A perfect storm just might be brewing over Dansville. It seems the right people with the right ideas are investing in restoring vacant buildings on Dansville’s Main Street, some with the help of state grants, culminating in what could be a long-awaited downtown revival.


This summer, as well as last, the revitalization on Main Street has been undeniably visible.

A perfect storm just might be brewing over Dansville. It seems the right people with the right ideas are investing in restoring vacant buildings on Dansville’s Main Street, some with the help of state grants, culminating in what could be a long-awaited downtown revival.

This summer, as well as last, the revitalization on Main Street has been and will be undeniably visible.

Not only are buildings being refurbished, but also, Main Street has been adorned with temporary “Steel Blossoms” sculptures, which will be auctioned off this Saturday in Dansville’s Moose lodge.

“I think it’s a good time for Dansville,”?Greg O’Connell said while observing the construction of a second-floor apartment above the law offices of John C. Putney, Friday.

O’Connell has drawn national attention with his revitalization of Brooklyn’s Red Hook area, as well as Mt.?Morris’ Main Street.

He has bought six Dansville Main Street buildings, the most recent being the vacant building between Macfadden Coffee Co. and Trendwaves last month, which he expects to start renovating in the winter.

“The communities want to take back Main Streets...this is throughout western New York and the nation,”?O’Connell said.

He has been asked by the state’s regional president of economic development Sam Hoyt to testify in Albany about his success with Mt. Morris and how Albany can help communities renew their Main Streets.

“We’re not asking for anything that’s not already existing,” he said of Albany’s help. “We just need leadership.”

Aside from remodeling the second and third-floor apartments, the Putney building, which O’Connel owns, is also undergoing first-floor treatment with an overhaul of its office space and a revamp of its facade.

Even more renovation has gone into his three adjacent vacant buildings next to the parking lot of The Old Madrid. There, a complete overhaul from the foundation to the roof has had to be done, including new wiring, circuit breakers, and new gas and water lines.

“There’s nothing you can really save,”?he said. “For the most part, you’re bringing it down to the original construction.”

And speaking of The Old Madrid, it too, has been undergoing renovations of its own.

Jen and Bill Stringer of Conesus bought the building nearly two months ago, and have been personally renovating it with the help of Bill’s parents Bill and Connie Stringer, and his aunt and uncle Marion and Iggie Licatta.

They have been replacing the roof, cleaning and repairing indoor water damage, the outside staircase has been replaced, and the two will soon renovate the upstairs apartment to rent.

The Stringers plan on keeping the restaurant’s historic name, and plan to have it ready to open in about a month.

A tentative take-home menu has been available on the building’s front door. Menu plans so far include Spanish and pasta dishes, as well as a soup, salad and pizza buffet for lunches and a Friday fish fry, among others.

The Stringers are also reopening the restaurant’s bar and making the lounge available for private functions and civic club meetings.

“We’re excited,” Jen said about their new venture, adding that a number of people have walked by and expressed delight in seeing The Old Madrid come back to life.

Another noticeable facelift on Main Street is the former Byrne Dairy store, which has been renamed Dansville Food Mart. It is expected the business to open any day.

The owner, Hussain Tasaddaq, is the husband of Tri-County Family Medicine Doctor Ayesha Tasaddaq.

With a large vacant building in the center of town, “the image is, this place is dead; this town is dead.”

He said that opening the business will contribute to breathing some new life into Dansville.

Tassadaq said that although his business isn’t a Byrne Dairy franchise, he intends to sell Byrne Dairy products there, among others, and will reopen the ice cream window.