Mohawk Valley Health System is providing a status update on the downtown Utica hospital project.

MVHS officials say seven property owners in the hospital footprint have completed or are in the process of completing a signed purchase-option agreement.

Twenty property owners are in active negotiations with MVHS, while five property owners have received purchase option agreements, but are not in active discussions.

Three property owners have indicated they're not interested in any type of agreement.

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

“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, 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.”

Meanwhile, the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties has hired John Wicks as Project Coordinator for the downtown Utica project.

Wicks previously served as Community Engagement Lead Coordinator and Grant Manager for Integrated Community Planning, Inc of Oswego County,

Wicks will help affected downtown businesses identify potential options and funding for relocation.