TOWN OF HASTINGS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — We have an update to a very popular YS Q&A that aired earlier this month.

In our original story, we told you a Cicero man had a plan to transform the old North Country Plaza at the corner of State Route 11 and County Route 4, near Central Square.

Carmen Cesta, owns a doggie daycare business called Carm’s Dog House. He plans on opening a location at the plaza, once construction is complete.

Cesta said he hopes a grocery store will lease a spot in the plaza and he’d like to see a gym and hair salon fill the remaining space.  

Since our first story, Cesta said he’s received dozens of messages from people living in the area, excited that the old plaza will get new life.

After the story aired, viewer Lisa Wall, emailed the YS Team wondering about a large amount of trees cut down behind the plaza. She was curious what that had to do with the development.

It turns out, Cesta has bigger plans than just giving the old plaza a makeover.

Cesta said the plaza is located on the 214 acres of land he purchased in 2021. He said he’s nearing a deal with a solar company to build a 150-acre solar farm behind the plaza. He also said the project is going through the NY State approval process.

Cesta started clearing the land last summer. He said about 80% of the trees that were removed were either diseased or dead. Cesta added that he worked with the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation before removing the trees. He said trees near wetlands were not removed.

Pending the proper approval, Cesta said he believed the solar farm and the renovated plaza would be completed in about two years.

He also wants to build an 80-unit apartment building on about 25 acres of land, located near the plaza.

The Town of Hasting’s Planning and Development Department told the YS Team that Cesta had made them aware of his plans. The 80-unit apartment building would need County approval before being built.

Assuming it gets that approval, Cesta said construction on the apartment building wouldn’t happen for several years.

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