UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR) – The $44 million Nexus Center, which had a target opening of December 2020, has been halted entirely.
Oneida County was putting the money for construction up front, but on May 20th, County Executive Anthony Picente said the state wasn’t reimbursing the county for the project. So, they stopped building.
“There’s been a lot of significant things that the state [is] focused on, I don’t know if Nexus makes the chopping block, so to speak,” said Robert Esche, founder and CEO of Mohawk Valley Garden.
The timeline isn’t only extended by just the waiting time. To finish building Nexus, nothing else can be happening in the Adirondack Bank Center. With the project delayed, it could conflict with the multiple sports seasons held in the arena.
“It’s not like every month it’s delayed, it’s only a month on the end of the project. So, realistically, I think it’s probably 18 months away now, unfortunately,” Esche said.
The delay also makes the cost of the project rise. Price of materials will fluctuate, equipment and workers will have to re-mobilize and now they’ll have to build through the winter months.
Esche said the cost of the project is probably up 10-15 percent, which is anywhere between $4.4 and $6.6 million extra.
He expressed frustration and disappointment, because he said Nexus is the stimulus that Oneida County needs right now. People would flock to Utica and spend their disposable income at local shops and restaurants.
Until Oneida County can pull together more money, the steel frame of Nexus will sit alone.