BELVIDERE — Allegany County development officials have high hopes for the latest proposed development at the Interstate 86-Route 19 interchange.
A limited liability corporation, 5744 County Road 20 LLC, led by the owners of the Quicklee’s chain, proposes to build a gas station, convenience store, truck stop and quick service restaurant under the Quicklee’s banner, said Craig Clark, executive director of the Allegany County Industrial Development Agency.
“Everybody’s excited — especially me,” Clark said. “They would like to start as soon as September — so it will probably be sometime in September, October.”
The chain, founded in 1995 in Avon, has 19 locations. Most stores are in the Rochester area, with several in the North Country and one in Bath.
The brand for the restaurant has not been determined, he said.
According to the company’s website, several Quicklee’s locations host chain food service, including Rochester-based pizza chain Mozzeroni’s and Dunkin Donuts.
Developers seek an exemption from sales taxes, deed transfer taxes and real property taxes. In return, the developers will offer a payment in lieu of taxes, which is still being negotiated. Typically, PILOT agreements transfer the property in question to the IDA, which is exempt from taxes. In return, the developer pays the IDA a negotiated amount, which is distributed to the town, county and school district where the project is located. The amount is typically lower than the tax bill which would normally be levied.
Clark said the details of the PILOT are still being negotiated. The IDA will host a public hearing on the PILOT at 10 a.m. Aug. 29 at the Crossroads Commerce Center.
A PLAN FOR a hotel at the site is also in the works, Clark said, with a different developer working with the IDA.
“That will be a separate developer — we’re down to negotiating a contract with a separate developer,” Clark said, and if negotiations move forward as expected, “They could start as early as the beginning of next year.
“They already have a layout they are working with, but we’re not ready to announce yet,” he added, and a separate PILOT will be required for the hotel.
Having two developers is a change from previous strategy employed by the IDA for the past decade, previously focusing on finding just one developer to build the entire complex.
“I think it’s better — it was hard to find a developer to do both,” Clark said. “This way, we already have two direct connections and they’ll be working together.”
In a 2015 study launched by the IDA and other county agencies, officials figured that a 100-bed hotel at the site could realistically see a 60-percent occupancy rate every day, with sell-outs expected multiple times throughout the year. At a rate between $115 and $130 a year — which IDA officials said would be an acceptable rate for a hotel at the site and similar in price to Microtel in Wellsville — a hotel there could make around $3 million annually, with around $120,000 in bed taxes paid to the county.
DEVELOPMENT OF a water line along County Route 20 to the site was temporarily halted, Clark said, but the line is expected to be done shortly.
“We’re making progress — we should be starting again,” this week he said. “They had some materials issues.”
First considered more than 15 years ago for a proposed water park, the IDA and county struggled to develop the line. The Office of the State Comptroller quashed a proposal to create a water district for the area around 10 years ago, which led to the creation of a public benefit corporation to handle the work. The Allegany County Board of Legislators in February 2012 approved a bond issuance for $3.5 million to fund the project and purchase property at the truck stop area. The water line is expected to cost $1.4 million.
“Everybody thought we were never going to break ground, but we did,” Clark said.