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Sat., Aug. 29
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Three developments on tap in Ogdensburg


The city planning board tonight will consider three commercial and residential developments, all of them downtown.

When the board meets at 6 p.m. in City Hall, it will review site plans for the following projects:

■ United Helpers is proposing to move its staff training, day habilitation and other operations from its former Cedars Nursing Home in the town of Oswegatchie to the ex-Filtran Inc. building, 102 Ford St.

■ Plattsburgh developer Gilbert J. Jones plans to build a pair of 1,200-square-foot townhouses at the former Ramada Inn, 119 W. River St., which he intends to reopen in 2013 as the Riverfront Marina and Hotel.

■ A tanning salon plans to open in 800 square of storefront space at 230 Ford St., where there was a doctor’s office.

United Helpers Chief Executive Officer Stephen E. Knight said Monday that the move from 6695 Route 37 to Ford Street will mean new space for 30 employees as well as a therapy site for 25 developmentally disabled clients.

It will also place the latter group closer to the city’s green belt, the better for enjoying the outdoors.

“It’s a nice feature,” Mr. Knight said.

The 15,000-square-foot Ford Street building, which Filtran still owns, would provide United Helpers with classrooms, meeting rooms and offices for staff training, case management, housing services and other functions.

Mr. Knight has two other sites to consider if this one falls through.

He declined to specify where they were.

“They’re here in town,” Mr. Knight said.

Mr. Knight wants the relocation to one of the three proposed sites to be done this year.

Businessman James Ma has made an offer to buy the Cedars building to convert it to a hotel. His plans to open an English as second language school at the nearby former Academy at Ivy Ridge are on hold, stalled over its apparent inability to issue visas to its incoming students.

Mr. Jones wants the two townhouses to represent an early phase of a development of the hotel that will include more townhouses, reopening its Oswegatchie River marina by next month and turning what was a 76-room hotel into a 35-room lodging facility.

The tanning salon is the idea of Caitlin E. Morgan, who co-owns the Busy Corner Cafe, located two doors down at 234 Ford St.

Mrs. Morgan wants to be open for business by summer.

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