Saranac Lake LDC Embarks on New Fundraising Initiative

The Saranac Lake Local Development Corporation announced a major new fundraising initiative today to fast-track revitalization of commercial and mixed use properties in the Village. Through private donations and grants, the Saranac Lake Revitalization Program will provide bridge funding between the costs of comprehensive improvements to facades and other publicly-important building elements, and the costs that building owners are able to bear.

“Saranac Lake is at a watershed moment in its history,” said Paul Van Cott, announcing the Saranac Lake Revitalization Program (SLRP) in his capacity as chairman of the Saranac Lake Local Development Corporation (SLLDC). “This quintessential Adirondack village represents the best of small town America, and our coming together as a community now to invest in Saranac Lake is critical to securing its future for our children and grandchildren.”

The SLLDC is seeking benefactors from the Saranac Lake community to invest in commercial and mixed-use revitalization projects in the village. “Like most small towns, Saranac Lake faces challenges,” Van Cott said, “Small businesses struggle constantly to make ends meet. Our historic buildings are expensive to keep up and to heat. But our intrepid business owners have dreams. They want to restore historic buildings and to pursue ideas for new commercial growth and they want to invest in Saranac Lake’s future.”

“That’s where the Saranac Lake Revitalization Program comes in,” said Keith Wells, vice-chairman of the SLLDC, adding that “Through grants that the SLLDC obtains and donations from private benefactors, our plan is fill the gap between what property owners can afford and what it will take to fulfill their dreams. The SLRP seeks to create opportunities for commercial and mixed-use property owners in Saranac Lake to make substantial investments in their property.”

Through the SLRP, the SLLDC will provide matching grants for revitalization projects involving commercial and/or mixed use properties. According to Wells, “Funded projects will include improvements to the physical condition of buildings, increase the attractiveness of building facades and/or create new business opportunities. Our goals include restoring historic buildings, establishing a more vibrant connection between our commercial core and the Saranac River that flows through the heart of the village, and providing growth opportunities for all Saranac Lake businesses.”

Seven projects have been identified so far by the SLLDC, totaling nearly $600,000 in improvements for Saranac Lake. The SLLDC recently applied to the State for $250,000 under the NYS Main Street grant program for three revitalization projects. Van Cott said “One of the primary messages we heard from the State during this grant process was the preference for shovel-ready projects. They want to see projects built soon after monies are awarded,” adding “Starting right now, the SLLDC will begin working with commercial and/or mixed use property owners to have more revitalization projects ready to go as funding becomes available, whether through grants awarded to the SLLDC or private benefactors. We will be ready to go!”

Van Cott concluded that “Making an investment in our commercial and/or mixed-use properties is one of the keys to the Village’s future. These investments can expand our tax base, relieving some of the property tax burden on all Saranac Lake area residents, inside and outside of the village, and they can help our businesses thrive.”

Monies donated for the Saranac Lake Revitalization Program will be tax deductible and administered by the SLLDC. 100% of donated monies will be spent on revitalization projects. Persons or businesses interested in the Saranac Lake Revitalization Program may contact Paul Van Cott at 518-637-3612 or at

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