Developer Michael E. Lundy had to turn to Plan B after Eagle Beverage Co. recently pulled out of a deal to move its operations into a new distribution center at the Jefferson County Corporate Park off outer Coffeen Street.
Mr. Lundy, CEO of Lundy Development Corp., Carthage, confirmed Friday afternoon that the Oswego-based company has decided, instead, to make major renovations to its facilities in Oswego County for use as its main distribution center in the next year or so.
But Mr. Lundy already has found a new project, with FedEx now planning to move into the proposed 60,000-square-foot warehouse site in the corporate office park. Needing more space at its Bradley Street Industrial Park site, FedEx wants to expand its local operations, he said.
Mr. Lundy intends to present preliminary site plans for the new project to the town of Watertown Planning Board, which will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Town Hall, 22867 County Route 67.
Now that FedEx has become involved, Mr. Lundy is modifying his plans.
The buildings are very similar, he said. It fits really nicely.
If all goes well, the developer hopes to obtain all the necessary approvals within 90 days, begin site work in June and start actual construction in August. Completion is slated for June 2014.
The project was proposed last summer and Eagle Beverage signed a letter of intent in September, but the project then went through changes. It also ran into opposition from Pamelia Supervisor Lawrence C. Longway, who was against using tax breaks to lure the beverage company from its facilities on Route 3 in the town of Pamelia.
The company, which distributed about a dozen beer brands to about 750 customers in Northern New York, also had been working with the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, which manages the corporate park.
Donald C. Alexander, CEO of the JCIDA, said he heard recently that Eagle Beverage was changing the scope of its plans in Watertown.
These things can turn quickly, Mr. Alexander said, declining to comment on the FedEx project.
On Friday, Mr. Lundy said the company decided it was better to expand its Oswego County facility than to build a new one at the corporate office park.
I would have loved to bring the distribution center to Watertown, but you have to do whats best for the client, Mr. Lundy said.
His firm still will be be involved as the general contractor for the Oswego County expansion project, he said.
And Eagle Beverage still may proceed with a project albeit a smaller development in Watertown in 2014, Mr. Lundy said. The company plans to construct a satellite, or hub, possibly in the corporate park, he said. Essentially, it would be a shipping and receiving facility in which inventory would be delivered one day and then trucked out the next day. It would not require any warehouse space, Mr. Lundy said.
As for the Pamelia facility, Mr. Lundy surmised Eagle Beverage would sell the 30,00-square-foot distribution center, adding, Theres a high demand for that kind of a building.
Eagle Beverage officials could not be reached for comment.