John Gormel wants to buy two slivers of property on basin block

— 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.

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