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City officials will meet with Woolworth developer on Wednesday


Developer Michael A. Treanor will be in Watertown on Wednesday to talk to city officials about where he stands with restoring the historic Woolworth Building on Public Square.

The Long Island developer will meet with City Manager Mary M. Corriveau and Kenneth A. Mix, the city’s planning and community development coordinator, to discuss the status of the $7.275-million project and what it would take to move it ahead.

Last week, Mr. Treanor said he is committed to moving ahead with his plans to convert the upper floors of the six-story landmark into 60 apartments. He said he already has arranged for the needed financing and is not worried about losing a $1.82 million Restore NY grant from the Empire State Development Corp. that would be used to help pay for the restoration.

Mr. Treanor will bring new members of his development team to the meeting, although he did not specifically name them, Mr. Mix said Monday. Mr. Mix also said he hopes to get a better idea of the project’s construction schedule and wants to put together a contract with Empire State Development for the project.

“We want to get assurance for Empire State Development that it’s moving forward,” Mr. Mix said.

Last week, Mr. Treanor, who could not be reached for comment Monday, said he is working with some new investors who have more of a background in working on rental housing projects. Last year, he changed the focus of the project from a hotel to apartments after he was unable to find enough funding to turn the building into a hotel.

Mr. Treanor said at last Wednesday afternoon’s gathering that the “two key factors” will be acquiring the city’s bus transfer station and acquiring some land across the street near the J.B. Wise parking lot that would be used for tenant parking. He has told the city in the past that obtaining the bus loop near the building and some green space on the other side of Public Square are required for going ahead with the project.

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

An Empire State Development Corp. spokeswoman said last week that the project is still eligible for the Restore NY grant, even though Mr. Treanor is having some financial issues with another project, the Roxy Hotel in Cape Vincent.

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