The village of Cazenovia is getting appraisals as three defunct properties on Albany Street to start the process of potential redevelopment. Pictured from right are Colligan and Sons Service Center, at 117 Albany St., the former Cowherd gas station at 103 Albany St. and the former Napa store at 99 Albany St. (photo by Jason Emerson)
By Jason Emerson
Cazenovia village trustees agreed recently to seek appraisals of three defunct properties on Albany Street, the first step in a plan to hopefully encourage their redevelopments.
Two of the three buildings — the former Napa store at 99 Albany St., and the former Cowherd gas station at 103 Albany St. — have been unused and derelict for more than a decade, while the former Colligan and Sons Service Center, at 117 Albany St., has been vacant since January 2016.
“This is just step one so we can begin brainstorming about redevelopment options for these parcels,” said Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “All three properties, but particularly the two Widewater parcels [at 99 and 103 Albany St.] … have been on the village’s radar for improvement for years. Despite repeated attempts to bring interested private sector tenants and developers to the owners of the NAPA and Cowherd properties, nothing has come to fruition.”
During its May 1 board meeting, the village board of trustees voted unanimously to spend $7,500 to obtain commercial appraisals on all three of the properties so it can have accurate information about potential market values, which would be needed for any future role the village might play in encouraging their redevelopment, Wheeler said.
“All options will be on the table including grants, recruiting outside developers, public-private partnership or other creative approaches,” Wheeler said. “These properties are at the core of our village, so the only option that is not acceptable is allowing their continued deterioration.”
James W. Lavelle, vice president of retail leasing at Widewaters real estate development and management company, said he has not personally been contacted by any village officials to discuss redevelopment of the two properties for which his company is the leasing agent, but he thinks a dialogue would be welcome since both Widewaters and the village have the “same goal” to bring those parcels back to commercial life.
“We need to work through some issues before we can lease them,” Lavelle said. “Hopefully in the near future.” He would not specify what those issues were.
Barbara Colligan, owner of Colligan and Sons, said she plans to re-open the business as a vehicle repair shop after doing some cleaning and repairing to the shop itself.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.