BY JIMMY LAWTON North Country This Week OGDENSBURG -- Plans to bring a brewery to Ogdensburg’s River District will move forward, but at a new location, according to William Hosmer. That has left …
BY JIMMY LAWTON
North Country This Week
OGDENSBURG -- Plans to bring a brewery to Ogdensburg’s River District will move forward, but at a new location, according to William Hosmer.
That has left the city with a decision on what to do with a piece of land they sold to him last year.
Ogdensburg City Council agreed to sell a portion of Main Street property for $10,000 to Hosmer for River Street Brewing Company.
The plan was met with open arms from members of the public and council who were enthused about more development in the city’s River District.
Hosmer purchased just over half of an existing vacant lot which measured around one acre.
At the time he shared plans to build a 2,200 square-foot brewery and taproom and expected construction to move swiftly, however plans have changed for a variety of reasons.
As part of the agreement when the sale was made, Hosmer said he would return the property to the city should the development not take place within three years.
Although the three years have not yet passed, Hosmer says he plans to develop the brewery at a nearby location. He has requested that the city allow him to keep the property to sell to another developer at the same price he purchased it from the city.
Hosmer, a former city councilor, says the development of the area would be good for the city, and a direct sale between him and the developer would be faster than returning the property to the city, which would likely be a more expensive endeavor for all involved.
Although Hosmer didn't want to speak out of turn, he said the new development plan would be beneficial to the water district.
Hosmer said that he'd actually be taking a loss on the property due to surveying and closing costs that were already paid, but said the development would have obvious benefits for his existing restaurant and future brewery.
Councilor John Rishe explained the situation following an executive session Monday.
He said that during the closed meeting the council discussed whether or not the city should take back the property since the brewery wouldnt be moving forward at that location.
“The discussion was that they aren't going to build on that site, so under the agreement we have the option of taking the property for $10,000 or we have the option taking that site back for $10,000 or relinquishing our rights so it stays with the private owner and that's my favor and I guess that I ask that that it be put on the Dec. 11 agenda to give people time to think about it and consider it,” Rishe said.
Deputy Mayor Steve Fisher disagreed. He said the city should take the property back to ensure the area gets developed in the future as it’s located near the city’s waterfront.
“I think the whole area needs to be tied together. You can't just piecemeal it. You don't buy half a suit,” he said.
Although no additional discussion on the matter took place, it’s expected to be discussed further at the next city council meeting.