DeWitt (WSYR-TV) -- They’re probably the biggest and most noticeable eyesores in the area and the town of DeWitt has had about enough of the inaction with them.
For years NewsChannel 9 has gotten emails and calls about the old Howard Johnson’s and abandoned gas station in Carrier Circle. And many of you want to know if that area will ever be rebuilt?
The hotel has been closed for over a decade and deteriorating year after year. In 2005, Hampshire Hospitality asked the town for permits to tear down the old hotel and gas station so they could build two new hotels on the site. They got the necessary permits, but have never used them. Part of the hold up has been getting the State to approve a new entrance. The issue had been resolved, but by that point, one of the hotel chains, Fairfield Inn, had already decided to build elsewhere in Carrier Circle.
"I don't know if they have any franchise from any hotel chain now to back them up to build a hotel,” said DeWitt Planning Director, James Conlon.
The State wants to change the entrance from the middle of a ramp off Carrier Circle to one down Thompson Road. They want people to get in using the traffic light across from Carrier Circle. Conlon says McDonald's has already given the developer rights to put a road in that would run behind the restaurant into the hotel complex.
"If nothing happens or they back out of the deal, don't sign the easement. The Town is in discussion with the Town Board and will proceed with legal means in getting the buildings torn down,” Conlon said.
Conlon also says he’s giving them until the end of July before seeking any legal action. He says it’s not something the town can pay to tear down and doesn’t want to order the work and put it on the tax rolls for fear the developers walk away costing the town and county money. Conlon says it’s not just holding up development on this site, but other possible projects in this area.
"If we're back here in September, either they get the easement signed and we see some machines behind us or we're back here saying the town proceeded legal-wise to get the place cleaned up,” Conlon continued.
The owner of the abandoned gas station on the site is attempting to sell the land to the hotel developers. Conlon says the plan is to use it for parking and landscaping.