There's a very coveted building on Court Street, in downtown Utica. The city owns about 80%. A private developer owns about 20%. Each wants to own the whole building. Neither is willing to sell.
"In letters, we've stated we would develop it in accordance with goals and missions of the master plan of downtown Utica and the Urban Renewal Agency and we haven't been to have a good conversaton at all with the mayor's office or urban renewal," said developer, Vincent Bailey.
"If he'd like to bid on it, once we have full ownership of it, that would be his prerogative as long as he has a business plan, what he would be doing with it," says Utica Mayor, Robert Palmieri. "We legally could not just say ok we're gonna sell it to you. It's an urban renewal property."
The mayor says the city has made Bailey an attractive offer.
"We did an appraisal. We offered him more than what he paid for it."
Bailey says his goal wasn't to turn a quick profit, but to contribute, in a meaningful way, to development in the city.
"The top three floors would be very nice apartments, between 18 and 21 apartments, and then the ground floor would be mixed use, with some office or retail and possibly some ground floor parking."
The city is willing to use eminent domain to take Bailey's portion of the building, citing economic development-a reason they say has held up in court. There is a hearing regarding eminent domain and the Court Street property Thursday, September 12, 9:30am at Utica City Hall.
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