LIBERTY, NY — For decades, the old Sullivan’s Department Store complex had been a bit of an eyesore. When folks get off Route 17E at exit 100, for years they were confronted with a broken …
LIBERTY, NY — For decades, the old Sullivan’s Department Store complex had been a bit of an eyesore. When folks get off Route 17E at exit 100, for years they were confronted with a broken up parking lot, an ever-changing parade of businesses coming and going, and an impression that some things needed to be spruced up.
On Wednesday, October 10, Sullivan BOCES convened a press conference to introduce the media to Liberty Mall’s newest additions in the form of two anchor enterprises at 15 Sullivan Ave.: the relocated local BOCES offices and conference center at one end and, at the other, the Sullivan County Visitor’s Center, a state-of-the-art facility that was designed as a highly visible gateway to the Catskills.
The projects showcased Sullivan Renaissance’s ongoing efforts to beautify the area, including Sullivan Avenue as the home of Liberty Mall, and the Sullivan County Visitor’s Association moving to new quarters.
On January 1, Sullivan BOCES signed up with S & S Waverly, LCC and, on the same date, the Sullivan County Visitors Association signed the dotted line as tenants.
Other tenants at 15 Sullivan Ave. include Castillo’s Cakery, EEA security, Go Wireless (a Verizon store) and Joy’s Nails.
The old Great American building, located at 25 Sullivan Ave., is owned by RSS Realty, LLC and is adjacent to the two new anchor endeavors; it currently lists the U.S. Alliance Credit Union and Pancho’s Family Restaurant as tenants.
For more information on how to join this expanding effort to revitalize these properties, contact Jim Donohue, site property manager, at 845/292-0642.
Present at the press briefing were Sandra Gerry, founder and chairwoman of Sullivan Renaissance, and other leaders of the county-wide beautification project; Sullivan BOCES Superintendent Robert Dufour and other representatives of the local BOCES; and Roberta Byron-Lockwood, president/CEO of Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association.
“We’re looking at Sullivan Avenue as a destination, and we need to make it attractive so new businesses will want to move into the area and bring more economic development to the county,” said Gerry.
Sullivan Renaissance, which recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary, is the brainchild of Sandra and Alan Gerry who, after visiting the small village of Lake Como in the French Alps, were so inspired by its beauty that they created Sullivan Renaissance.
“It’s the first place you see when you get off the exit, its right in front of us, and we wanted to make it an inviting place where people will feel welcome. This is [a project] where everyone can do something to add to the overall beauty of our area,” said Gerry.
According to Dufour, the goal of his organization, along with the efforts of Sullivan Renaissance, is “to revitalize the area, and together we’re going to make it happen.”
Sullivan BOCES occupies a space of approximately 13,000 square feet, while the visitor’s center has an area of about 3,500 square feet.
“We’ve had the opportunity to work with Sandra and Alan Gerry on a number of their philanthropic endeavors... and the property owner and landlord expressed willingness to work with us to make it happen. What you see are the fruits of everyone’s labor.”
Sullivan BOCES Board President Linda Berkowicz summed up the projects: “This is a great step for us.”