Posted at: 03/12/2013 6:01 PM
| Updated at: 03/12/2013 6:18 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
WATERVLIET - At State Supreme Court Tuesday, developer John Nigro said he's frustrated at the latest attempt to stop a new Price Chopper shopping plaza in place of an historic church.
"I think we're frustrated that it's gone on too long and really we need to put it to bed and do the best we can for the citizens of Watervliet," Nigro said
Demolition has already begun on St. Patrick's Church, a landmark and tallest point in Watervliet. Unused and in disrepair, the diocese sold the buildings. But the group, Citizens for Saint Patrick's, continued to wage a legal battle to stop the development, now arguing that the building permits were improperly approved.
"We're going to fight until we run out of options because the property is just too important to the future of Watervliet to be abandoned," said Rosemary Nichols, an attorney with the group.
"We're here based on the law and the facts and my clients legal rights and it's about time this frivolous activity stops," Robert Sweeney said to the judge. Sweeney is an attorney representing Nigro.
Nichols rebuffs claims that the legal efforts are frivolous, saying the group wants to see the rectory and school turned into high end apartments instead, to raise enough money to consider reuses for the church itself. They have opposed the shopping plaza on grounds that it doesn't belong in a residential neighborhood.
"They may cry about frivolity but there is nothing we have done that is legally objectionable," she said.
"Stopping the project is not a win win for anyone. Because stopping it leaves a vacant church which needs millions of dollars to redevelop it and no one has a plan except ourselves and the Price Chopper," Nigro said.
The judge will make a decision on whether to grant a stay on the building permits, on Thursday.