It looks like the controversy over Utica's Kennedy Parking Garage is over.

On Thursday, Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri announced that the city's Urban Renewal Agency has approved the sale of the garage to none other than, Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) for $1.5 million. The board voted unanimously to approve the sale. If the sale is finalized, the city says the property will become part of the Wynn Hospital campus. WIBX has reached out to MVHS and is awaiting comment.

It's estimated that the garage needs repairs that will cost upward of $13 million.

A 2021 Surprise

MVHS took issue with the sale of the garage to developer Bowers Development of Syracuse, because the Wynn Hospital was in the process of negotiating a lease of parking spaces with the city. Bowers was set to purchase the garage for $1.5 million. When Bowers announced the purchase, they announced plans to build a hotel on top of the garage, which the hospital opposed. In fact, MVHS actually owns the rights to air space over the garage, so approval from MVHS would have been required. Additionally, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente and management at MVHS said they were totally caught off guard by the sale of the garage, and they were never given any advanced notice by the city.

Earlier this month, the city announced that the deal with Bowers had fallen through, and the garage was back up for sale.

During an interview with Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri on WIBX following the Bowers announcement, he was asked if the best option going forward would be to offer the property to MVHS. The Mayor said he had negotiated with the hospital previously, and talks broke down. Still, he said he would be open to negotiations with the hospital.

“This is an exciting day for Utica’s continued transformation," said Palmieri. "The selling of Kennedy Garage is a win-win for our entire community. The sale will facilitate the operations of this crucial downtown district while also saving money to taxpayers. The partnership between the City of Utica and MVHS will remain strong and the Wynn Hospital will be an invaluable asset to our shared future.”

The Kennedy Garage, constructed in 1969, consists of 595 total parking spaces (including the deck), of which only 100 are currently utilized. MVHS and Oneida County are currently in the process of constructing a new garage along Oriskany Street which will house the bulk of the parking for the new hospital, which is set to open at the end of October.

Related Content: MVHS surprised to learn of Kennedy Garage Sale - 2021

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