By BENNY FAIRCHILD
MASSENA - While construction on the site may not be starting in the immediate future, Massena’s mayor says the effort to bring a Dick’s Sporting Goods store to the community continues to move forward.
Mayor James F. Hidy said officials were informed Tuesday that Dick’s Sporting Goods has signed a letter of intent to locate a store near the corner of state Routes 37 and 420 in the village, land located adjacent to the Massena Arena.
This announcement came during a meeting between town officials, village officials, recreation department officials and the owner of the Harte Haven Shopping Center.
“We conveyed to Mr. Wachs (plaza owner Michael Wachs) where we are in the process,” Mr. Hidy said. “We told him that we all have to wait for the legislature to convey the land to the recreation department.”
Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray released a statement following the meeting. He said unexpectedly a quorum of his board members appeared for the session so the town council convened a meeting and went into an executive session to discuss the state of negotiations for the sale of the property to the plaza owner.
“The Massena Town Council met in an unplanned executive session this afternoon to negotiate the possible sale of publicly-owned real property. The meeting was unplanned because I was unaware that a quorum of the town council would be present for a joint meeting held with representatives of the Massena Village Board, Massena Joint Recreation Commission and the Business Development Corporation for Greater Massena,” Mr. Gray said in a statement emailed to the Daily Courier-Observer Tuesday evening.
Mr. Gray said the town council was the only group with a quorum present. Also, attending the meeting were legal representation for both the town and village, as well as Mr. Wachs.
“No action was taken during or after the executive session,” Mr. Gray said, adding the next step will be for Mr. Wachs to make a formal offer on the parcel.
“There hasn’t been a formal offer yet, but we’re looking forward to receiving one,” Mr. Gray said. “If it makes sense then we will go on from there.”
Mr. Wachs has publicly stated on several occasions his desire to purchase the land at the corner of state Routes 37 and 420 to locate a Dick’s Sporting Goods store.
However since that property is considered park land it cannot be sold without legislation authorizing the transaction.
Talks of locating a store there came after talks between St. Lawrence Centre and sporting goods retailer broke down.
In May 2013, officials with St. Lawrence Centre announced they had signed a lease agreement with the store in anticipation of construction beginning this past fall.
Mr. Wachs said late this past winter after it became clear the retailer was not moving into the mall he invited the retailer to locate instead at his plaza calling the chain, “the preeminent and number 1 sporting goods retailer in America.”