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The Centertown Social Club
This business plan has been developed as a planning, operating and policy guide for the owners and management team of Centertown Social Club that will be located at Clemens Square in the heart of Downtown Elmira. This document will also serve as the financing proposal for consideration by various financial institutions and grant funding agencies. Jim Capriotti, principal member of Capriotti Properties, Clemens Square LLC, and founding partner in the Centertown Social Club (hereinafter “Club”) will establish an operating agreement for the club to include additional partners and a skilled and experienced management team consisting of a General Manager, Assistant General Manager, Managing Chef for food product selection and production and Gaming staff for entertainment offerings. The Club will be modeled after other highly successful social clubs that have paired premium alcoholic beverage options with high-quality food and entertainment in an open-air brewery environment. Product choices and entertainment will be selected to attract both the expanding downtown residential base as well as regional and traveling customers attracted to the Finger Lakes Region. Entertainment selections will be offered to reach across various demographic groups utilizing both the indoor and outdoor areas that will be constructed to take advantage of the recently renovated Clemens Square public gathering space that will include a site control operating agreement between the club and the City of Elmira.
Downtown Social Club Description-
The Club will be located at 1-8 Clemens Square, Elmira, New York. This location is approximately 13,000 square feet as presented on the attached floor plan with the club occupying approximately 60% of the available indoor space (Exhibit “A”). An additional outdoor uncovered roof top area will be approximately 1500 square feet with an outdoor covered area of 1000 square feet that will be available for dining and entertainment viewing in the public square (Exhibit “B”). One quarter of the remaining space at the property is currently under lease to Elmira Co-Works a complimentary business to the activities at the club. The property location of the club is unique as it abuts an 800-vehicle parking garage and fronts the public square and city owned parking area with 30 parking spaces for street level customer parking. The property is a short walk to public parks and the Chemung River and sits in the middle of the block between Clemens Center Performing Arts with its annual headline Broadway series and the First Arena Sports Complex that offers minor league hockey, a newly formed lacrosse league and a variety of shows throughout the year. Both established regional entertainment venues offer pre and post event opportunities throughout the calendar year for the club and magnify the potential year-round draw to the downtown business district from current residents and visitors to the Finger Lakes Region. The club will provide an exciting and fun atmosphere in the heart of Downtown Elmira offering golf simulators, shuffleboard, cornhole, Jenga, pool, darts and other indoor games as well as live music and festivals complimented by an extensive seasonal offering of New York State craft beers and wines as a tribute to the Finger Lakes and will include domestic selections to cater to a wide variety of customer taste and requirements. The club will offer fantastic restaurant options of fresh locally sourced dishes that will focus on consistency and quality that will be paired with the seasonal craft beer offerings ensuring new and different menu construction.
Competitive Advantages: Market Analysis-
As outlined in the attached “Downtown Elmira, New York: Investment Prospectus for Transformational Projects” dated August 2021 (Exhibit “C”), and in support of the substantial public and private investment that has been leveraged over the last several years Downtown Elmira has realized a long-envisioned housing and economic development revitalization. The more than $150 million-dollar combined investment has seen improvements in housing options, the addition of a 450-student medical school and upgrades to streets, bridges and broadband access. With nearly 300 new or renovated market rate apartments and an additional 200 more needed in line with recent forecasts, as well as 24 planned condominium units at the former Iszards department store and 30 AIRBNB units at the Mark Twain Building the start of a much-needed retail and entertainment support system is starting to materialize. This development of a substantial downtown core of market rate living options combined with average daily traffic counts for the streets bordering the Clemens Square in excess of 20,000 vehicles as outlined in the New York State Traffic Data Viewer presents a solid and growing customer base for the club.
On a more regional basis data from the investment prospectus highlights that there are twenty-five anchor employers, 7600 businesses and nearly 470,000 workers everyday within 30-minute driving distance of Elmira and according to Travel Marketing Insights there are nearly six million annual visitors to the Finger Lakes Region supporting the determination that the right mix of fun, drink, food and music offered at the club can become another regional draw for Downtown Elmira. While the club will offer an abundance of drinks and quality comfort foods it will in addition to previously highlighted indoor games offer an interactive gaming environment which will include a board game and large screen DVD area. The club will build on the trend that customers are shifting from more traditional pub-style bars in favor of more unique concepts and activities that allow for a socially interactive environment. According to NTN Interactive Network, Inc, game players stay nearly 40% longer than traditional bar goers and spend nearly 50% more than non-players—significantly boosting the club revenue along the way. In short, club customers will stay longer and buy more in an environment that differentiates the club from other local bars and restaurants.
The club will put several operational plans in place to ensure that staff can provide excellent customer service. The hiring process will give preference to referrals and each potential employee will go through a detailed reference check. The club will schedule monthly mandatory training seminars to emphasize important aspects of customer service. The club will assign a slightly higher number of wait staff compared to industry standards to ensure that customers receive fast and friendly service. The club will incorporate a profit-sharing and potential ownership track for management personnel as well as incentives to encourage long-term commitments with front and back of house staff. The club will incorporate outside auditors to evaluate and rank service as a feedback loop to management and the ownership team. The service audit process will be ranked against customer expectations that good service will show itself as: accurate orders, quality hot food, a service greeting within 90 seconds, never an empty glass, managers empowered to comp unhappy customers, and a culture that ‘anyone’s problem is everyone’s problem’ with expectations that customers will view staff as friendly, proactive and dependable.
The Centertown Social Club has organized as a Limited Liability Company under the laws of New York State as outlined in the attached Articles of Organization (Exhibit “D”). Currently the sole member of this LLC is James Capriotti, the principal member of Capriotti Properties, and One Clemens Square which is the operator of the real estate location that will lease space to the club. Jim previously owned a commercial-scale bakery operation in Hazleton, PA with large customers like Wegmans where he provided pizza crust and other baked goods. Jim was also active with various real estate investment holdings while in Hazelton. Jim relocated to Elmira, NY in 2010 where he continued real estate investing focusing on the restoration of Victorian style multi-resident homes in Elmira’s Near West Side. Jim has expanded his real estate holdings to include several mixed-use commercial/residential properties near the club’s proposed location. His first extraordinarily successful project was the full restoration of three large buildings with 16 apartments commonly referred to as the Row Homes on West Water Street and a commercial space for the popular Finger Lakes Taproom. Jim has continued his redevelopment efforts through the acquisition and buildout of 110-120 North Main Street which includes 16 apartments on the upper two (2) floors which are leased by LECOM medical students and five (5) first floor commercial units. Jim’s current projects include the restoration of 110 Baldwin Street which will include 11 apartments and seven (7) commercial units and the iconic Mark Twain Building where 70 of the 100 apartments have currently been renovated and are fully rented to medical residents and students. Additional renovations will include the relocation of all commercial tenants from the second floor to the first floor allowing the build out of thirty (30) AIRBNB units on the second floor. In addition to the purchase of the Clemens Square property Jim recently acquired the former Iszards Building and will renovate the upper three (3) floors offering 24 condominium units for sale while adding to the expanding Downtown Elmira residential mix.
While primary customer positioning for the club will be with singles, unmarried and married couples without children the physical assets and downtown location of the club will allow for the development of strategies to reach a wider demographic segment based on entertainment preferences and specialty events such as outdoor festivals and community activities targeted toward different age ranges. The club will in cooperation with Elmira Downtown Development host Alive After Five events, Over the Hump mid-week music, monthly trivia nights, charity fundraisers such as winter golf simulator contest or lessons, 4 seasonal theme-based festivals, 2 annual children related outings and New York State beer and bed events to draw regional tourist to downtown AIRBNB’s and hotel rooms. The club will also maximize opportunities with pre and post event offerings for the First Arena and Clemens Center and will develop a unified plan that will maximize every event toward a cohesive strategy that the club is a fun and entertaining place to be for everyone which will be a differentiating factor from our competition. The club will develop a multi- social media channel presence on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok with optimization of the club web site to reach customers and fans throughout the Finger Lakes region. The club will develop a network with local influencers to enhance outreach and will provide email newsletter updates through the creation of no cost club memberships that offer specials and event schedules to maintain engagement and customer loyalty as well as allow the collection of demographic information to determine which promotional strategies are most effective. The club sales will be based on a value-pricing strategy. The club wants to be viewed as a premium venue and will charge slightly above-average prices on drink menus but competitive neighborhood prices for the food menu. Other venues with unique activities can successfully charge higher pricing based on atmosphere. The club will institute a customizable mobile point of sale system that ensures positive guest experiences and allows staff to focus on service efficiency creating higher levels of hospitality and sales.
Experienced and talented candidates for the General Manager (extensive and successful front and back of house experience) and Kitchen Manager (creative production and menu construction experience) positions are encouraged to forward your letter of interest highlighting your background against our business plan and a detailed resume to : Mike@capriottiproperties.com . Competitive wages, benefits with bonus and ownership options will be created for the right candidates. Join us in the next big step in the revitalization of Downtown Elmira!
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