WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - There’s new hope for a portion of downtown Watertown. It started with money for a new community and aquatic center and now there’s a chance for even more growth.
The old Globe Mini Mall on Court Street hasn’t been used in years.
Richard Alexander, who used to own the Best Western Hotel on Washington Street, hopes to own the old mall and bring it back to life.
“Something’s got to be done. Hopefully I’m the one that can do it,” he said.
The mini mall was condemned by the city of Watertown this summer and put up for sale.
When you look at the building and its surroundings, Alexander says it sticks out.
“The poor building’s an eyesore and it’s almost like downtown Watertown and the city doesn’t deserve to have something looking like this. So somebody’s got to take over this building and give it some tender love and care,” he said.
Alexander has no specific plans for what’s to be in the building, but expects the purchase will by finalized by the end of the week and a new roof will be installed within a month.
“Had I been in a position to do it I would have done it. It needs to happen and I’m glad it’s happening,” said Aaron Austin, owner of the ReCre’s Bike Studio.
Austin says a renovated Globe is what the surrounding businesses and the building needs.
“It has a lot of history here. It’d be great to see it looking great again,” he said.
And just around the corner, the old call center building is on the path to become the YMCA’s new community and aquatic center, having secured a $9 million grant towards construction.
“We see this as one of those cornerstone projects, where you go in and go ah, wow! that’s beautiful, so it’s going to be special,” said Donald Alexander, CEO of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency.
And both projects represent a vision for downtown Watertown - one that paints a brighter picture of the future.
“It’s nice to see things happen that suggest, boy, this community is alive and well and kicking and we think this one is,” said Alexander.
Even more growth is expected for the old call center. In about a week, we expect to hear about another business moving into the building.
It would be a trifecta for that portion of downtown Watertown.