Delays in construction of a new plaza on Center Street in Lewiston led the Zoning Board of Appeals to rule on Tuesday that previously granted variances are expired.
In an email to The Sentinel on Saturday, William Paladino, CEO of project applicant Ellicott Development, wrote, "Regarding Lewiston, I did do all my due diligence upfront and their delays before our last approval seriously hampered our development and we lost substantial tenancies.
"From the beginning we tried to do a detention pond because we know underground is so expensive and they said no they don't want one, so I tried to do it their way with underground detention. The numbers were even higher then I could ever envision so that is what precipitated the request for the change. The additional property was acquired more so to assist in eliminating some further cost being the retaining walls and make the plaza more aesthetically pleasing and to add some parking. It's a better plan."
He added, "And I was very disappointed to hear Mr. Eydt's comments about not doing our due diligence. We did and Planning Board members know we did. I asked in the beginning and knew a pond was the way to go. We asked to find places to place on site or along Onondaga and they said 'No.'
"They didn't want one, so we tried it differently. The project would maybe have still been affordable the old way if we would have still had our original major anchor tenants, a pharmacy and McDonald's, who we lost because of the long, contentious planning process."