Ariel view of Factory

By Mark Maroney

The Pajama Factory, a city-based creative incubator used by the artistic community, recently received a $2 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant for additional proposed construction.

Owner Mark Winkelman proposes up to a $4.5 million repurposing of the factory at 1307 Park Ave. with a restaurant, which will have rooftop dining, additional paved parking spaces, lofts for work/living and a rain garden to help with stormwater runoff.

Over the past decade or so, the factory has provided work space for artists in a variety of formats. There is also a small coffee shop at the lower level, Way Cool Beans — a gathering spot to have a cup of java and chat with some friends or listen to music. Winkelman said the restaurant will have a similar “vibe.”

The grant was awarded by the State Office of Budget as a way to repurpose the facility into more of a mixed-use approach.

He would like to see initial construction begin in winter. For tax credit purposes, the project is to be done in two years.

“I believe that one of the reasons the Pajama Factory was selected is because we have consistently expressed a vision for broad economic development with the Factory playing a central and driving role in that vision,” Winkelman said.

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