Empty Utica building is transforming into rooftop restaurant, apartments


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Steel beams are rising over a building that has sat empty for years.

"When you have a building that's empty and there's moss growing on the inside it brings the value and the look of everything down and it's depressing. It's depressing for the area and it's depressing for the people around it," said Francis Pezzolanella, a developer.

The former HSBC building was almost leveled and paved into a parking lot, but Pezzolanella had a different idea. Three businesses will move into the first floor of what is now called the Landmarc building.

On the second and third floors there will be thirty upscale apartments ranging from studio style to one and two bedrooms. On Tuesday, steel beams started forming a fourth floor which will be the first rooftop restaurant and bar in Utica.

"Utica is finally moving in the right direction and we want to move with it and help propel it that way. We want to try get on that catalyst board and really help push everything moving," said Pezzolanella.

The developers hope to liven the atmosphere in Utica, but they also hope the entire $6.5 million project will serve as an inspiration.

"I hope that it starts to show other developers that this stuff is possible and that they need to give Utica a shot," said Pezzolanella.

Businesses and residents will start to move in after the first of the year and the restaurant will be complete by the winter of 2015.

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