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Village moves towards developing Riverside Drive

During the Dec. 5 Cazenovia Village Board Meeting, trustees unanimously approved a resolution naming Sphere Development, LLC., as the lead agency for development of the Riverside Drive project.

After distributing Request for Proposal forms in July, the village accepted Sphere’s bid because its proposal was contiguous with the direction the village hoped move last year, when a different company was looking at developing the parcel.

While possible uses are still being suggested and discussed, trustees said St. Joseph’s Hospital is still interested in building a health center.

“They will have the legal authority to build what they need to build, and the village will have the legal authority to fulfill the promises that we’ve made in terms of parking for the library, public access, other forms of public parking. So there are several ways [the agreement] can be structured legally, and we’ll want to really go through that carefully with Sphere, the village attorney and St. Joe’s to make sure we structure that in the most beneficial way,” said Cazenovia Village Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “We also want to look at all of the options in terms of putting together things like PILOT agreements, so that we can structure the deal in such a manner that we actually could commit to a number where St. Joe’s can afford to build this facility on our site … St. Joe’s is the anchor tenant but there are some other possibilities in terms of possible second stories with either office spaces, apartments or market-rate senior housing.”

Trustee Peggy Van Arnam, who is a member of the Riverside Drive committee, said the project will most likely be carried out in multiple phases, and could take some time to be fully completed. Sphere will be control of the village parcel only, with access from Riverside Drive. The village will purse site control and look to connect the parcel directly to Route 20.

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