Workers have started removing the mounds of debris that still remain in the Woolworth Building in preparation for the restoration of the Public Square landmark later this year.
Once the debris has been removed, developers David Gallo and Erich H. Seber will start hiring contractors. On Monday morning, Empire State Development, the states economic development arm, held a public hearing required before it releases a $2.5 million Restore NY grant for the project.
They will take ownership of the building this fall and then will transform it into 50 apartments on the upper floors and commercial space on the ground floor.
Recently, the citys Planning Board approved site plans for a parking lot associated with the project. The parking lot, located in the green space between Cams Pizzeria and the Woodruff Professional Building, will have 28 spaces for tenants.
The Watertown City Council will consider the site plans at its meeting Monday.