OCIDA to hold public hearing on Shoppingtown, flirts with eminent domain
The development team that wants to transform Shoppingtown Mall into District East are asking for help to acquire two pieces of real estate standing in their way. A public hearing on Monday may help to decide if the agency pursues eminent domain. The project would be a walkable mixed-use town center on nearly 70 acres with a mix of retail shops, entertainment and residential housing. Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency Chair Pat Hogan explains it’s a stark contrast to the current blighted and vacant mall that has sat empty for too long.
“You certainly want to hear from the public, especially the public on people who have been adversely affected by that mall out there that isn’t a mall anymore. It’s just a big empty structure. As public officials, we want to hear from the public. And any kind of project that we can consider, but specifically for this hearing, of course, is for District East.”
Hogan explains eminent domain is only used as a last resort, if an agreement isn’t reached between the owners of Sears and Macy’s and developer OHB. The agency is simply trying to help the developer any way they can to facilitate the conversation to acquire the now empty big box stores.
“Basically, building a small village out there. There vision is just something that is something that we need in this community and especially out there in the eastern suburbs, compared to what’s there now.”
If Sears and Macy’s finally reach an agreement with the developer to sell their former buildings, it would assist the developer in getting closer to the redevelopment phase of to build District East. However, Hogan says the negotiations have been difficult so far. The public hearing starts at 2 PM on Monday, November 13th at DeWitt Town Court located at 5,400 Butternut Drive.