By CRAIG FREILICH
CANTON – Mayor Mary Ann Ashley says she hopes the owner of a long-vacant building in the village will accept her invitation to attend a Board of Trustees meeting next month.
Ashley said she will send a letter of invitation to Garry Cohen of New York City, who owns most of what has been called the Jubilee Plaza behind the municipal building, in hopes of finding a tenant for the Jubilee building, which has been vacant since it closed in 2000.
Several attempts have been made over the years to find a way for Cohen to get a viable paying tenant into the space, to no avail.
Ashley herself has visited Cohen in New York City, as a side trip during visits to her son there, to see what she could do to help Cohen with the property.
Ashley said he was interested in a Restore NY grant such as the one used to remake the old bowling alley into Rushton Place condos and business space, but she said she didn’t believe those were available anymore, and the state Empire State development web page confirms that.
“I’m not sure what grants are out there. I think he’s looking for an opportunity for a partnership to develop Jubilee,” Ashley said.
Ashley said the board is canvassing for an economic developer for the village, who would be in a better position to find a grant program that might fit Cohen’s needs.
“We’ll do our best, but it’s really the business owner’s responsibility to move forward on the space,” she said.
“I believe he wants to do the right thing,” Ashley said “I’m not giving up.”