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Massena officials obtain letter of intent from Dick’s Sporting Goods

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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 routes 37 and 420 in the village, adjacent to the Massena Arena.

The announcement came during a meeting of town officials, village officials, recreation department officials and the owner of the Harte Haven Shopping Center.

Mr. Hidy said officials told plaza owner Michael Wachs where they are in the process. “We told him that we all have to wait for the legislature to convey the land to the recreation department,” he said.

Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray released a statement following the meeting. He said a quorum of his board members unexpectedly 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.

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.

Mr. Wachs has publicly stated his desire to purchase the land at routes 37 and 420 to locate a Dick’s Sporting Goods store.

But, 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 the 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 last winter, after it became clear the retailer was not moving into the mall, that he invited the retailer to locate instead at his plaza.

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