WATERTOWN — A Syracuse developer is interested in redeveloping the Globe Building which has been vacant for years.
Daniel Queri, owner of Queri Development Co., is eyeing the minimal old building for 13 or 14 market-priced apartments on the second floor and about 14,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.
He is in the process of buying the cavernous 42,000 square foot structure at 302 Court St., once the home of a minimall.
City council members plan to speak about the project Monday night when they consider helping the developer apply for a Restore New York grant.
“It’s just an essential building to redevelop and bring back for the city of Watertown,” Queri said on Friday.
City Manager Kenneth A. Mix said the city could submit plans for the building’s redevelopment in the “special project category” for the Restore New York grant because “it would have a significant impact on the business district.” centralized”.
Mr Queri is now “focused on due diligence” on the building, making sure it is in good condition for redevelopment and learning more about its history, he said.
He would buy the building from current owner Court Street Globe LLC, which is owned by local businessman Dick Alexander, who was involved in the local hospitality industry.
According to documents submitted to the city, a new company, 5G Real Estate Group LLC, would invest between $3 million and $3.25 million in the Globe project.
If all goes well, construction would begin in late 2023 or early 2024.
Mr Queri was drawn to the building “because of its spaciousness”, describing one side of the first floor as totally open to redevelopment.
The project would come at a time when Court Street is going through a $3.6 million public streetscape improvement project that began last month.
The Globe Project would further the city’s goal of creating a more walkable environment downtown and act as a catalyst for increased business activity and downtown revitalization, city officials said.
The deteriorating building is the latest structure requiring total redevelopment along Court Street, Mr Mix said. Another nearby Court Street building received a previous Restore New York grant and is being converted into a restaurant with upstairs apartments.
The Globe building is one of three projects board members will consider for this year’s $2 million in Restore New York funding.
All three have been deemed eligible by Empire State Development, said Michael A. Lumbis, the city’s director of planning and community development.
With the city in a position to apply for the Court Street project and one of the other two, the Globe building competes with the development of a vacant building at 75-79 Public Square for a restaurant and the aquatic and community center of the YMCA’s $27.8 million downtown, Mr. Mix said.
Application is due October 11. Another round of funding will open later this year, so the project not chosen this time around can then apply, Lumbis said.
This would not be the first redevelopment project in Watertown in which Mr. Queri is involved.
In 2021, he and a partner, David Wilkie, acquired a vacant building at 259 JB Wise Place. They are investing $2.1 million to convert the three-story brick building for commercial use and apartments on the top floor.
Construction is underway to transform this building into 13 market-priced apartments on the top two floors and 7,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor. He estimates that the project will be completed in early 2023.
Noting this project and others in Syracuse, Donald W. Rutherford, CEO of Watertown Local Development Corp., said Queri and his partner have the experience to complete the Globe’s redevelopment.
Mr. Queri was a partner in the completion of The Bradford, a 23-unit apartment project which opened in 2009 and a multi-unit, 2,500 square foot apartment project in 2019.
Individually, he has also developed and owns several projects in Syracuse. He has also consulted to develop space for a public broadcasting station, non-profit and literacy organizations, as well as for-profit businesses and a 200-seat performance space and apartments.
Over the years, the city has become concerned about the deteriorating condition of the Globe Building. Two years ago it was condemned when pieces of masonry fell near the roof and needed to be repaired.
For years, the Globe building housed a minimum and previously housed the Globe Store until it closed in 1973. Re-Sale America, a used goods company, was the last occupant. In 2014, a California businessman donated the former department store to Calvary Chapel North Country Church.
The church planned to redevelop it into its meeting space, a Christian bookstore, cafe, radio station, second-hand clothing store, conference rooms, and several church ministries.
But those plans never materialized after the church failed to secure money from the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative program awarded in 2017.
In October 2020, Mr. Alexander bought the building from the church for $85,000 with no definite plans to redevelop it.
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