Cobleskill considers grant for Courtyard on Main


By Patsy Nicosia

An ambitious Main Street, Cobleskill project that would create a courtyard, microbrewery, and space for businesses and apartments will be the focus of a Restore NY grant application being submitted by the Village of Cobleskill for Skidmore Brown LLC.
Dan Meaney owns the trio of buildings and a burned out lot at 549, 551, 553, and 555 Main Street, and when Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul visited Cobleskill in October, Mr. Meaney gave her an overview of his plans.
Next, the project, Courtyard on Main, will be the subject of a November 21 public hearing, 7pm at the Cobleskill Firehouse, as part of the village’s November meeting.
Information on the project is available at the Village Codes Office, 378 Mineral Springs Road, where written comments on the proposal can also be submitted.
The project calls for renovating each of the three historic brick buildings to its “beautiful, original character” with commercial space and housing in each and developing the vacant lot into a courtyard.
Additionally, a new “appropriately designed building” to the rear of the courtyard would serve as the Schoharie County Food and Beverage Center.
That last piece would be run in partnership with SUNY Cobleskill as well as local farmers, wineries, breweries, distilleries, artisans and entrepreneurs.
It would offer “tastings, classes, and outings promoting the natural beauty, rich history, and agricultural abundance of the county” with a microbrewery/distillery, classrooms, and a hands-on kitchen.
“It will function as a teaching institute for amateur chefs utilizing local products, and function as an additional space for SUNY to highlight the talent within their culinary program,” The Courtyard on Main’s proposal reads.
Listed benefits of the downtown revitalization effort include: Job creation (managing and staffing the retail spaces), agricultural opportunities, offering an outlet for locally-produced goods, the creation of tax revenue, and increased enrollment at SUNY Cobleskill.
The courtyard is intended as the project’s centerpiece with trees, lights, seating, and brick patio.
Not only would it be available for single-day rental for events like weddings, it would also be a venue for musicians, farmers, vendors, and more.
Once renovated, the first floor of the three brick buildings—which includes Coby’s, run in conjunction with SUNY Cobleskill—would feature an appetizer, dessert, and wine bar in one and a general store with bulk foods, candies, teas, and other local goods in the other.
The second and third floors would be renovated into affordable rental apartments “ideal for new professionals moving into the area or for students” and possibly, during the summer, as weekly rentals to Cooperstown Little League families.
The project also calls for the demolition of a “block shell building” at the rear on 553 Main Street, land that would be used for tenant parking.