City officials may learn more on Tuesday about whether the Stateway Plaza owners will allow the city to build a road through the Arsenal Street strip malls parking lot.
Plans for a road have been talked about for years but came up after Alexandria Bay developer Patrick M. Donegan recently began pushing for it again.
In June, Mr. Donegan, who owns City Center Plaza on Arsenal Street, told council members that if the city builds a connector road through Stateway Plaza, he guaranteed he could bring a big-box national retailer to the northern end of the development site within about a year. Council members seemed interested in revisiting it.
On Tuesday, Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham; Kenneth A. Mix, the citys planning and community development coordinator; and City Engineer Kurt W. Hauk will meet with representatives of the plaza owner, Stateway Plaza Shopping Center, Montreal, to talk about the idea.
Its a get-to-know-you meeting, the mayor said, adding he does not foresee the parties making a deal that day about constructing the road.
Mr. Donegan arranged for the face-to-face meeting, Mr. Mix said. In June, Mr. Donegan met with the Watertown City Council to discuss the prospects of building the connector road from near Arsenal Street to Gaffney Drive. He told them that night that he could approach Stateway Plaza owners to ask if they are willing to make a deal.
City officials have said the major stumbling block has always been persuading the plaza owner to sell part of the parking lot for the project.
Others who are expected to attend the meeting are Ben Wygodny, one of the partners in the Montreal development company, and Jeffrey A. Foster, a real estate manager who works for Longley Jones Property Management Corp. and oversees the plaza.
Discussed for years, the road had been put on the back burner by city officials because of its estimated $2.7 million cost. Mr. Hauk will provide conceptual plans and information about the proposed road that was put together about two years ago. The project could include a turning lane, traffic light at Gaffney Drive and creating islands for entranceways to the two development sites, he said.
The big-box store would join Buffalo Wild Wings, Ruby Tuesday, Starbucks, AT&T and Ponderosa already at City Center Plaza on Arsenal Street. A 132-room Hilton Garden Inn opened there last year and a Holiday Inn Express is the other anchor. The latest tenant, Chipotle Mexican Grill, is slated to open soon in the same 5,000-square-foot building as the Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant.
In the past year, Stateway Plaza has bounced back from a period of several vacant storefronts by adding new businesses including Planet Fitness, Cold Stone Creamery and CiCis Pizza. Moes Southwest Grill is slated to open there this summer.
Its coming along quite nice, Mr. Graham said. It was kind of teetering there for a while.
Neither Mr. Donegan nor Mr. Foster could be reached to comment.