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#MVHSDowntown Parcels

We're tracking the parcels and stories related to the Downtown Utica hospital concept. Also, you may review our research on the Changing Hospital Footprint Our group suggests a Landlocked City should not give away real estate to a large tax-exempt nonprofit. (Here are the Utica Tax Maps for all of the city.)

Below are stories carried by the UticaOD in regards to the parcels the hospital seeks to acquire and bulldoze for their ill-conceived, inner-city, hospital district.

First a chart with the status of 36 Required "Sellers", who own 82 Tax Parcels, updated as of May, 9, 2018...

Group Sellers Description
* Signed, or "in process of signing". What does "signed" really mean? MVHS places the Compassion Coalition into this group, however the Compassion Coalition says, They Are Not Selling!
Have not "signed", are just "talking". What does "talking" mean? Since those in the "signed" group have not signed to sell, can we really know what's going on?
Not Talking
These property owners have "received letters", but have not replied to MVHS, nor talking to their legal representatives.
Not Selling
This was two, but has now doubled to four. These property owners would create a need for Eminent Domain proceedings.
City of Utica
The City of Utica owns ten (10) of the required parcels, thus the above owners represent (72) parcels. See a map of City Owned Parcels and a list of City Parcel Tax ID's. Note 1: Top and bottom rows duplicate a Tax ID number/property, sloppy city-county, MOU/MOA, legal work! Note 2: Mayor Gives Away City Assets.

We need to sift through the hospital's stories, because in December 2017, it was stated, "... of 49 property owners in the hospital project area (25 acres), 38 have received options to purchase and site-access agreements". So is it 36 or 49 owners?

August 28, 2020 - Oneida County makes offers to at least two property owners in their proposed "parking garage footprint, offer letters close with the two words "eminent domain"...

June 14, 2019 - MVHS said to have acquired another property in downtown Utica hospital footprint...

Here's the new tally:
13 properties have sold
15 have agreements in place
3 are still negotiating
4 refuse to sell

June 20, 2019 - More hospital parcel news...

June 13, 2019 - Parcel update, but with project split into two different footprint, who knows the true tally?

June 5, 2019 - View City Resolution passed by the Utica Common Council to sell MVHS 5 City Parcels For $1.

April 18, 2019 - With this story, Acceptance of final SEQR it is stated MVHS can start closing on their accepted property offers.

October 11, 2018 - Property owners holding steady at 35, According To News Today, yet the public still does not know what type of documents were signed, as not all were at-arms-length agreements "to sell"...

August 5, 2018 - Downtown Utica doesn't need the ruinous hospital, but newspaper offers this story, Utica In 2023: How City’s Big Development Projects Affect Each Other where the parcel status us tallied...

August 5, 2018: Downtown Utica Hospital Parcels

So the number of property owners has changed again! From an original 49 to 36, and now to 35. Who was dropped? Was it the city with 10 or 11 parcels?

Where are these sellers, where are the doctors and nurses touting their support for this healthcare transformation?

May 17, 2018 - Another story reports, Utica To Sell 5 Lots And Buildings To MVHS For Just $1.

But, "The sales can't close until the State Environmental Quality Review process is complete this fall."

May 16, 2018 - City and MVHS make a deal, read story titled "Utica officials approve purchase option for hospital project". Story states...

"...officials have reached a purchase option agreement with Mohawk Valley Health System for five city-owned parcels; 326-334 Columbia Street, 336 Columbia Street, 414-416 Lafayette Street, 509 State Street, and 401 State Street."

"There are 10 city-owned properties among the 82 tax parcels covered by the 25-acre project. The other five make up the Utica Police Department’s maintenance garage; health system representatives have said conveyance of those parcels would likely take place later on in the project."

May 9, 2018 - MVHS has committed $8M to acquire fourteen signed agreements, read this Hospital Parcel Update. Hospital footprint remains at 25-acres. MVHS seeks 82 tax parcels owned by 36 different entities; 10 parcels owned by the City of Utica, 35 are private property owners. As of today:

SIGNED * : Fourteen (14) property owners, representing (?) properties, have completed * or are in the process of completing a signed, purchase-option agreement.

"As of Tuesday, Scholefield said Mount Zion Ministries is one of 14 property owners that have agreed to purchase option agreements. Scholefield said the health system"

TALKING: Eleven (11) property owners are in active negotiation with MVHS.

NOT ACTIVE: Six (6) property owners have not responded to MVHS.

NOT SELLING: Four (4) property owners have indicated they are not interested in any type of agreement.

From the story... "The city’s Urban Renewal Agency already has approved purchase option agreements for four (4) city-owned lots targeted for the hospital footprint. A fifth (1), located in the site of a new parking garage proposed with the project, will be a topic of an upcoming URA meeting in the near future, Scholefield said.", and "The other five (5) parcels comprise the Utica Police Department’s maintenance garage facility. The city and health system have agreed to hold off on acquiring those until the project’s final phases."

Also... "So far, MVHS has spent about $8 million acquiring the 14 properties."

All this buying would surround the City Police and Courts Buildings, which we believe would also be demolished. Consider this story, Chief, Health System Refute Report About Police Station Move. When combined with these, Will Hospital Impact Utica Police Station, Will New Hospital Force Utica Police To Move?, and Inside the Utica Police Department’s aging station makes their scheme pretty clear.

May 8, 2018 - Press conference, MVHS's COO Scholefield Talks About Property Owners. Original said to be a joint press conference, Compassion Coalition doesn't attend and then refutes MVHS's statement.

And what about financing the purchase of buying the required parcels? Hospital appears to be blowing their budget...

This seems to be clouding their hospital Funding picture!

May 6, 2018 - Reading Why Utica, Oneida County would handle eminent domain for new hospital one learns that about 82 required tax parcels...

The City of Utica's Urban Renewal Agency would oversee acquisition of 69 tax parcels (eight that are city-owned), and Oneida County for acquiring 13 tax parcels, two of which are city-owned.

April 11, 2018 - In story titled Eminent domain settled for new Utica hospital we read, "More than a quarter of the 35 private property owners have signed purchase agreements with the health system and many others remain in negotiations, according to the release. But the health system hasn’t heard from a few of the owners, and three have said that they will not sell."

March 29, 2018 - Read, Property acquisition remains major hurdle for hospital project, where we learn:

"As for the City of Utica’s parcels, the Urban Renewal Agency in February approved “options to buy” for four of the 10 city-owned properties: 326-334 Columbia St., 336 Columbia St., 414-416 Lafayette St. and 509 State St. “No dollar amount has been established for these properties at this time,” he said. Of the 10, only the Utica Police Department maintenance garage has been appraised with a purchase-price option sent to the city. The offered purchase price has not been released."

Why don't we know the appraised value of the Utica Police Department maintenance garage?

March 28, 2018 - Deadline reached, purchase-option agreement acceptance ends for 35 property owners within the downtown hospital bulldozer zone. MVHS offers their Hospital Update.

Of the 35 property owners representing 72 parcels of land in the downtown project footprint, not including parcels owned by the City of Utica:

SIGNED: Seven (7) property owners, representing 13 properties, have completed * or are in the process of completing a signed, purchase-option agreement.

Talking: Twenty (20) property owners are in active negotiation with MVHS.

Not Active: Six (6) property owners have received purchase-option agreements but are not in active discussion with BSK or MVHS.

Not Selling: Two (2) property owners have indicated they are not interested in any type of agreement.

Hospital statement continues, "We are pleased with the response we’ve received to this point and will continue our work with the property owners to finalize purchase-option agreements,” said Robert Scholefield, MS, RN, executive vice president/COO for MVHS. “Now that the deadline has passed, we will start looking at our options to acquire properties from the few property owners who have not responded, in the event we are unable to reach an agreement.”

[Why did MVHS extend the "offer acceppetance" date to March 14? We believe it was not out of generousity to owners who had offers, but designed to give their attorneies time to send offers to unwilling sellers (who had not yet recieved offers), so MVHS could abide by certain legal obligations. A legal step in attemp to prepare a defence in a future lawsuit, perhaps?]

February 28, 2018 - Deadline Extended For Hospital-Area Property Owners

Where it is reported, "Hospital officials said they have gotten “some” purchase agreements back already."

January 21, 2018 - Reading Hospital plan in Utica costly for nonprofits we learn...

"The health system’s lawyers for property acquisition — Bond, Schoeneck & King — have been in touch with property owners, discussing their questions and concerns, said Robert Scholefield, executive vice president/chief operating officer. The due date for accepting offers has been pushed back from Jan. 15 to Feb. 28 to give property owners more time for review and research, he said."

Turning Point building appraisal: $85,000

January 10, 2018 - News article Titled, Chief, health system refute report about police station move reports...

"The project’s footprint does include the police maintenance garage and a parking lot used by the police department, but the police station and Utica City Court are the only structures in the neighborhood of Oriskany, Columbia and State streets and Broadway not included in the plan. Some properties across Columbia and State streets from the neighborhood also are included" and goes onto state,

"That’s what he told me and there were three of us in the room,” he [Chief Mark Williams] added. “To me, that was the shocking part of the story. I chose not to take that angle. But Williams denied having any inside knowledge of the hospital plan. If you look at the footprint of the hospital plan, I believe that their ultimate goal is to take the police station,” he said. “But that’s just my opinion."

January 9, 2018 - Sure looks like the hospital wishes to take the police station, hear it from the Utica Police Cheif...

Chief Williams, Hospital Most Likely Taking Police Station For Project, In an interview with Utica Police Chief Mark Williams, it was learned that despite earlier denials, the MVHS Downtown Utica Hospital Project will most likely take the aging Utica Police Station.

December 18, 2017 - This news article, Utica hospital could be costly to property owners, reports...

"The hospital will be built on a 25-acre campus with a parking garage, a medical office building and five parking lots in the area of Columbia, Oriskany and State streets and Broadway." As well as,

"Of the 49 property owners in the hospital project area, 38 have received options to purchase and site-access agreements, said Debra Altdoerffer, vice president of communications and marketing for the health system."

November 16, 2017 - Finally, MVHS, city unveil downtown hospital site plan! Where we see the Hospital Site Plan and learn...

"The parking garage will be situated across Oriskany Street from the Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium, between Cornelia and State streets."

"The project also includes five parking lots, with a total of more than 1,100 spaces."

"The proposed medical office building, which will be built by a private developer, will go acorss [sic] Columbia Street from the hospital, on the east corner of Cornelia Street."

October 27, 2017 - This story states that, MVHS eliminates three properties from site plan for planned downtown Utica health-care campus.

Here we learn about the city-owned parcels that the hospital concept seeks...

August 15, 2017 - We learn in a news article called, Garage agreement likely; downtown hospital probable this...

"The current plan is for the hospital to be built in the neighborhood of Oriskany, Columbia and Lafayette streets and Broadway. The parking garage, which would go at a still unspecified location in the area, would contain between 1,400 and 1,650 spaces with 1,150 spaces earmarked for hospital use."

August 15, 2017 - A story titled OUR VIEW: Downtown hospital needs transfusion offers...

"Cuomo was right about “missing pieces.” They’re still missing. We haven’t even seen a footprint of the hospital design."

July 25, 2017 - This story titled Warning to city: No garage, no new hospital offers this...

"The garage would have between 1,400 and 1,650 spaces, 1,150 of which would be earmarked for hospital use, although more space would be available in the evenings, DiMeo said. The hospital needs 3,000 spaces, but the rest would come through surface parking, he said."

However, no information on where such a parking garage would be located.

June 7, 2017 - The hospital footprint has been changing. Their Full Footprint Hidden for 1-1/2 years, yet sought 34 acres. It then shrunk to 25-acres...

May 27, 2017 - Another story titled, Will hospital impact Utica police station?

Offers a map of the Proposed Hospital Site

December 6, 2016 - News story, Downtown hospital price tag downsized where we read...

"The downtown hospital proposed by the Mohawk Valley Health System has gotten smaller and less expensive. Initially, officials projected a $575 million, 830,000-square-foot structure in the area between Oriskany, Columbia and State streets and Broadway in Utica. But hospital officials have downsized their projections to $480 million and 750,000 square feet. “Planning a project of this magnitude occurs in several stages over the course of years,” said President/CEO Scott Perra in a statement. “In late 2014, we developed estimates based upon preliminary design concepts. We continue to perform studies and evaluations to further refine the project as we advance through the phases of the development process.”

"The size and price change does not reflect any kind of downsizing of the plans..."

"A parking garage — with an estimated cost of $27 million — was taken out of the plan. The garage is essential, but health system officials believe that third-party ownership of the garage makes sense. Perra said officials have received indication in “a very meaningful way” that someone is interested in the project. The garage might very well also serve Utica Comets hockey fans and patrons of new downtown businesses."

December 4, 2016 - OUR VIEW: Hospital needs more than a Band-aid, where one reads...

"Local officials began pushing for a 17-acre downtown Utica site, bordered by Oriskany, Columbia and State streets and Broadway — if that location proves financially viable. Otherwise, it would be located on the St. Luke’s campus in New Hartford. The $300 million was just part of the cost, which was reported to be between $500 million and $600 million. But oops! That didn’t include construction of parking garages. Come to find out, officials had been counting on the region winning one of three $500 million awards in the governor’s Upstate Revitalization Competition to help pay for that. Who knew?"

August 15, 2016 - Titled Businesses affected by hospital plans face uncertainty, where newspaper states:

"There are roughly 20 businesses and three nonprofits – from Tringali’s church to Bengees Downtown Bar to Kelly’s Closet — in the area initially proposed for the footprint of the new hospital. But property owners across Columbia and State streets also will be affected by the plan, which will include one or two parking garages and a medical office building."

August 8, 2016 - In another story titled, Health System To Appraise Downtown Site, we read:

"The appraisal will include private properties between Oriskany and Columbia streets, Broadway and Route 12, as well as properties on the far side of Columbia Street. The properties bounded by Oriskany, Columbia, Broadway and State Street are all expected to be included within the hospital footprint", as well as,

Properties on the other side of Columbia and between State and Route 12 are under consideration as sites for a parking garage or two and a medical office building, but it’s still not certain how many of those properties will end up being included in the plan."

June 3, 2016 - New story, Your Bargain Grocer surprised it could be consumed by new hospital, where we are reading...

"Health System President/CEO Scott Perra said that they initially were looking at a 34-acre parcel for the hospital, but now that the parcel is 25 acres, the boundaries “are changing a little bit.”

May 18, 2016 - We read, MVHS To Begin Appraisals For Downtown Hospital Properties, and learn...

"Property areas that will be appraised include several city blocks south of Utica Memorial Auditorium, bounded by Oriskany Street to the north, properties abutting Columbia Street to the south and Broadway to the east as well as Route 12 to the west."

"That mailing was sent to 39 owners representing 77 properties whose holdings comprise, along with City of Utica, approximately 25 acres."

April 18, 2016 - Still they wiggle on site, asking Will new hospital force Utica police to move?

"At a news conference Wednesday with Mohawk Valley Health System President/CEO Scott Perra, he indicated that a concept draft of the hospital and the surrounding area currently shows the maintenance garage at the corner of Cornelia Street and Oriskany Street West, and the police station remaining in place. In the same breath, he cautioned that the future of either building is not something that’s been considered yet. It has been established, however, that the Utica City Court building will not be impacted. “This is not an architectural rendering,” Perra said. “This is an artistic rendering. We’ve got to sit down with the city, the county and everyone else to see where this needs to go. Once we get architects on board — who we hope to have hired by the end of the year and start designing it — it could slide a little bit to the north, south, east or west, and that would change whether certain buildings need to be removed or not removed.”

December 6, 2015 - OUR VIEW: Hospital can fit in new downtown Utica; transparency needed

This article offers, "Today’s hospital project would displace roughly 20 businesses and three non-profits on a 17-acre site."

November 29, 2015 - Another story, Business owners have many questions, few answers about hospital proposal.

Reported here we read, "... in the neighborhood if plans to bring a hospital to a 17-acre parcel bordered by Broadway and Columbia, Oriskany and State streets comes to fruition", and "There are roughly 20 businesses and three nonprofits – from Bengees Downtown Bar, to Kelly’s Closet, to the Salvation Army Thrift Store — in the proposed area the $600 million hospital could go."

November 29, 2015 - Newspaper offers yet another story titled, The new hospital plan where they, "The hospital would sit on a 17-acre parcel bordered by Oriskany, Columbia and State streets and Broadway". Goes on to add...

"It’s not certain yet whether the police department and maintenance garage would be included. Utica City Court would not. At least two parking garages and a medical office building would be built across the street from the hospital. Another 17-acre parcel is under consideration for those projects, but it’s not certain where within that parcel those buildings would go.

September 29, 2015 - Newspaper reveals in story titled, Q&A regarding proposed new hospital for Utica, the targeted hospital site is not 17 acres...

Story read, "Officials caused a lot of confusion by releasing the wrong information at first, saying that the site is 34 acres and includes land between Columbia, Oriskany and State streets, and Broadway, minus the police station. The land described, though – which is where the actual hospital would be built — is 17 acres. It’s part of a larger 34-acre parcel, some or all of which would be used for related projects, such as construction of those parking garages. It includes land across the street from the central parcel, but the hospital has not released a map or an exact description of its parameters."

September 29, 2015 - New story, Hospital proposal has vocal opponents; taxes, development among group’s concerns, and reports, "Some of the opposition involves the proposed 17-acre site for the new hospital between Oriskany, Columbia and Lafayette streets, and Broadway."

September 22, 2015 - Downtown first choice for new hospital

It is reported here, "the new hospital across a 34-acre parcel – think a little smaller than 26 football fields — bordered by Broadway and Columbia, Oriskany and State streets", and "Tentative plans call for two parking garages on the site, he said. “One would probably be a staff/physician parking area. The other one would be a visitor/patient parking garage, which could be open off hours to other people,” Perra said. That could mean more parking for evening events at the auditorium."

September 22, 2015 - Downtown hospital would affect businesses, traffic, infrastructure

In this story, we read, "Scott Perra, president and CEO of the health system, said that the system has narrowed its choice for a new hospital location to two sites - the St. Luke’s campus in New Hartford and an area downtown bordered by State, Columbia and Oriskany streets and Broadway."

July 11, 2015 - Story breaks in Utica Observer-Dispatch, Downtown Utica suggested for new hospital site. And acting as if they don't know anything, the mayor offers, "Building the hospital downtown probably would mean piecing together a large enough parcel by buying contiguous properties from different owners. Although officials said several sites downtown might work, Palmieri mentioned Columbia Street, east of the Arterial, as a possibility. The hospital could be a catalyst for the area’s redevelopment, bringing in businesses such as specialty shops and coffee shops, he said."

No Studies, No Reports, thus we remain #NoHospitalDowntown