Batavia aldermen may give apartment project a last chance to get back on schedule
The controversial One Washington Place apartment project in downtown Batavia is likely to get another chance to make a deadline to be built by mid-2025 -- nine years after it was proposed.
Batavia aldermen on Tuesday directed city workers to prepare a fourth amended redevelopment agreement between the city and the developer, Shodeen Construction, with a new schedule for the $50 million project. The new deal is to set four "drop-dead" deadlines for the developer to complete pre-construction tasks, including submitting construction drawings by early January.
Aldermen said the new agreement should specify the city can terminate the project if the deadlines aren't met.
Alderman Keenan Miller proposed serving Shodeen with a notice it was in breach of its contract for missing a mid-July deadline for submitting construction drawings and a building permit application to the city. But city Administrator Laura Newman said that would trigger an open-ended period for the developer to "cure" the matter.
A new agreement, with a new schedule and consequences, is better, she said. Shodeen has even proposed finishing the project several months earlier than the current agreement.
Shodeen Construction President Dave Patzelt previously told aldermen the company didn't want to prepare construction drawings, estimated to cost more than $600,000, until after Shodeen was sure it could get a $30 million bank loan. It took longer than anticipated to get the loan.
The project calls for 186 apartments and a 333-space parking garage to be built on most of a city block bounded by River Street, Wilson Street, Washington Avenue and State Street. The city would pay up to $16 million for the construction of the garage and is supplying the land for the whole project.
There have been several delays, including one when the developer made a mistake and underestimated the cost of building the garage. Another delay happened when lead-contaminated soil was found on the site.
Aldermen Abby Beck and Tony Malay opposed the measure. "I'm not confident there won't be (request for) a fifth amended agreement," Malay said, and noting that many residents oppose the project.
The council will vote on the agreement on Sept. 7.