Council Paves The Way For Development Of Former Coleman’s Site

OSWEGO, NY – At its Sept. 13 meeting, the council approved authorizing the mayor to enter into a pre-possession agreement with Fowler Gardella Construction and Thomas Miller for property located at 1-7 W. Seneca St.

Earlier this year (July 26), the city received proposals from developers interested in the former Coleman’s property.

The proposals were reviewed by a committee appointed by the mayor to seek a qualified developer to provide the highest and best possible re-use of the property located in Oswego’s downtown waterfront.

Based upon its review of the experience, schedule and purchase price for the property, the committee recommended Fowler Gardella Construction and Thomas Miller.

The council has reviewed the proposal and agreed with the overall concept and purpose of the developer’s proposal to employ and engineering firm to provide a report within the next 30 days before exercising its option to purchase the property.

The developers are proposing to re-do the building, put apartments upstairs and their office in the middle floor and reopen a restaurant of some type on the ground floor, according to Mayor Randy Bateman.

Then, they’d like to construct new townhouses on the adjacent property.


  1. THANK God, this historic building is not going to meet the wrecking ball, as is the lot with so many buildings in America! For Oswego, THIS building defines not only its location (it is a waterfront staple), but also our seafaring history.

    So THANK you, Councilors, Mayor Bateman, anyone else instrumental in getting this work off the ground!!!

    As someone who sorely misses Coleman’s on the River, but also Cahill’s and any other business that enhances our tourism and history, I cannot tell you how delighted I am by this news.


    Debbie Engelke
    Another ‘tourism’ business owner in the Port City
    Time & Again Books & Tea (200 feet from the Canal at E. Utica Street)

  2. TO OUR MAYOR: “Mister W”

    Mister Wonderful. This is the nickname I gave you when we were neighbors up on 12th street.
    Somebody in the house never quit reminding me how perfect everything you did was. You cut the grass 3x a week. You had the driveway sealed every month. Why couldn’t I see, and be more like you?
    Because, I wasn’t wonderful, not then, not now, or at any foreseeable time in the future. But that doesn’t mean we can’t see eye to eye.

    And now, you are mayor. God bless government by amateurs. It’s the way our founding fathers intended it to be. And I am a strong supporter.

    Until the pile of mistakes tops the roofline, anyway. Somehow, during your years in office, both bridges over the river have either been closed or almost closed. Long time businesses like mine have been quietly pushed to the brink of insolvency and over, all this without the slightest issue of apology, offer of compensation, or promise of reparation. You appointed a post-Bushey traffic manager who this past summer created the worst traffic jams in history of Bridge Street by mangling the traffic light timing (a problem that continues. ((BringBackBushey).)

    And now, to the point; the Cahill building.

    This Coleman character has a long history as a leach. In Syracuse, they put a stop to his schemes, but he found easy pickings here. Coleman sucked every federal, state and county dollar he could get, and then walked away richer and left us poorer.

    Now, from nowhere city USA, there is suddenly a developer no one has ever heard of. We know this much: if the news report is correct and they’re planning to put apartments in a building with no elevators, it can only mean there are gypsies in town, and they’re wearing headbands, gold necklaces, doing calculations on Ouiji boards, telling fortunes, and shopping at used book stores that don’t pay royalties to authors. Don’t let your kids out of sight, lest they end up in Africa in chains.

    Give us a break. Walkup apartments?

    Mr. W, do we still have a city engineer? Oh, wait, that’s the same man who once told me the zoning ordinance doesn’t mean anything. It’s the expedience of the moment that’s important. If that’s true, why do we need an engineer? We might as well save ourselves the salary. But that’s another topic entirely.

    Mr. W: How many million is this new waterfront player putting up to buy this 300 feet of waterfront and all the land up to first street? When we need 90 million to pay for the separation project, and there are two available properties adding up to 1000 feet of waterfront and a depth all the way to first street, are you seriously considering a developer who is so broke they propose walkup apartments on the riverfront?

    C’mon, Mr. W. After St. Louis and the corner of W5th, you’re in tear-it-down mode. You can put all the lipstick on the Cahill pig you want, but it’s still the most prime fall down structure in the entire city. If the save-the-history nuts want it so much let them buy it and fence it off. Some things outlive their time, and that building is a prime example. How many statues of the Hunchback of Notre Dame do you see around? With that ugly deformed mutant building gone, the adjacent riverfront, the pole barn at Schuyler Street and the adjacent empty lots are the urban development opportunity the town has been waiting for ever since the people of Oswego realized there was a natural wonder really, really close just to the north. This is the moment to make amateur government work. As a package, that land is worth millions. The turning point is an uptown destination for tourists. A marina could be there, with all the trimmings.
    Every property on first street would quadruple in value. Two blocks to the River’s End bookstore. If your imagination fails you, look at Kingston, but please, please don’t sell out to a band of gypsies and force us to wait another twenty years.

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