Jul 23, 2013 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
Bounded by lower First Street, South Willow Street and Lake Drive, the block that is already home to four restaurants will soon see significant development.
The former site of an Oswego Canal basin, the block is zoned for mixed-use, both residential and commercial. Its commercial residents include the Limp Lizard Barbecue, 201 First St., appeThaizing, 105 First St., the White Water Pub, 110 S. Willow St., and the Barking Gull at the corner of South Willow and Lake Drive.
For the past two months, the village planning board has been reviewing plans for a new deck and a paved parking lot behind the Limp Lizard, which leases its location from Liverpool Properties, LLC. Owned by Val Lamont, Liverpool Properties also owns the White Water Pub location, and that pub would share the use of the planned parking lot.
At the Liverpool Village Board of Trustees’ July 15 meeting, businessman John Gormel announced that he’d like to purchase two slivers of village-owned property on the basin block. Drainage concerns have stalled the Limp Lizard renovation, but Gormel said that if he could buy the properties, he would work cooperatively to address drainage.
“I think I can solve it in a way,” Gormel said, “and also alleviate some of the parking problems.”
The Limp Lizard’s plans, which were forwarded July 11 to the newly consolidated Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency, call for installation of a 49-space parking lot behind the restaurant.
“There’s not going to be enough parking down there,” said Gormel, who plans to open the Barking Gull to the public in September.
Gormel – who owns the Retreat, The Cobblestone, The Barking Gull and Dips & Dogs, an adjacent ice-cream stand ¬– offered to purchase a 20-foot-wide parcel just east of the Barking Gull abutting the White Water Pub. With that small piece of property, Gormel said he’d expand the Barking Gull’s parking lot.
The village also owns a 38-foot-wide driveway adjoining the center of the block with Lake Drive. “I also wouldn’t mind buying that too,” Gormel told the trustees. “Tax-wise, it would be good for the village and you could also make money on the sale.”
Gormel opposes the use of the driveway as an inner-block roadway. “To put a road through there would very much depreciate that property,” he said.
Mayor Gary White noted that engineers are now studying drainage retention and catch-basin capacities on the basin block. Gormel said he has contracted with Fisher Companies to analyze drainage. Meanwhile, Village Attorney John Langey is researching easements and right-of-ways.
Further development is expected from JGB Properties, which hopes to build condominiums on a large parcel which was formerly the Municipal Parking lot on Lower First Street.
White Water Pub presently uses a row of parking spaces located on JGB property just east of the pub. White Water’s agreement with JGB to utilize that space will expire at the end of September, according to village Planning Board Chairman Joe Ostuni Jr.
“There are still a whole lot of things to be determined,” Mayor White told Gormel on July 15. “But we’re glad you’re here, and we’d like to see you and the other developers get together and work out the arrangements so you can all get a shot at accomplishing what you want to do.”
No formal request for proposals has been issued by the trustees regarding the two properties, so Gormel’s sudden offer was neither accepted nor rejected. Some time ago, prior to the White Water Pub’s opening in July 2012, the village accepted bids on the 20-foot parcel between the Barking Gull and White Water. After Gormel outbid Lamont, however, the village took the properties off the market. Nevertheless, Gormel reiterated his interest in the property at the July 15 board meeting.
The basin block
“Years ago, that block was the site of an old Oswego Canal side-cut basin,” said village Planning Board Chairman Joe Ostuni Jr. “That’s why it’s so low. That’s why drainage is such a concern.”
A stone’s throw from the Salt Museum on the northeast shore of Onondaga Lake, the basin block is across the street from Onondaga Lake Park’s Griffin Visitor Center. A handful of houses still stand on the basin block along with some of the village’s most vibrant businesses, including the four restaurants, Jo’s Li’l Cupcake, Trinca Photography, Dr. Thomas Wells Optometry, CNY Yoga Center and Liverpool Art Center.
Two DWIs in June
Via a memo, Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris informed the village board of trustees at their July 15 meeting that officers issued 87 citations for violations of the state’s vehicle and traffic laws during June after making a total of 136 traffic stops.
In addition, two arrests were made for driving while intoxicated and six traffic accidents were investigated. One parking ticket was issued.
Officers made 258 residential checks during the month responding to 277 complaints or calls for service. The LPD arrested 15 persons last month on 20 criminal charges.