B'ville: A new look for Lock Street?

Village residents may soon see a tremendous change on Lock Street.

Developers have approached the village board with plans to turn properties along the Seneca River, including the former Baldwinsville Department of Public Works site at 12 Lock St., into an aesthetically appealing combination of public and private property. At the March 1 board meeting, Barnes/Stevens Redevelopment presented the board with a tentative plan.

According to Greg Stevens of Barnes/Stevens, the former DPW building has environmental challenges and could be considered a brown field site. According to the Environmental Protection Agency web site at epa.gov, "Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land and both improves and protects the environment." Barnes/Stevens have acquired and remediated numerous brownfield sites across the northeast including several projects in the Buffalo area.

The Barnes/Stevens presentation discussed the different possibilities for the unique waterfront site including a canal-boating harbor, structures that combine first floor retail with second and third floor residential, a community watersports center and restoration of the existing neighborhood.

According to Stevens and partners, the project would place minimal financial liability on the village.

At last weeks village board meeting, Jake McKenna of Parsons-McKenna addressed the board regarding the same property, stating he and his partners were interested in developing the property. However, he asked the board for more time to develop a thorough plan and to determine whether they had the resources to successfully complete the project due to the potentially contaminated land.

Mckenna partnered with Jay Bernhardt to successfully renovate the old Mercer Mill into The Red Mill Inn after several developers failed to transform the former run down mill into a valuable property. The duo will also play host to fishermen worldwide this spring during the NE Regional Carp Tournament, which began as a brainstorm of Bernhardt's while restoring the inn.

Rick Presley, Baldwinsville's acting mayor, said the board would take no action regarding the Lock Street property until the new board was inaugurated in April.

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