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market_120A new supermarket in Lansing passed another major hurdle last Friday when the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) unanimously approved Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) agreements for the two LLCs involved in the project.  The seven year agreement reduces property taxes by 90% in the first year, incrementally decreasing to 13% in the seventh.  With Town approval of the project last month, developer Andy Sciarabba says the store is still on the aggressive schedule he has set.

"We're hoping for a May opening in 2011," he said.  "If all goes well we'll meet that goal."

The $3.25 million project will bring a 14,000 square foot supermarket to the corner of North Triphammer and Town Barn Roads in Lansing.  It will include a deli, bakery, a meat department, and a produce area.  It will also will offer prepared take-home meals.

Sciarabba has said that a May or June opening will be important in order to take advantage of the summer season with its campers and tourists.  To make that deadline he has been relentless in meeting deadlines set by the Town, County, and State in order to move the project forward.  Last month the Planning Board approved the site plan, and the Town Board voted in favor of a resolution to the IDA in support of granting the project the PILOT agreements.

The project is the product of two LLCs, one of which owns the land the project is being built on, and the other that is funding the actual market.  The supermarket currently has eight investors, most of whom are Lansing residents.  The others are relatives of Lansing people who live elsewhere in the state.  When opened the supermarket will bring 27 new jobs to Lansing, including seven full time managers: one for each department, plus a general manager, and an assistant manager.  The rest will be part time jobs that Sciarabba told IDA members will be high school students, older adults, and parents who want to work part time while their children are in school.

Sciarabba said local contractors will be used as much as possible, naming several he plans to employ on the project.  He said that refrigeration is the biggest issue for the store, and his group will have to use a company specializing in that.

"We've been through the planning process with the Town of Lansing," Sciarabba  told IDA members last Friday.  "We got approval from the Planning Board as well as the Town Board on the resolution.  The SEQR was approved and a public hearing was held.  We've got our design for the storm water retention area approved by the County and the engineer.  We're waiting to hear back from New York State on the archaeological study.  The septic design is in front of the County Health Department for approval.  We're getting our equipment costs put together now."

While plans for the actual store are being developed Sciarabba is working on the building permit application, a State archaeological study and other details that will allow construction to begin in December.   Storm water retention pond construction is planned to begin within days.

"We're moving along pretty well," Sciarabba says.  "I'm still hoping to have construction start on the building in December.  The storm water retention ponds will have to be completed before that time, so we hope to start them next week.  The Town has been very, very supportive.  We've had no negative comments.  People are looking forward to it -- in fact they wish it were open now."

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