UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) – Earlier today the City of Utica’s Urban Renewal Agency gave the go-ahead to The Pike Company and Bowers Development application to purchase Kennedy Parking Garage from the city for $1.5 million, before the sale can go through the Common Council will have to vote to approve it.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Mayor Robert Palmieri explained. “It’s a situation that first and foremost the city will be receiving $1.5 million for the sale of the parking garage. But more importantly is that these developers, who are proven developers, will have the ability to build additional parking, up to 200 spaces, and will have the ability to fast track the renovation.”
Kennedy was built in 1969 and consists of 595 parking spaces, the city’s most recent estimates to repair the parking garage is over $13 million, an amount the mayor says the city could not afford. The Pike and Bowers application calls for necessary repairs and the construction of a hotel above the existing garage, but not everyone was happy about the announcement. Mohawk Valley Health System released a statement saying how they were, “surprised to learn on Monday that a press release would be issued by the city relating to the sale of the Kennedy Parking Garage,” to Pike and Bowers. MVHS owns the Mohawk building which is connected to the Kennedy and they are currently converting it to serve as the new hospital‘s Central Utility Plant. The statement further went on to say:
“It is concerning that this sale was not discussed with MVHS given that the two buildings are connected and, in fact, when the Mohawk Building was purchased by MVHS, the organization maintained certain air rights over portions of the Kennedy garage.”
The statement further explains the concerns MVHS has about the proposed development of a hotel in that location, because it will be complex and costly, and “could negatively impact the hospital’s Central Utility Plant. In addition, we are concerned about the impact that the proposed Pike and Bowers development could have on the availability of parking as outlined in a Memorandum of Agreement signed by all parties.”
If approved by the Common Council the mayor says the $1.5 million dollars from the sale will go towards repairs on the city’s other parking garages.