Local News

New Life Coming to Former Salvation Army Store on Route 281 in Cortlandville

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New life is coming to a vacant building in one of the busiest retail areas in Cortland County. The former Salvation Army Thrift Store near the Route 281 and Route 13 intersection looks to have renovations done to accommodate a slew of new retail and restaurant spaces.


Site plans were revealed for the first time during the Town of Cortlandville’s Planning Board meeting last night. Renderings for the project show an extension of the front façade overhang to span the entire side of the building facing Route 281, additional parking spaces, and the interior of the building divided out to one restaurant space and twelve 660 square foot retail spaces.

The applicant for the redevelopment of the property is Solvay resident, Ammar Obadi; the overall project is described as a retail plaza. The Salvation Army Thrift Store occupied the building for a number of years before closing in August of 2021.

Details on the redevelopment were given by John Mastroianni of Mastroianni Engineering of Liverpool. He spoke of the renderings showing potentially 13 retail spaces as a “worse case scenario” in terms of leasing. He continued on saying Obadi plans to have the building leased to at least four tenants and the types of businesses occupying the space as a quick in and out operation citing the restaurant space would not include a sit down option.

Overall the biggest concern brought up by board members of the plans was the limited parking availability. In total, there will only be 28 parking spaces on the property (two for handicap). When asked what type of tenants would be occupying the space, none were available to be revealed and Mr. Obadi said current talks are contingent on the planned redevelopment of the property, but suggested grab and go type food restaurants, nail salons, etc.

The site plan brought to the board was a first in terms of how to go forward with approvals as the board never had the potential issue of lack of parking on a property that already exists within the town. Currently, the town does not have regulations in terms of how many spaces are required per 1,000 square feet of a retail/commercial space.

The concerns though did not wash out the overall positive views the board had to the planned redevelopment, citing the building has sat empty for a number of years and new business in Cortlandville is good business.

A fair compromise was made between the Planning Board and Mr. Obadi. The site plan would be approved by the board on the condition that there would be a maximum of 10 tenants instead of the originally proposed max of 13. The Board voted unanimously to approve the site plan approval for the property.

It was noted if the need for additional parking is required, Obadi would have to return to the board for further review and approval.

*feature image via Google*

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