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Businessman submits plan for 10,500-square-foot multi-tenant building in LeRay

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Businessman Robert D. “Bobby” Ferris submitted a site plan to the LeRay Planning Board for a 10,500-square-foot multi-tenant building off Route 11, featuring a store selling items similar to those sold at Big Apple Music, which he owns off Arsenal Street in Watertown.

The proposed building would be located on a two-acre parcel north of Freedom Plaza, on the west side of the highway off the southbound lane. To the immediate south of the building will be an AutoZone built on land owned by West Carthage developer Michael L. Lundy. Mr. Lundy’s construction firm, Lunco Corp., plans to build Mr. Ferris’s structure and the AutoZone in the fall, finishing construction by December, Mr. Ferris said. The Planning Board will review the site plan Thursday.

Mr. Ferris plans to sell a two-acre parcel he owns to the immediate north to Mr. Lundy. The parcel’s purchase amount would then be used to partly defray the construction cost of the multi-tenant building owed to Lunco Corp.

“We hope to have it approved this summer, start work by August and open before Christmas,” said Mr. Ferris, who also serves as a Jefferson County legislator representing the town of Watertown.

Accompanying the automotive electronics store run by Mr. Ferris at the building will be up to four additional tenants. Three national retailers have expressed interest in leasing space at the site, he said. The planned electronics store will not be named Big Apple Music, Mr. Ferris said, because it will offer expanded inventory not available at Big Apple franchise stores. He said the store could be anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 square feet, depending on the amount of space required by additional tenants.

Though Mr. Ferris would not divulge names of prospective tenants, he said a cellular phone provider or mattress store could be possibilities. He said developers view the business district off Route 11 — located near a Walmart Supercenter — as prime commercial real estate near Fort Drum.

“The property between Walmart and Interstate 781 is the hot spot, which is why the plan for the building is a little bit bigger” than it first was, Mr. Ferris said.

“This is basically going to serve the military. It will be a place for the military to get stuff I offer without coming to Watertown. They’ll have the convenience of stopping right there,” he said.

The conceptual site plan includes a direct entrance and exit off the southbound side of Route 11, along with 75 parking spaces. The plan was developed by GYMO Architecture, Engineering and Land Surveying, Watertown.

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