WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- For years, an historical building in Watertown’s Public Square has stood vacant. But now, developers have come up with a plan to turn the boarded up eyesore into housing units for rent.
The Woolworth Building was originally slated to be turned it into a hotel back in 2009, after the city was awarded $2.5 million in state grants. But when the developer couldn’t secure financing, an apartment building became a second option. Officials say this could provide a huge boost to the downtown area.
Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham says, “The availability of housing is important, obviously there is cheaper ways to provide units but this provides an anchor for downtown potentially, actually, plighted property that makes it productive again.”
In order to get the project moving developers have asked council to consider waving building permit fees. They also want assistance in creating parking on vacant land that the city owns and a tax abatement plan.
There’s no word on when the project will actually begin but there is hope for next year.