Former Coleman’s – Walton Willett Stone Store – threatened by Leaking Roof, Deterioration

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Community Development Office advised the Mayor’s office Friday that an inspection of the former Coleman’s was conducted on June 9 by a qualified structural engineer.

The condition report will be available for review by the Mayor and Common Council before Monday’s Common Council meeting.

The Walton Willett Stone Store building was constructed in 1828 and is known throughout the
region as the former Coleman’s Restaurant.

It was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 as the Walton Willett Stone Store/Cahill’s Fish Market.

The building has had many purposes over its 186 lifetime, serving as a ship chandlery, the original U.S. Customs House, a ticket office for Northern Steamship Company and as a warehouse and fish market before Coleman’s Properties, LLC. Transformed it into an Irish pub and restaurant in 1999.

Coleman’s Restaurant of Oswego closed February 6, 2008.

The property had received funding under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Canal Corridor Initiative with infrastructure improvements extending the Riverwalk West and erecting the Veterans’ Stage to attract more waterfront tourism.

The City of Oswego Community Development Office foreclosed on the property January 7, 2010, for loan default.

The City of Oswego solicited proposals from qualified developers in July 2010.

The Development Committee recommended Fowler-Gardella Construction, LLC and Thomas Millar
consortium as the best proposal for the property in September 2010.

The developers’ proposal included a reuse of the Walton Willett Stone Store building as a mixed use residential and commercial building with boat rentals and restaurant at the ground floor and first floor level with apartments and office space on the second and third floors.

Eight townhomes were also proposed for the property to the north.

The Common Council designated the Fowler-Gardella Construction, LLC and Thomas Millar consortium as the Preferred Developer on September 13, 2010.

After investigation, the Common Council authorized the mayor to enter into agreements with the
developers for the whole project.

On June 28, 2012, the developers signed an Option to Purchase.

In January 2013, the project received Oswego Planning Board approval and on April 16, 2013, a Contract of Purchase and Sale was signed.

In November 2013, City Attorney Gay Williams requested that the developers show proof of their financing for the whole project before the Contract of Purchase and Sale could be closed.

The developers failed to provide proof of financial commitments for the whole project.

The City Attorney then cancelled the transaction based on the developers’ breach of the agreements, as authorized by the Common Council.

The property is currently the subject of a lawsuit.

In the meantime, the City of Oswego is securing the property.


  1. Who wrote this? It is known throughout the region as CAHILL’S ! Coleman though he was going to save Oswego by putting another bar here. He didn’t last long.

  2. He lasted long enough to get almost a million dollars in federal money for restoration of the place!!

  3. Wow! Seriously???? Coleman’s occupied the building for only 9 years! It was CAHILL’S for over 30 years! As long as I can remember, we would go on Friday nights with our dad to get fish at Cahill’s. Mr. Cahill would take his boat out and catch the fish himself! THAT is what the building is known for in the region. Why don’t you take a couple of seconds to ask a resident or Google it before you print misinformation.

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