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Village board approves project

WATKINS GLEN--The village planning board approved a $13 million plan, with some conditions, Wednesday, Sept. 19 for a new combined-use building on the former property of Clifford Motors at the corner of Franklin and West Second Street.
Lakewood Development, part of the East Syracuse construction company Two Plus Four, is the company behind the project. Susan Kimmel is president, chief executive officer and owner of Two Plus Four and said after the meeting, "We are not quite there yet, but we are making progress." The conditions the planning board requires are letters of assurances concerning the possibility of brownfield contamination discovery from the site and how that would be handled.
The new building will contain a coffee house in the front as well as commercial office space on Franklin Street. It will be called Gateway Flex. In the back of the building the developer is planning 24 apartments.
Kimmel said, "We will have a parking lot on the north side of the building and the main entrance for the residential space will be off the first-floor from the parking lot. It will be close to where the parking lot is now."
Kimmel said if all of the details are realized for the grants, ideally everything could be in place by May 2019. Kimmel said then construction could start in September 2019 with occupancy available in September 2020. The developer said the total project, including demolition of existing buildings and soil remediation, includes $13 million. About $4 million is planned to come from federal low-income tax credits (as well as other mortgage money) and $1 million from the state's Watkins Glen Downtown Revitalization Initiative fund.

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