Tonawanda News

The City

December 29, 2012

No. 3: Little League Drive deal riles council

Tonawanda News — Negotiations between the City of Tonawanda and Natale Builders over the potential housing development at Little League Drive came to a head this year after more than two years of talks. 

In March, the city voted to designate Natale as the project’s developer for six months, renewing the project aimed to increase the city’s tax base after months of silence. But the talks dragged past the new deadline and the two parties made little headway until just a few weeks ago. 

Talks likely dealt with who would pay the nearly $1.8 million for the site’s infrastructure, including water and sewer line installation. Although the original request for proposal document for the project asked responders to plan for financing those costs, Natale supposedly backed away from that commitment.

A number of residents opposed the ongoing negotiations out of principle, and argued the city should send out another RFP for businesses that may more readily pay for the infrastructure.

Residents also took notice of recent appraisals of the property, which list the 16.94 acres as worth up to $575,000 as recently as 2010. That figure was quite higher than Natale’s bidding price for the land, $192,000, and some residents believed the city wasn’t fighting for a fair price.

But city officials, including Mayor Ron Pilozzi, argued those numbers were both out of date and inaccurate.

The city stuck with Natale rather than opening it to new bidders, and when the six-month deadline passed, the city extended the contract with the company for an additional 60 days in September.

Then, in November, the council authorized the mayor to draft a contract with Natale, and released details about the current plans for the project completed by Emminger Newton Pigeon Magyar.

In return for taking over the hefty infrastructure costs, Natale opted to build 46 homes, valued between $225,000 and $250,000 each. The catch was they would be legally recognized as condos under a homeowners’ association and the state’s 339-Y law.

Text Only
The City
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
NDN Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success