By working to restore the City of Jamestown as an important center of community activity, Gebbie hopes to positively impact the local economy and quality of life for residents of the city and the region. Redevelopment of the city can also help to reduce sprawl and preserve the integrity of surrounding landscapes that contribute to Chautauqua County's identity as a beautiful place to visit and live.
- Spectacular Ice Arena and so much more…
- Jamestown up Close and Wonderful -- City brand on the move.
- CAP program -- Connecting talent with jobs.
- Gateway Station -- Back on track.
Jamestown Center City Development Corporation
The Gebbie Foundation established the Jamestown Center City Development Corporation (JCCDC) in 2000 as a mechanism by which to finance, build, and now operate the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, located on the West Side of Jamestown. Please click here for a history of the project. Gebbie investments enable the Arena to serve the community as a bustling multi-purpose building that offers even more than state-of-the-art ice hockey and figure skating facilities. The building houses a golf simulator, walking track, meeting rooms, exercise rooms, Sully’s Restaurant & Bar, and food service for events. Recently, Gebbie Foundation support made possible the purchase of artificial turf that can be placed on one of the two rinks. Turf expands the Arena’s ability to host teams and events in such sports as soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and football. Professional events such as Kenny Rogers, Boyz II Men, and the Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular all can be accommodated in the world-class facility. The Arena is also home to the Southern Tier Express, a North American Hockey League (NAHL) team with players from all over the globe.
Chautauqua Advancement Project (CAP)
Community development includes the need to curb the consistent and debilitating out-migration of youth and talent. In 2009, the Gebbie Foundation partnered with the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) to pioneer a new form of internship program that targeted recent college graduates. The program called the Chautauqua Advancement Project (CAP) seeks out and links recent college graduates with area businesses offering a seven-week paid internship. In addition to the work experience, interns meet on Fridays for employment coaching and networking with each other. Since the beginning of the program, 14 out of 24, or nearly 60% of the participants, are currently working and living in the Jamestown area.
Jamestown Up Close and Wonderful
Matching funds from the Gebbie Foundation leveraged a grant from the New York State Department of State to the City of Jamestown to develop a Brand Management Plan, Business Mix Study and a city tourism website. North Star Destination Strategies conducted a branding analysis and developed the Jamestown BrandPrint™ Final Report in September 2010. With input from the community, the consultants recommended a flexible tagline: Jamestown Up Close and Wonderful. The Gebbie Foundation supported the early implementation of the brand while recognizing that to make the Jamestown Up Close recognizable nationally, every person in the area needs to be a “brand manager”.
Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency
Gebbie’s participation in public-private partnerships helps to effectively leverage funds to spur revitalization efforts in the city. JURA, an independent corporate governmental unit of the City of Jamestown, and its designated program administrator the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC), are two of the partners who work with the Foundation to transform Jamestown’s downtown and neighborhoods back into vital and economically-sound elements of the city. With these partnerships, Gebbie Foundation investments helped to realize the renovation of over 30 downtown building facades, revitalization of alleyways, improvement of public access to the Chadakoin River, the renovation of the Gateway Station and the successful completion of the Wellman Apartments project.
Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF)
In 1978 the Gebbie Foundation awarded a $300,000 seed grant to found the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Now with nearly $65 million dollars, CRCF is a significant asset to the people and organizations of the area providing millions of dollars in grants and scholarships back to the community. However, many of the foundation’s resources are restricted designated funds. As CRCF is a valued partner in community revitalization efforts, the Gebbie Foundation continues its investment in CRCF by awarding a $35,000 matching grant each year for three years (2013-1015) to assist in building its unrestricted fund balance.
The former Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Station, located on Second Street in Jamestown and in the center of millions of dollars of revitalization efforts, was in need of millions of dollars itself to restore its deteriorated condition back to its status as a building of distinction. After nearly a decade of gathering a package of financial resources, the restoration project remained short of its goal. The Gebbie Foundation considered the structure to be an important building block in the overall plan of downtown revitalization and decided to invest nearly $1 million dollars to allow the project to go forward. On October 26, 2012 the official ribbon-cutting for the newly renovated Gateway Station occurred.
Please click above to view a YouTube video produced by the Robert H. Jackson Center of the event. The Foundation continues its support through investing in operating and management funds while appropriate tenants for the two wings of the station are secured.
Lucy – Desi Center for Comedy
Current leadership of the Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy designed a four-pillar long-term plan that entails the further development of the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, classes and seminars in the comedic arts, a comedy film festival and the establishment of a comedy hall of fame. It is the last pillar that ties in well with the Jamestown Urban Design Plan as the plan recommends the “creation of a major tourism destination within the downtown”. The Gebbie Foundation supported a feasibility study for the creation of a comedy center. Partially based on its findings, the enthusiastic support of the Arnaz family, and interest from other potential funding partners, the Foundation made an investment to support further development of a comprehensive plan for the project.