Dec 20, 2013 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
For most of this year, village government has heard plenty from two property owners, Val Lamont and John Gormel, who each own parcels in the basin block bounded by Lower First Street, Lake Drive and South Willow Street.
At the village board’s monthly meeting on Dec. 16, however, trustees heard from another basin block property owner, JGB Properties, which owns approximately three acres there, on which are located the former municipal parking lot and several other First Street parcels.
JGB Properties representative Christine Stevens told board members, although the recession has slowed JGB’s development plans there, “We remain committed to this project.” Following the village’s Comprehensive Plan guideline, Stevens said JGB plans a mixed-use development to accommodate both commercial and residential tenants.
The Comprehensive Plan calls for mixed-use, high-end development which would help increase village population. “And that’s exactly what we’re planning,” Stevens said.
The end result would include between 50 and 75 residential units, Stevens said, and an unspecified number of commercial storefronts.
Because many issues such as stormwater management and parking availability have yet to be ironed out, JGB anticipates working with engineers and architects for about six months before bringing a site-review plan to the village Planning Board.
In 2009 and ’10, JGB renovated the 147-year-old Liverpool Shoppes building at 401-403 First St., where it now leases nine modern apartments.
JGB has yet to decide whether the buildings it constructs on Lower First Street will house rented apartments or condominiums, Stevens said, although she’s personally leaning toward condos.
“Apartments are great,” she said. “But there’s a lot of turnover, so it’s better if the units are sold. The families who move in will remain village residents for years. They’re your future taxpayers. Condos are in everybody’s best interest.”
The developer has entered into preliminary talks with banks about financing the project, Stevens said. JGB is also in the process of purchasing a small sliver of land in the middle of the basin block from the village and swapped some land there with Liverpool Properties. “So now we have nice, clean property lines,” Stevens said.
She thanked the village for the pending Land Disposition Agreement, and stressed that JGB has formed a “friendly relationship” with Tom Juliano and Val Lamont of Liverpool Properties LLC.
For instance, she pointed out, JGB has been allowing them to utilizes parking spaces now on JGB property adjacent to their tenant, the White Water Pub.
Lamont also owns the property at 201 First St., where Limp Lizard Bar & Grill is located. Lamont applied for permission earlier this year to add a deck on the back of the Limp Lizard building and to expand the mid-block parking lot to 49 spaces to be shared with the White Water Pub.
At the village board’s July 15 meeting, John Gormel, who owns the Barking Gull at 116 S Willow St., announced that he’d like to purchase two slivers of village-owned property on the basin block. They are a 40-by-200-foot parcel running from mid-block to Lake Drive and another 20-by-178-foot strip connecting South Willow Street between the White Water and the Barking Gull. The village has yet to put those parcels up for sale.
Mayor Gary White was upbeat about the JGB plans. “I don’t see anything that can’t be overcome, and whatever we can do to keep the project moving we’re glad to do.”
Trustee Nick Kochan pointed out that JGB’s namesake, businessman Jay Bernhardt, has a proven track record of regional development in places such as Richfield Springs, Seneca Falls and nearby Baldwinsville. “Hopefully we can make this one work here,” Kochan said.
Parking tickets increasing; LPD wins AAA Platinum Award
Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris informed the village board via memo at its Dec. 16 meeting that officers issued 103 citations for violations of the state’s vehicle and traffic laws after making 170 traffic stops during November. Eight warning tickets were also issued.
In addition two arrests were made for driving while intoxicated and 14 traffic accidents were investigated. Since the winter parking hours are now in effect, 34 parking tickets were issued.
Officers made 158 residential checks during the month responding to 317 complaints or calls for service. The LPD arrested 30 persons last month on more than three dozen criminal charges.
Trustee Jim Rosier, the village board’s liaison to the LPD, reported that the department has received the AAA Platinum Award, the highest traffic-safety award bestowed by the agency (previously known as the American Automobile Association) to encourage communities to address local traffic issues in a coordinated and cost-effective way.
“I commend the department for winning this award again,” Rosier said.
Other local Platinum Award-winning police departments were Camillus, DeWitt and Manlius. The Baldwinsville police won a Gold Award.