One of the key components to the proposed 'U District' is getting support from the City of Utica. Both Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri and the Urban Renewal Agency have come out in favor of The AUD Authority purchasing the former Washington Courts to develop their vision.

With the acquisition of the former Washington Courts property the AUD Authority would be able to go forward with their plans to build the Utica Sports Nexus Center. This is the first of several buildings and attractions Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente proposed in his original 'U District' vision. The Nexus Center will pave the way for the American Craft Beer Museum and Innovation Center and other arts and entertainment options.

According to a release, County Executive Picente, County Attorney Peter Rayhill, Rob Esche and Chairman of the AUD Authority Carl Annese all met with the Urban Renewal Agency board on their vision for the 5.5 acre property. The meeting ended on a positive note, when a follow-up meeting was scheduled to work out logistics of purchasing Washington Courts. Mayor Rob Palmieri said, "I will do everything in my power to make Nexus happen."

Following the meeting CEO of Mohawk Valley Corporation Robert Esche said, "I am eager to move forward with the URA in discussing the purchase of Washington Courts. I am confident that we have all of the information that was requested at the meeting, and while there is a lot of work still on the horizon, we are prepared to work together in an expedited fashion to bring an Arts, Sports, and Entertainment District to downtown Utica."

The final decision for the purchase of the Washington Courts property will be made at the July 18th Utica Common Council meeting. Several parties involved in this transaction feel optimistic that the purchase will be approved. That will be the key to unlock the door to a world of possibilities for Picente's 'U District.'

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