Pittsford, N.Y.— On Monday afternoon, about a dozen Village of Pittsford residents gathered for a workshop meeting to discuss the plans for the old Monoco Oil Asphalt Plant site.
More than a year ago, Pittsford Canalside Properties (owned by Mark IV Enterprises) announced their plans to build a luxury apartment complex and restaurant at the plant’s site on Monroe Avenue. A year later, the project has yet to receive the special use permits necessary to move forward with the plan.
However, on Monday, the Village Deputy Mayor Tim Galli hinted that approval for the permits may come soon.
“We are certainly closer to a vote than we were a month ago,” Galli said.
Galli cautioned that there were still many items left to discuss but said progress is being made.
Since the project was first announced, there have been some changes made to the original plan. The apartments have been downscaled from 220 units to 167 units. The on-site restaurant will hold 125 people instead of the 150. The architectural design has also changed.
Chris DiMarzo, the president of Mark IV Enterprises, says this project has been in the conceptual and discussion stages for more than two years. The project approval, he admits, is taking longer than normal.
“The village has really turned over every leaf they could,” DiMarzo says. “They’re trying to determine any impacts that this could have and they've really done their diligence.”
Village resident Fran Kramer was among those at Monday's meeting. She spoke out against the project saying that it doesn’t fit into the character of the Village of Pittsford.
“Yes, [the developer] will clean up the site, but there are a lot of alternative ways to clean up that site that won't be so intrusive,” Kramer says. “This is a very historical village. People come from all over to visit. It's special. Why should we jeopardize that?”
Kramer says she doesn’t like how the housing will be rental units and she’s also concerned about the building’s height and the traffic it may cause.
“Why don't they build condos, townhouses and single family homes,” Kramer asked. “What about a small park? Yes, [the site] needs to be cleaned up, but not with three or four story buildings.”
Galli and DiMarzo both say that traffic studies show congestion will be a minimal issue for the area. DiMarzo says his company plans to put in a new raised median and portable radar speed sign.
Joe Corney works at Rocky Greco Salon in the village. He says he doesn’t mind the idea of apartments because he feels it could only bring more business to the area.
“I think people are always hesitant about having change in the area,” Corney says. “I say give it a shot. I don't see any big concerns with it.”
Another meeting is scheduled on October 9 to discuss more details about the project. Galli wouldn’t say whether or not there will be a vote at that meeting, although he said it is unlikely.
Once the developers get the special use permit, they will have to get approval from the Planning Board and Architectural Preservation and Review Board.