’s been predicting that the next big area of development is going to be along the town’s two commercial corridors on Route 96 and 332.
    “I think it will go farther east as time goes on,” Makin said. “Victor is somewhat built out, and when this recession, or slow period, that we’re going through turns around, I predict that we’re going to take off. People want to be part of that.”
    Farmington has established a design guide, which has resulted in more attractive buildings, he said, adding that Planning Board members “don’t want to see things just popping out of the ground like you see along certain corridors in the area.”
    “All those factors that the town has done to get prepared for commercial growth,” said Kofahl, “now we’ve got the residents, now we’ve got the infrastructure, and it’s the place to be. It really is location, location, location.”
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