Little visible progress nearly one year after lawmakers call for cleanup of abandoned Sunoco properties: Your Stories

Published 04/29 2014 09:52PM

Updated 04/29 2014 09:56PM

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - It’s been nearly a year since Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer stood at an abandoned corner on the Southside and demanded Sunoco clean up or sell the abandoned properties.

The company agreed to do both, by selling the properties at East Seneca Turnpike and Brighton Avenue to Dunkin' Donuts.

But, there doesn’t appear to be much progress in the property renovation and residents want to know why.

"A portion of the property on the corner of Seneca and Brighton is actually public right of way. It was being used by the previous owner as part of the gas station, but when they did the survey, it turned out part of it was part of the public right of way, part of the street," said Ben Walsh, the Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood Business Development for the City of Syracuse.

Walsh says that has caused delays because now developers have to go through an additional layer of approvals before they can begin construction.

Not only do they need a special permit required for most food establishments, but they also need to go through a lengthy abandonment process. 

"The city abandons the land, sells it to the adjacent property owner, they subdivide it into their property and then you have one full piece of property in which they can proceed," explained Walsh. "The developers have assured us the project is still on track and they still intend on building the Dunkin' Donuts. It’s just a matter of how long it will take to get through the approval process."

The city says they're waiting for developers to submit the abandonment request and developers tell NewsChannel 9 they’re still hoping to start construction later this year.

Once developers submit their abandonment request, the city says it's likely to be approved in a matter of a few months.

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