From overgrown weeds and scrubs, to graffiti on the facade. The owner of Tony's Pizza is hoping to transform the former cosmopolitan center into this....a healthy moneymaking business. Today Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri confirmed the sale of another vacant property owned by the city.
The Mayor says, "We're taking a building that has been somewhat taken off the tax rolls a building that is need of repair that has been vacant for over 8 years and this year we've been aggressively trying to market the building."
The mayor says he had others interested in the property and says these plans are a great fit for the city's vision.
Palmieri added, "I think this was just a natural venue for them, something that was beneficial for them, but more importantly extremely beneficial for the city and what it's going to offer our city."
Currently the building is in rough condition and a project assistant for tony says it could take hundreds of thousands to restore but they see it as a worthwhile investment.
Frank Cristiano, the project assistant says, "Putting the money in there will be a no brainer because we expect to get some immediate results from being right next door to the Utica Auditorium itself, part of that Bagg's West downtown area development as well with future sites going up it should sort of buffer what we do."
The city says it has a three year plan to begin development in Bagg Square West and Frank says they are more than happy to help breathe new life into the City of Utica.
Cristiano continued, "You can't give up on things that are happening down there, to progress we need more people to get involved. You know we're taking a shot, but sometimes those are the best things that happen when you go out there on a limb and try to extend and do something good."