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Onondaga County selects group to redevelop ShoppingTown Mall property

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

A rendering of the future redevelopment of ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt by OHB Redev LLC, a joint venture that Onondaga County chose to redevelop the property. (Rendering provided by Onondaga County)

DeWITT, N.Y. — Onondaga County has chosen a joint venture of four area development firms to purchase and redevelop the ShoppingTown Mall property at 3649 Erie Blvd East in DeWitt.

OHB Redev LLC will buy the property for $8 million and invest at least $300 million into the site over the course of a “several year redevelopment,” per an Onondaga County news release.

OHB Redev LLC is a joint venture that includes Redev CNY; Hueber-Breuer Construction Co. Inc.; DalPos Architects; and Housing Visions. The selection of OHB Redev LLC followed a “competitive process,” Onondaga County said.

The project — called District East — focuses on turning the property into five “distinct, but blended districts” that include residential housing, entertainment, restaurants/hospitality, retail, and office space.

The housing component includes a goal of creating housing structures for different income brackets. That would include units available for those that would be eligible for workforce housing and those earning between 60 and 120 percent of the area median income and senior living. Condominiums would also be part of the plan.

The developer estimates the project will create about 400 constructions jobs over the course of the redevelopment process and

projects another 1,400 full-time, permanent jobs once the site is fully redeveloped.

“We’re really excited,” Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said in remarks Wednesday inside the once bustling facility. “The investment that will be made … the development corporation will make an $8 million purchase price to the county of Onondaga. That will pay us back for what we have certainly invested in getting the property from [property owner] Moonbeam Capital [Investments LLC] and then that will pay us back some of the back taxes that we’ve been owed.”

McMahon last November had announced that the county reached an agreement with Moonbeam on a plan to redevelop the property.

Under the agreement announced in November, the parties involved would pay Moonbeam $3.5 million, Moonbeam would transfer the ShoppingTown Mall property, the nearby Scotch ‘N Sirloin property, along with the KeyBank location. The Town of DeWitt and the Jamesville-DeWitt School District will contribute “roughly about one third” of that $3.5 million payment, according to the county executive.

Onondaga County and Moonbeam will split the revenue from the sale, based off the sales price on a sliding scale, McMahon noted back in November.

“It was really important to all of my partners and I to present a local opportunity to come in and redevelop our community,” Ryan Benz, a partner in OHB Redev LLC, said in his remarks inside ShoppingTown Mall. “I remember making the first phone calls to say hey guys, what do you think about this, and everybody immediately kind of signed up and said, yes, let’s do this. Let’s be part of something that builds a greater version of Central New York together.”

The group foresees five to six phases of construction involved in the project, Benz noted.

“We envision a significant alteration to the existing premises, and I would estimate [demolition] in terms of 50 percent of greater of the existing structure,” Benz said. “We’re looking to really take the roof off and create a beautiful outdoor, amenity rich space complemented with at least four residential towers.”

Benz also called Wednesday the first day of a “multi-year, multi-phase project,” saying he couldn’t commit to a firm timeline on the construction process..

The development team is encouraging feedback from the community and will solicit suggestions and opinions from local residents and businesses through a portal on the project website. The community can continue to follow the progress on this redevelopment by visiting districteastsyr.com

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