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Leasing begins at old Camillus Cutlery site

Leasing is underway for the medical offices that will be built in the former Camillus Cutlery site.

Leasing is underway for the medical offices that will be built in the former Camillus Cutlery site. File photo

— Leasing has begun for the medical offices that will be built in the former Camillus Cutlery site.

Sweet Spot Development, of Skaneateles, purchased the buildings on Main Street in the village in a fall auction for $210,000. Closing on the buildings was initially expected sooner, but financial and environmental issues have waylaid the finalization of the purchase, said developer Tom Blair.

When the knife plant, which operated on the Main Street site adjacent to Nine Mile Creek for more than 100 years, closed in 2007, numerous liens were filed against the property.

“I had to have legal opinion that no liens would harm our project and that doesn’t happen overnight,” Blair said.

Engineering diagrams to outline where drainage, sewer and electrical lines would go also had to be created and mapped out prior to closing.

Blair hopes to see the final closing on the building happen in the next 30 days, he said.

“Closing preparations for a commercial site like this can be time consuming and complex,” he said. “We’re feeling good about it.”

The developer began leasing efforts for the project this week. Blair hopes to fill the vacant area with medical offices called “Camillus Mills.”

“We really believe this will be a huge medical corridor in the western suburbs,” Blair said. “When you go down the hill into the village of Camillus, there will be major medical offices. It’s pretty exciting.”

Medical Center West and numerous doctor's offices are also on West Genesee Street, about a mile east of the village.

Final development plans for the property have not yet been finalized or approved, though Blair expects to demolish the majority of the buildings along Nine Mile Creek, he said. The 45,000-square-foot brick building will not be demolished and will be redeveloped into office space.

Sweet Spot Development received $2.3 million in 2009 to redevelop the Camillus Cutlery site through a Restore New York grant. The funds are technically awarded to the village, which is able to pass it to a “private-sector developer.” Those funds have not expired, said Jason Conwall, spokesperson for Empire State Development, which controls the grants. However, Restore grants can be taken back should Empire state Development not be satisfied with the progress on the project.

Conwall said the time delay likely would not have an impact on this project.

“It’s not uncommon for the kind of challenging projects that Restore addresses to take several years to accomplish,” he said.

Blair expects to begin construction on the site in late summer.

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