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Wayne Post
  • Mixed reactions on Lakeshore developer

  • With Morgan-LeChase taking over as the owner and developer of a 21-acre parcel on the north side of Lakeshore Drive, reactions from those in the community range from excitement to relief to skepticism.

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  • With Morgan-LeChase taking over as the owner and developer of a 21-acre parcel on the north side of Lakeshore Drive, reactions from those in the community range from excitement to relief to skepticism.
    For Canandaigua Mayor Ellen Polimeni, the developer announcement has been a long time coming.
    Polimeni has been in office for several attempts at developing the property — which is located between Booth and Muar streets, and does not include Parkway Plaza. Polimeni is also a member of the Canandaigua Area Development Corporation (CADC), a group that joined the lakefront initiative in September 2011.
    Polimeni added that while she is pleased with the formation of Morgan-LeChase — a joint venture between Morgan Management and LeChase Construction — there are still steps to complete before construction can begin.
    “Getting the developer was the goal,” Polimeni said of the CADC’s role. “Now we go through the process of review and getting city approval to move forward. We’re presented with a whole different scenario.”
    Though he was traveling Friday, Bill Goodrich, the president and CEO of LeChase, responded to questions via email. He said “it is anticipated that construction could begin as early as second quarter 2014.”
    Morgan-LeChase will purchase the property from David Genecco. Goodrich said the group is paying a “fixed negotiated price” for the land, but did not comment on the amount.
    “I’ve had to take a significant loss,” Genecco said of the sale. He added that he’s optimistic about the property’s future and grateful for the support of the CADC.
    According to Goodrich, Genecco’s role with the project is complete with the sale of the property.
    Polimeni added that as far as she knew, it had always been the plan that Genecco would sell the land to a potential developer when that stage came.
    As for the CADC, there are no future meetings scheduled, Polimeni said. CADC spokesperson Andrée Mastrosimone added that some members of the CADC will remain as project consultants, but their roles will be more low-key now that the developer is in place.
    City Councilmember Cindy Wade said this is a step in the right direction for the project.
    “I’m very excited; this is what these two companies (Morgan and LeChase) do for a living.” Wade said. “I applaud David's efforts to get the properties together. ... I don’t think his strengths are in actual development.”
    Others in the community were not as positive about the developer announcement.
    “Until I see some action and get an update, not a pep rally, I will continue to have concerns,” said Canandaigua resident Gary Dixon. “We have seen things like this before. Many have lost trust with those in charge of this project and will not trust anything they say until real progress is seen.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Dixon added that he plans to attend the June 20 Planned Unit Development meeting, at which the developer promised to reveal more details about the preliminary vision for the lakefront land.
     
     

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