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41, 43-51, 53 Genesee St.

FILE, May 2016: 41-53 Genesee St.

A collection of downtown Auburn buildings have once again recently changed hands — this time to a local group with aspirations of redevelopment.

The properties at 41, 43-51, and 53 Genesee St. — colloquially known as "the Nolan block" — were purchased June 30 for $255,000 by Nolan Block LLC, according to Cayuga County property transfer records.

Records indicated the assessed value of the properties is $274,100 as owned by Seneca Federal Savings & Loan Association, a Baldwinsville-based institution that purchased the block in late April for $247,000.

The Genesee Street buildings, home to Nolan's Shoes for about a half-century before closing in 2004, had previously housed several local businesses until the structures were condemned in June 2014.

The purchase does not include the 1970s era building of the old sporting goods store which is currently in use.

The new owners hope to redevelop the buildings with spaces for both commercial businesses and apartment units.

Grant Kyle, of KyleCroft Development, said Nolan Block is a family-owned enterprise between the Weedsport native, his parents, Peter and Carolyn, and his brothers, Ian and Keiller.

The Nolan block marks the first downtown property that KyleCroft is looking to redevelop, Grant said. Notably, KyleCroft has explored the redevelopment of a West Garden Street garage near the Auburn Correctional Facility, though plans have stalled since the endeavor was first announced.

Nevertheless, Kyle said the Nolan block purchase is part of a larger redevelopment effort, as his family is in the process of purchasing another property within the Auburn Downtown Business Improvement District. He declined to say which parcel.

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"We're looking to be a partner with the city and trying to push their initiatives forward in tandem with private development," he said.

Currently, Nolan Block is in negotiations with commercial tenants, with early plans for 14 to 16 apartments units for the Genesee Street structures. In the meantime, Kyle said the focus is on getting the buildings cleared of debris and stabilized. Actual redevelopment would not start until winter.

KyleCroft's current goal is to have the Nolan block redeveloped by next summer. As for West Garden Street, the developer said there are still plans in the works for a restaurant, but with lease negotiations ongoing, nothing is set in stone.

Through the planning process with the Nolan block, Kyle said he has worked with Auburn officials regarding potential uses. The rear of the properties, along the Loop Road side, would be affected should the city move forward with a preliminary proposal to close that portion of the roadway to make room for a riverside regional market.

The market was one of the principal projects included in the city of Auburn's application for $10 million through the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant program. City officials have not indicated whether the project is dependent on the grant award, the winner of which is expected to be announced this week.

Kyle said he had already started the negotiation process for purchasing the property prior to city officials announcing their intentions in mid-May to apply for the $10 million grant. With the riverside market billed as the centerpiece of the city's developing Owasco River walking trail, Kyle said he believes his company's private development can complement the city's plans for the downtown area.

Jennifer Haines, director of the city's Department of Planning and Economic Development, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

"We're currently working with them on it," Kyle said. "If the grant doesn't come through, we still intend to pursue whatever we're going to do anyway."

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Staff writer Greg Mason can be reached at (315) 282-2239 or greg.mason@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenMason.

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