Tonawanda News — He said the property was already under contract with Jay Soemann, who owns Walker Bros & Monroe Jewelers as well as the building rented to the Canalside Creamery. Soemann said in an January interview that he had plans to gut and refurbish the former Ava’s Place structure and described the sale as “close.”
Siford believes the city will now likely sell the building to Soemann, for a drastically reduced price from the negotiated $140,000 agreement. Soemann could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, though Nickerson confirmed the assessed value of the property is $75,000.
Siford said the assessment doesn’t include the restaurant equipment inside the building that has since been locked and sealed by the city since it obtained ownership of it.
Nickerson said he felt the city could move on from the long-standing issue, saying that the common council and Mayor Rob Ortt’s office are looking at options for the building, though a sale to Soemann could still proceed.
“When someone is gaming the system like Mr. Siford has done for so many years you realize its not fair to the other taxpayers of the City of North Tonawanda,” Nickerson said. “And I’m just happy to say that this chapter is closed.”Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.