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Woolworth Building project could start in December

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The developers of the Woolworth Building expect to close on the historic Public Square landmark next month.

If they take ownership then, construction would start the following month, developer Erich H. Seber said Friday. He and partner David Gallo are purchasing the building for $450,000 from Long Island developer Michael A. Treanor, who bowed out of the project after he could not obtain all of the needed funding to complete it.

“We’re hoping to get going, but there are a lot of moving parts,” Mr. Seber said, adding that if the deal goes through in November, “then you’ll see a lot of activity in December.”

The six-story building will be transformed into 50 apartments on the upper floors and commercial space on the ground floor.

The two developers have submitted plans to the city’s Code Enforcement Office, which is reviewing them, said Shawn R. McWayne, code enforcement supervisor.

His office will approve a building permit if there are no glitches with the plans, he said.

Purcell Construction Co., Watertown, is the general contractor for the $15 million project. Bids recently went out to hire subcontractors.

On Monday, the Watertown City Council will consider two minor points for the project, said Kenneth A. Mix, the city’s planning and community development coordinator. Council members are expected to approve “the disbursement agreement” for a $2.5 million Restore NY grant from the Empire State Development Corp. that will help finance the project.

In the other resolution, the council is expected to agree to sell a small sliver of property at 25 Public Square for $1 to Jerry O’Connell, the owner of Cam’s Pizzeria at 29 Public Square. That property is adjacent to the former Iron Block/Woodruff II site, in the green space between Cam’s Pizzeria and the Woodruff Professional Building, that will be converted into a 28-space lot for tenant parking.

While a survey was being completed on that green space, it was discovered the outer wall of the Cam’s Pizzeria building was on the Iron Block land. Monday’s resolution will take care of the discrepancy, according to Mr. Mix.

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