WATERTOWN — Watertown developer Michael E. Lundy on Monday cleared another hurdle in his bid to bring two companies to his upcoming Thousand Islands International Agribusiness Park on Route 3.
The Town Planning Board granted site plan approval for Cazenovia Equipment Co.’s upcoming 25,000-square-foot facility, albeit with a few conditions. Mr. Lundy, president of the Lundy Group of Companies, will need to ensure the land receives municipal water and sewer, provide a stormwater pollution prevention plan and elevation drawings with details about the building facade. Mr. Lundy said he and Supervisor Joel R. Bartlett have been discussing extending the existing water and sewer systems to the park, and the Town Council has submitted applications for funding to extend them.
In addition to helping him begin construction for the facility as soon as possible, Mr. Lundy said having the approval assists his and Cazenovia Equipment’s efforts to secure the necessary financing for the effort.
“Banks today, for them to start the process for a loan request, they need to know we have an approved project,” he said. “It let us move forward.”
The local developer also sought site approval for the 7,000-square-foot docking and distribution center for the next occupant in his agribusiness park: Eagle Beverage.
The planning board, however, could not give its blessing Thursday, and decided to schedule a special meeting at 1 p.m. Monday, July 15, at the town office to further review the project. Planning board co-chair Thomas E. Boxberger said the parcel Mr. Lundy plans to build the Eagle Beverage building on lacks enough permeable space to warrant site plan approval.
“I was not comfortable moving forward,” Mr. Boxberger said.
The developer received approval from the board to subdivide the land into seven lots in the town he purchased for his park, which he said allows him to sell parcels to companies. In order to remedy the issue involving his plans for Eagle Beverage, however, he plans to add more acreage to the lot that will house its new facility.
Mr. Lundy and GYMO Architecture, Engineering and Land Surveying plan to have new documentation depicting the changes ready for next week. Mr. Boxberger said the board would then have to rescind its original subdivision approval, review the new paperwork and then grant approval for both the new subdivision. Expanding the lot should help the developer receive site plan approval for the facility next week.
“Being a week won’t make a difference,” Mr. Lundy said.
Mr. Lundy first announced his park in September 2017 to support and attract commercial, industrial and retail agribusinesses to the area.
The park has since expanded from 150 acres to 220 acres in Watertown and the town of Hounsfield, 70 of which would be preserved under a conservation easement. The pending subdivision from the planning board will only affect the acreage in Watertown.
Cazenovia Equipment will close its locations in Burrville and Sandy Creek to consolidate them into the larger facility at the agribusiness park. Eagle Beverage had a facility in the town of Pamelia, needed a smaller one for cross-docking after opening a large warehouse in 2015 in Oswego, which accepts most of the company’s inventory.
Mr. Lundy’s stormwater pollution prevention plan required by the town will have to include both companies’ new facilities and the access road connecting the agribusiness park from Route 3.
“My intention is for spring occupancy,” he said.