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Big Batavia parking lot to get needed upgrade

City and businessman Marconi collaborate on project

BATAVIA – A large downtown Batavia parking lot is about to receive much needed repairs and resurfacing.

The lot has about 80 vehicle parking spaces and is located directly behind the row of established commercial buildings on the south side of East Wilson Street’s first block.

The sprawling parking area, with two entryways from South River Street (Route 25) on the east and the Fox River bicycle trail on the west, is technically two lots, one owned by the city of Batavia and the other by businessman Michael Marconi.

The project is intended, at least in part, to help attract a new business to the large bank building owned by Marconi at 18 E. Wilson St., which was recently vacated by the First State Bank of Batavia.

Marconi also owns the building at 10 E. Wilson Street, as well as two commercial buildings on the south side of the parking lot along South River Street, all served by the parking area.

The Batavia City Council on Oct. 7 authorized $24,658 for its share of the project, covering the $15,026 square feet of parking area it owns.

Marconi will pay $33,743 for work on the 19,248-square-foot rectangular portion he owns, which is closest to South River.

The city’s part of the parking lot is in a giant ‘L’ shape, the longer strip running next to the bike trail and the shorter leg directly behind a section of the commercial buildings along East Wilson.

The parking lot is in poor condition, marked by deep pot holes and crumbling asphalt.

Marconi, who secured construction bids for the project, said the top two inches of the pavement surface will be milled down before resurfacing. The large pot holes will be dug out and repaired.

First State Bank, which remains in business in Batavia with a branch at 1978 W. Wilson St., closed its downtown facility at the end of August.

Marconi is hoping that the parking lot upgrade will help attract a new business to the space.

“I think everybody realizes how important that building is to the downtown,” Marconi said.

Marconi said he believes it is unlikely that another bank will be interested in the space.

Nevertheless, the two drive-through lanes at the back of the bank building will remain in place for the time being, he said, in case a bank does decide to lease the space.

Marconi said it is more likely that a restaurant or retail store will end up occupying the building.

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