HUDSON FALLS — William Nikas has unveiled his revised plans for the Masonic Temple in Hudson Falls to include space for local artisans, meetings and offices for substance abuse educators.
Nikas bought the 214 Main St. building in 2015 for $138,000 and has been working to redevelop it into what he is calling the “Sandy Hill Arts Center.”
The third and fourth floors cannot be renovated because of the building’s historic status, according to Nikas. He is planning to use that space for artisans and is talking to potential tenants, including a wood sculptor and a blacksmith.
“That building is just well suited for it. It’s not suited for anything else,” he said at a meeting Wednesday of the Warren-Washington Industrial Development Agency’s Executive Committee.
Nikas said this would be a compatible use to the Strand Theater next door.
“The whole desire of the community is to bring in the arts,” he said.
The fifth floor was used as an event room for Masons. It has a little stage in front but is mostly wide open.
“That could accommodate weddings, theater, music — a variety of different events that would bring people downtown,” he said.
For the second floor, Nikas said he has secured a tenant in the Council for Prevention, which now operates out of space at 10 Lacrosse St.
“They’re required to downsize because their funding has been cut,” he said.
Their rental income will provide needed revenue to make the project almost break even, Nikas said.
Council for Prevention Executive Director Amanda West said Friday the organization’s lease at its current location is up at the end of February, and it is looking for less expensive office space.
She confirmed the state has cut funding for the council’s opioid diversion program for 18- to 30-year-olds.
“The program will still exist, but we’re just going to be doing more with less,” she said.
The ground floor of the building is now home to a clothing boutique and art gallery. The rear half of the first floor is designed to accommodate a restaurant.
Nikas plans to put an elevator in the building.
The project has received a Restore NY grant of $500,000 toward the renovation cost.
Nikas was appearing before the IDA to seek a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement. He said the redevelopment would benefit the village’s downtown, and it would be difficult to break even on the project if the building’s assessment increased because of the renovation.
Nikas said it is an important building in the village and cannot be allowed to become an eyesore.
“It swallowed up two prior owners because it’s not cost-effective to renovate it unless you want to take a loss,” he said.
The IDA was trying to determine if this project would meet the criteria for a payment in lieu of taxes agreement, and the board encouraged him to put in a formal application.
“It’s an exciting project,” said board member Craig Leggett, supervisor for the town of Chester.
The full Warren-Washington IDA Board will meet at 4 p.m. Monday at the Warren County Municipal Center.