Potential developers sought for Midtown Plaza in Canton

Posted 4/1/24

CANTON – The Village of Canton is now looking for potential players in the development of the former Midtown Plaza at 19 Miner Street.

At a special meeting on March 27, the village board …

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Potential developers sought for Midtown Plaza in Canton


CANTON – The Village of Canton is now looking for potential players in the development of the former Midtown Plaza at 19 Miner Street.

At a special meeting on March 27, the village board approved the acceptance of Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the property.

“We are looking for developers although we have a developer who has shown interest,” stated Mayor Michael Dalton. “It just makes sense to seek RFPs.”

The deadline to submit RFPs is noon on April 30.

The Village of Canton has been working with SUNY Canton and the Canton College Foundation for a number of years to re-envision this space. In May of 2023, the Village took ownership of the six parcels that make up the plaza for $1,280,000. The purpose of the project is to transform this blighted, dilapidated plaza at the center of Canton’s downtown into a mixed-use development offering new live/work housing options, premium commercial space, and at its core an Entrepreneurship Center to be operated by SUNY Canton under the conditions of a long-term lease, which will ignite innovation, spur the creation of new businesses, and be the catalyst for enduring economic and community growth, according to a village document.

To date, substantial grant funding has been secured. The Village has been awarded $2,000,000 from the Restore NY program that will be used toward demolition of the existing structures and abatement of anticipated hazardous materials. Abatement and demolition may begin before this contract is awarded.

SUNY Canton and its Foundation have been awarded funds to support the development of a 15,000 square foot Entrepreneurship Center which will be the anchor tenant. The funding includes $1,322,000 from Empire State Development, $2,641,000 via a congressional  earmark to be funneled through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and $111,326 from the Northern Border Regional Commission.

These funds can only be used to construct an Entrepreneurship Center. Project proposals that do not include approximately 15,000 square feet designated for the Entrepreneurship Center will not have access to these funds. The developer must follow the rules/guidelines for each grant to access these funds. The expectation is that these funds for construction will be in lieu of substantial lease payments for the space housing the Entrepreneurship Center.

In addition, the Village of Canton has been awarded a NY Forward grant and anticipates  that the project developer would submit an application under the program’s open call for projects. This is expected to be announced in May or June of 2024.

Proposals should include, at a minimum, the following:

Describe your development intentions – including, but not limited to:

  • The vision for the proposed reuse of the property, including how it will achieve the

specifications listed above;

  • Detailed description of the proposed use and the specific proposed improvements (may include number of units, building stories, commercial square footage, housing class, or commercial tenants);
  • Feasibility of the project and characterization of the potential impact and benefits of the project on the downtown and surrounding region;
  • Description of any challenges or obstacles to completion of the project;
  • Description of proposed technologies for sustainable development, green construction standards, energy efficiency, and decarbonization:
  • Description of how the project will consider and/or incorporate resiliency measures;
  • How the proposer intends to address regulatory requirements, such as consistency with locally adopted plans, the zoning code, required state and local approvals, SEQRA status, permitting status, and/or potential regulatory hurdles;
  • Description of any work or planning done previously on the proposed project. If the proposer has any preliminary designs, plans and/or site layout (no matter what point in the design process), those materials should be provided;
  • Precedent imagery should be included along with an explanation of site planning considerations;
  • Description of how the community will be engaged in the planning process;
  • A non-binding purchase price, accounting for the Village of Canton’s desire to recoup

our investment in the site;

  • The proposed timeframe for taking ownership, completing construction, and opening;
  • General timeframe and phasing for implementation with milestones and deliverables;
  • Anticipated start and completion dates or timeframes;
  • A financing plan and/or approach that demonstrates the ability to secure requisite funds/financing to accomplish the project proposed, including;
  • Breakdown of proposed sources and uses of funding, including any incentives or energy efficiency programs that the entity intends to explore and/or apply for, and broken down into construction activity, as well as specific soft costs including design, engineering, legal, and other soft costs and contingency amounts;
  • Budget narrative explaining how the cost estimate and breakdown was developed and verified, including justification for contingency amounts, explanation of funding statuses, and a timeline and/or plan for obtaining any unsecured funding;
  • Narrative describing developer’s approach to sustainable property management;
  • Identification of the entity submitting the development proposal. This should include:
  • A brief overview of the entity’s history and goals;
  • A narrative describing the capacity of the entity to implement and sustain the proposed project:
  • The entity’s experience with developing, managing, and sustaining similar projects;
  • The entity’s experience with state or federal funding programs;
  • How this project will be maintained after project completion;
  • Identification of individuals who will be actively engaged in the project, their roles, and experience;
  • Resume or statement of qualifications, including identification of any development projects of the proposed owner(s) similar to that described in the proposal;
  • Relevant references, including representatives from municipalities where similar development projects have been completed in the past, or representatives from relevant state agencies.

Proposals should be clearly marked on the outside as follows and mailed or delivered to: RFP–Canton Midtown Project, Attn: Leigh Rodriguez, Village of Canton, 60 Main Street, Canton, NY 13617

Selection will be made on or after May 1, 2024 with contracts awarded after any applicable New York State agency review.

All questions about this RFP should be directed to Leigh Rodriguez, Director of Economic  Development, at (315) 386-2871 #5 or lrodriguez@cantonny.gov.