Frank Marianacci said he has issues to settle before he firms up his plans for his downtown property.
Bloomfield businessman Frank Marianacci withdrew his plan yesterday to develop the four-acre site of the former Agway plant, saying he may submit a new one in a few weeks.
Criticism of his design for a plaza anchored by a Dollar General and unresolved issues over drainage in the flood-prone downtown prompted him to rethink the project, he said.
Marianacci said that he realized during Wednesday's Village Board meeting that drainage work the village may tackle — at taxpayer expense — is similar to work he anticipates doing as part of the redevelopment project.
“What they are paying to do north of Main Street were things we were going to do, at our own expense,” said Marianacci of village officials.
Bloomfield does not have money banked to do this work. In fact, Wednesday's discussion turned on whether the village could increase the cost estimate from $250,000 to $400,000 so it would qualify for a particular state grant.
After awhile, Marianacci left.
“I stopped in to have a sandwich at a local diner,” he said. “One lady there said, ‘Well I see you're going to have a Dollar General.’ She said, 'Well ... that’s an insult!’”
Marianacci paused to let that sink in, that a new employer and a new building in his hometown could mean this to someone.
“Now, you know, that’s the kind of thing ...” he trailed off with a sigh.
So late yesterday he withdrew his plans for the $2 million plaza.
Marianacci said he will try first to get the state Department of Environmental Conservation to move along his request for permits to redirect Fish Creek where it crosses his property.
Also, newspaper coverage of the new plaza had pointed out it would have been subject to existing zoning regulations, instead of a revised Village Center zoning plan still in the works.
Village Center might limit storefronts to 3,000 square feet, with larger ones like Dollar General, at 9,100 square feet, needing a variance.
“A building limit to 3,000 square feet does not give you a return on your investment,” said Marianacci. "You can’t even do a laundromat in 3,000 square feet."
Still, he was not going to have people say he had applied now, just to beat new zoning.
He will take his chances on a later submission.
In addition, Marianacci is still negotiating the gas station component of his plan.
“This isn’t just a developer coming in from out of town,” said Marianacci. "I’m taking existing businesses into consideration when I do this."
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