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SU nixes contract with developer for new bookstore

Cameron Group, LLC
The Syracuse Common Council is inching closer to approving a proposed tax break for a new bookstore and fitness center.

After years of trying to build a new off-campus bookstore and fitness center, Syracuse University's efforts took a big step back Friday.

The university canceled its contract with the developer it had selected to build the project along the 600 block of University Ave., just north of the school's main campus. 

Two years ago, the school and developer, Cameron Group, finally convinced the city and its development agency to approve the project and grant it a 30 year tax break. 

Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO
The proposed site of the new facility.

Last November, the development agency, SIDA, nearly voted Cameron Group in default of its contract for failing to start construction on time. It narrowly beat the deadline.

Syracuse University decided it's had enough of repeated delays and missed deadlines.

University spokesman Kevin Quinn said in a statement it seemed unlikely the developer would meet its deadline of June 18, 2015 to complete the project.

"As a result, earlier this afternoon the University formally notified the developer that it was terminating the project and reclaiming the work site," Quinn said.

Quinn notes failures to secure financing and not submitting a construction schedule as some of the reasons.

Syracuse University first proposed the project in 2012, but it took a few years to convince the city to go along with the 30 year tax exemption. Cameron Group would have leased the land from the college, built the project and then rented it out to the school.

The statement did not indicate whether the university would seek to build the project with a different developer, but that the college officials "look forward to working together with [city officials] in the future as we continue assessing and planning the University’s space needs."

WRVO/Central New York reporter for the Innovation Trail
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