"Location, location, location" as realtors would say. This large plot of land is virtually at downtown's doorstep, has water and sewer services, is seconds from a Thruway exit, and is accessible from either side of Genesee (without requiring a traffic light) via an underpass at Lee Street.
Of course, this is not pristine land . . . It's a brownfield, currently undergoing remediation for contamination. Reuse will require cleanup, some use restrictions, and public assistance. . . . but is not this what we have EDGE, our IDAs and Empire Zones for? To take care of the paperwork and to absorb some of the financial risk to make sites such as this the equivalent of a "greenfield?" All city services are already in place . . . It is wasteful and burdensome on the taxpayers to not reuse such sites.
View Larger Map Another location, presumably without a contamination problem (because it was residential), is the former Washington Courts site. This site covers most of the area between Water and Whitesboro Streets, has all services in place, and IS DOWNTOWN. A short walk away is Commercial Travelers Insurance, and the regional office of Utica Mutual. This site, too, is easily accessible . . . from Oriskany Blvd, the East West Arterial and the North South Arterial, and is about a minute from the Thruway exit.
Clearly, the Washington Courts site would have been a superior location for "The Hartford" -- much better than the New Hartford Business Park . . . Services are already in place, it's easy to get to, public transit is right there, workers could actually WALK to places during lunch . . .and, perhaps more important, there would have been a "cluster" of insurance companies downtown. Where like businesses are clustered together, usually synergies develop producing results that are greater than the sum of the parts.
You have to wonder, when sites such as these are available, why are EDGE and public officials trying to force taxpayers to pay to build more infrastructure for a greenfield business park in New Hartford.