Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WDT: Vanduzee Site Back in the News as Questions Linger

     Another brew pub proposal ?  Businessman Jake Johnson is offering the City $100K for the Vanduzee Street warehouse property and the discussion, according to press accounts, was quickly taken to executive session. Why ?
      I didn't know the parcel was for sale, but the 9.5acre site has sat since an Election Day fire last year cleared away most of the site and like a spate of other fires in that time frame, the case was never solved.
     Details of an insurance claim have never been made public, but at the time it appeared a city policy did cover newly acquired property for a brief period.
     Mr. Johnson owns the remaining warehouse building, but developing this site is a mega project, and the prospects for a bar/restaurant on this side street are unknown at best.
      Taking title to the property was controversial at the time in 2015, but the convenience of having everything burn down was a plus for the City and the 9.5 acre site is the largest unused  parcel available. Nothing has been done on redevelopment, so at the very least Mr. Johnson has lit a fire under City Hall to plan for what to do here.


Anonymous said...

I know a guy who will pay $110k.

You have no creditability to judge how this is handled mayor Graham.
You oversaw many cases of city land sales during your tenure where the taxpayers best interests were not taken care of.

The best way to handle this is with a slow motion public auction.
Announce that a bid for $100k has been received and if there are no better offers within 30 days then it will be accepted.

But just as important; the buyer should be required to state the intended purpose for the land. (Or at least one intended purpose). And then they should be required to follow through within six years or be required to sell the property back at a discount.

Anonymous said...

I thought Jacob was dead. Is his ghost going to build a fence around his latest boondoggle?

Anonymous said...

8:20, We get it. Jake said over his dead body, yet his body is still alive. Most of us are over it and blame the city more than we blame that poor young man who made his street nicer.

And since then it looks like the young man has taken his respectable small business and built it into a million dollar enterprise. What have you done since the city acted like jerks to the guy? I mean besides get closer to your government pension and retirement?

I know you golftards cling to the rule of law...until you don't care about the law. There are many more important laws which the city just ignores. Such as the laws that actually make sense for safety, but were ignored for the stairs serving the Woolworth building parking lot. They clearly violate the three major requirements for maximum rise without a landing and for tread depth and rise. But you and your code department only care about things like Jake's fence.

Enjoy your pension, we can't wait until you move to Florida.

Anonymous said...

Sure 10:23... I get that idiots are obliged to stick together. But really, how dumb do you have to be to ask the sitting Mayor about putting up the illegal fence, told it's a bad idea, then goes and does so anyway, only to be a crybaby about it?
Stick to what you know (sorta...), talking bad about our soon to be elected first female president. Keep calling here childish names. god knows,it doesn't bother me a bit! hehehe...

Anonymous said...

Sure 12:12, he fought the law and the law won. The best revenge is leading a good life and he looks like he is doing splendidly at that. I don't know if he is dumb or not. Probably not, in light of how well he is doing. You on the other hand, probably are.

Jake is not the first one to get angry and throw a temper tantrum when the government does maddening stupid things and he won't be the last. Just as you probably have road rage and threw temper tantrums over how the judge ruled after your woman left you.

Anonymous said...

Haha 2:56! I own several properties in the area, including some in the city. I do quite well, thank you. Unlike angry RINOs like you, who mooch off the system, yet rail against everyone else.
As far as woman go, can't complain. I learned to turn the gold diggers away a long time ago...

Anonymous said...

2:56 (aka Jake Johnson), personal attacks on an anonymous blogger that you obviously don't know is quite childish. Let's bring this conversation back to adulthood. What in the world does a lawncare guy know about the bar/restaurant business? My guess is nothing. He says he wants to sink millions of dollars into something he has no experience in dealing with? I doubt it. He's smarter than that. City Council better get this bar/restaurant/conference center (wait.. Savory?) in writing, because it ain't gonna happen.

Lawn boy said...

The blog operator will sell you the pearl street pub for 500,000, save yourself 2.5 million in a market that is overflooded. If your menu prices are anything like your landscaping prices no one is gonna pay $50 for a hamburger.

Anonymous said...

He wants to put it back on the tax roll but yet put his business outside the City.....hmmmm? It would make an awesome park to compliment the fairgrounds and provide parking for large events so bussing wouldn't be needed. Athletic fields to ease the burden on the fairgrounds? Move the farmers market down there? Drag park guy where are you on this? Work with State on fishing area. Solicit bids to see what it could be sold for don't jump at first offer...slow news day I guess. What's City Parks lady say about vacant land uses?

Anonymous said...

It's a large and beautiful piece of river property upwind of the sewer plant in the most popular quadrant of Watertown that has some of the best motor vehicle access.

Selling this to any developer in a panic rush is pure asinine, this property is a GEM.

Isn't the concrete rail road trestle slated to be removed soon too ?

Whatever, seldom when Government is involved is "the right thing" ever accomplished when it's physically involved in land/building development.

Fair is Fair said...

Jake would be buying this on pure real estate speculation. He isn't going to build squat there as he proved himself intelligent and put his new business just outside the city limits, thus no city taxes. Don't blame him for where he put his business as the tax dollars he would have paid would only be used to hire attorneys to file stupid law suits and the property is a GEM and $100,000 would be a steal. Can't remember exactly, but what did PJ offer for the little piece of property on Factory Street, something just under $100,000? Seems like Jake needs to up the bid if he is serious...or city council should sell PJ the land on Factory so two "developers" can create taxable enterprises in the city instead of just more property off the tax rolls.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:12 AM Good ideas, that would be a great recreation area for the city, including maybe a dog park ( that's what you meant?)

A former CC Candidate Cliff Olney had the idea to build an all year indoor pool / entertainment center there. I think this is a great idea, as the next one is in the New England States. This would be great for families in Winter und would bring a lot visitors from Canada and NY State.

It would be foolish for the CC to sell this area so cheap, as they would not even sell the area on Factory Street to Simao for 125.000 Dollar. Was not one of their arguments that this area was more worth then what he was offering?
If they give the Vanduzee Area that cheap away they betraying the Taxpayer.