The locals lament the Newark of old, when this village — the commercial center of Wayne County — was home to blocks of stately two- and three-story buildings, most built in the 1800s.
Those days, and those buildings, are mostly gone, victims of an ill-fated urban renewal effort four decades ago that left the village of about 9,300 without a core.
Mike Colacino said you can’t change the past, but there’s no reason why the village can’t embrace the future.
With a $10.2 million South Main Street reconstruction project underway, the village being considered for a $10 million piece of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative pie and a host of new businesses, things are looking up for the central business district.
Colacino — a retired Canandaigua police officer, Newark native and local developer who also works full time for Lyons National Bank — wants to be part of that renaissance.
In January, he purchased two one-story buildings on South Main Street downtown and has begun to make improvements, including adding his own business to the mix — a brightly colored space called Raspberry’s Downtown Ice Cream.
“This space here was my first one to tackle,” said Colacino, noting it had been vacant for at least two years before he put the ice cream shop at 104 S. Main St.