Tensions are rising in the Mohawk Valley… After Purcell Construction said they could be backing out of the vacant property across Whitesboro street from the Utica Aud.
Last April that piece of land was sold to MSP Reality LLC for nearly half a million dollars, their initial plan was to develop a housing complex. Construction was set to start in the fall but now they may back out and they’re placing the blame on AMS pulling out of Marcy Nano.
“The fact that administration and the mayor in particular would use that as an excuse is you know it’s disingenuous. It doesn’t help the region at all and frankly, it lays blame on something that really should have been laid in your lap to begin with.”
Fourth district council member Joe Marino says the company had 60 days to close. That time frame has come and gone months ago. What the city’s left with is a piece of land that’s unable to be developed. “Utica suffers for that, we gave them essentially a 6 months interest free mortgage on a piece of land that they end up not even wanting.”
Marino says he just wants the land to go back on the market and is waiting for answers from the mayor, who is the chairman of the urban renewal agency. “If Joe Smith from Brinkerhoff Av. Bought a house from URA, you bet your bottom dollar that he would not have 7 months to figure out if he’d like to participate or not. So it’s a problem and the people deserve an answer so I’d love to hear what he has to say.”
Mayor Palmieri was unable to meet us for an on camera interview but his office issued the following statement: “There has also been discussion about the 60 day clock after the purchase of a property. To clarify, the 60-day clock generally starts after a contract of sale is in place. In this particular case the URA is still negotiating a contract, which will likely include a closing date, along with dates for the commencement of construction and its completion.”
“He tried to fit a square peg into a round hole and they backed out. It’s got nothing to do with nano it’s got nothing to do with led contamination, the area over there is fine. It’s got to do with the fact that they were hedging their bets on us and we let them do it,” Marino.
Common council plans to have a meeting regarding that property next Wednesday and we’ll be sure to bring you the latest.
Mayor Palmieri’s Message to the Utica Common Council: