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Baldwinsville, businesses plan curb-appeal project

By Journal Staff


BALDWINSVILLE — Village officials and at least one area business owner are hoping a four-way partnership is soon cemented officially so work can begin along the village’s main intersection on East Genesee Street to improve pedestrian traffic and safety.

“It’s a nice project,” Baldwinsville Mayor Joseph Saraceni says of the planned work and partnership between the village, KeyBank, property owner The Widewaters Group of DeWitt, and the B’ville Diner. While a formal agreement has not yet been signed, Saraceni says he expects one in the near future so work can begin this spring. He did not provide financial details on the project.

For the village, work will include reducing the number of curb cuts (breaks or ramps built into a curb to ease passage to the street) along East Genesee Street, installing new granite curbing, and making sidewalk improvements. The overall goal, Saraceni says, is to make the area safer and more attractive for pedestrian traffic. Currently, that stretch of road has about 35 curb cuts, making it challenging for pedestrians to travel. Following the village’s central business district plan, Saraceni says a number of those cuts will be removed to improve pedestrian flow. Included in that work is the current double-lane entrance to KeyBank, which is slated to drop to a single-lane entrance.


Diner owner dishes on plans

The B’ville Diner, located at 16 E. Genesee St., will launch its own project that will tie into the village’s efforts, co-owner James Orlando says. Work has already begun to eliminate the diner’s outdoor grease trap and will also include moving dumpsters into an enclosed, landscaped area.

But the big project for the diner will be the addition of a 20-foot by 40-foot outdoor patio area that will add an additional 30 to 40 seasonal outdoor seats, Orlando says. To make this happen, Orlando will purchase land adjacent to the diner from The Widewaters Group, which owns the former Eckerd Drugs building next to the diner. He declined to disclose any financial details.

Orlando is excited about the project, not only because it will provide additional seating for his 120-seat diner, but because it will bring some much-needed greenery to the area. “There’s not a tree or a bush on our property, so I’m excited about it,” he says. Orlando purchased the diner, which employs 52 people, in 2003.

Once everyone is signed on for the project, Orlando says he’s ready to get to work and hopes to complete the work this year or by early 2014.

That falls in line with the village’s schedule, Saraceni says. “The village is looking to complete its work this spring,” he says.

The Widewaters Group, which did not respond to press inquiries, will look for a tenant for the former Eckerd building, Saraceni says. The building has been vacant for about five years.

This project is just the first of many for Baldwinsville this year, Saraceni adds. Other projects include a new $6 million housing project, a Byrne Dairy, a possible Tim Horton’s location, and an expanded senior-living facility. He expects to hold a press conference in the near future to announce further details on these projects.

The Widewaters Group ( is a real-estate development and management company with offices in DeWitt; Park City, Utah; and Charlotte, N.C. Other area Widewaters properties include the Northern Lights Plaza in North Syracuse, the Route 57 Plaza in Liverpool, and the Hinsdale Plaza in Camillus.


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