AUBURN | Downtown Auburn is in the midst of a revitalization — a good deal of which can be traced back to the R&M Real Estate Group.
Over the past few years, R&M, owned and operated by the Bartolotta family, has transformed a few of the city's dilapidated, historic structures into apartments, restaurants and shops.
And during the January edition of the monthly Wednesday Morning Roundtable, Joe Bartolotta — who runs R&M with his father, Matteo Bartolotta, and his brother, Anthony Bartolotta — updated attendees on where his company plans to next set its renovating sights.
The Bartolottas' ventures have blossomed since the family opened Logan Park Lofts at the refurbished Wegman Piano Factory in 2010.
U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei set up shop inside a partially renovated 24 State St., the old John Stevens building that once served as an armory. A.T. Walley & Co., a new Genesee Street bar with a vintage feel, starting pouring drinks. And Osteria Salina, a State Street restaurant with an eclectic edible selection, fired up its ovens.
"We're pretty much done with the block of State Street between Genesee and Dill," Bartolotta said, reflecting on the near-completion of his company's portion of the creative corridor. "It's got more of a metropolitan feel, so it's going in the direction we had hoped."
But there's much more on the R&M Real Estate Group's agenda.
Bartolotta said his family is focusing its attention on a section of Auburn it refers to as the "East Hill" — a section of East Genesee Street between John Street and Seminary Avenue where they plan to create more loft-style apartments and add more storefronts.
Bartolotta said, R&M isn't the only developer who see potential in Auburn, pointing to Plaza of the Arts and The Lofts at Brister Mills. And with luck, he said more people will follow suit.
"Hopefully we can continue to build on what's been started," Bartolotta said. "I think that all things considered, Auburn has a bright future."
Connie Reilley, executive director of the Downtown Business Improvement District, agreed.
"The potential is here," she said, "and I have every confidence that it will happen."