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Woolworth developer has new partner, meets with city

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Developer Michael A. Treanor has brought in a new partner to help him restore the Woolworth Building, a project he hopes to start this year.

Mr. Treanor and his new partner, David Gallo, president of Georgica Green, met with city officials Wednesday to discuss the project’s progress. Mr. Gallo has been involved in housing rehabilitation projects in Buffalo and Long Island, said Kenneth A. Mix, the city’s planning and community development coordinator.

“They seem to be very confident to be moving forward with the project this year.” Mr. Mix said.

The two Long Island developers met with Mr. Mix and City Manager Mary M. Corriveau for about 40 minutes about the $7.275 million project. They were joined by two other project partners.

They discussed going after additional funding sources, which would include applying for unspecified grants and tax credits, Mr. Mix said.

The project would include 45 one-bedroom apartments and 15 two-bedroom units on the upper floors and commercial space on the ground floor.

On Wednesday, Mr. Treanor reiterated the importance of acquiring the city’s bus transfer station and acquiring land across the street near the J.B. Wise parking lot that would be used for tenant parking. Obtaining the bus loop near the building and some green space on the other side of Public Square are requisite to going ahead with the Woolworth restoration, he said.

Mr. Mix told him it would be up to the Watertown City Council whether to agree to sell the bus loop and other city-owned land.

Mr. Treanor and his team intend to be back in Watertown either later this month or in April to give a presentation to the City Council about the project.

In recent months, some local business leaders and city officials have become concerned about losing a $1.82 million Restore NY grant through the Empire State Development Corp. because the project appeared to have been stalled.

Before they talk to the council, the developers will put together information on the preliminary plans, budget and project scheme. That information will be used to put together a contract with the state economic development agency, Mr. Mix said.

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