Feb 02, 2007 Cazenovia Republican Uncategorized
I’m very excited!’
Dave Muraco looks forward to his signature project, maybe his last
By Willie Kiernan
Dave Muraco is not new to the area, but he is bringing something new to Cazenovia. Contingent on village annexation, he intends to purchase the 4-acre plot of land where the Cazenovia Motel sits on the south side of Route 20 East and build a modern, year round motel that would not contradict the rural character of the community.
In December, with the town of Cazenovia exercising a moratorium for development, Muraco submitted an application for annexation into the village. After the Pioneer project, which was to be built across Route 20 on the north side, was denied annexation, Muraco decided to postpone his submission to allow the moratorium to pass and to await the outcome of the town’s comprehensive plan. Annexation into the village is currently necessary to receive village water.
“Aside from the fact that I need the water, I have visions of connecting that property to the village with sidewalks,” Muraco said. “There’s something to be said about developments on the edge of the community where there’s parking and no congestion. You’re not bringing that traffic back into the village.”
Muraco’s vision of bungalow-type structures will include a common patio area leading to clusters of four and six entries. He said it will be very cool and if there were a wedding party in town, this is where they are all going to want to stay. On the property, there will also be retail opportunities for other businesses which could include the re-location of Eckerd Drugs and a spa.
“I’m very excited about getting this done,” Muraco said. “This is going to be a signature project of mine, maybe one of the last projects I do. My presence here is long term. I plan to be here a long time.”
The Country Kitchen, which is now under-insulated and has to close for the winter, will be renovated if at all possible, to stay open year round.
“Cazenovia has to expand. It has to grow or it’s going to die,” said Dennis Gregg, co-chair of the Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce. “You can’t paint yourself into a corner. Route 20 East is the only logical area for commercial expansion in the community.”
Muraco bought the Town and Country Plaza in 2003 and began renovation. He recently received final approvals to expand P&C from 21,000 sq. feet to 30,000 sq. feet to make it more like the Fresh Market concept in Fayetteville. P&C does not plan to close during this renovation. The plaza is currently thriving, according to landlord Muraco.
“Dave’s taken care of his properties,” Gregg said.
“And nothing’s empty,” Muraco said
Other Muraco properties in Cazenovia include the 48 units of the Carriage Garden Apartments built in 2002, buildings 5 and 7 of Lincklaen St., 63 Albany St., the new NAPA building on Route 20 and the recently acquired McLaughlin building on Albany Street.
“I sold a shopping center in Cicero and divested some other properties so that I can be closer to home,” Muraco said.
Currently residing on Route 92 between Cazenovia and Manlius, in Oran with his wife Kristin, their son Louis and their daughter Alexis, Muraco has been involved with Cazenovia since 1987. His father owned property in Cazenovia as far back as 1975 and employed George Conway as his lawyer for 30 years. His father as well as his brother were involved in many real estate dealings in town.
The McLaughlin building needs some overhauling, but Muraco has a tenant lined up for the two storefronts that used to house the Cheshire Cat. Cazenovian Laurie Hunt has returned from Naples, Florida where she operated a successful women and children clothing store. She will be bringing Lillie Bean, Inc. north to Albany Street by March 1.
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