Aug. 16—OGDENSBURG — Ogdensburg native Christopher J. Duffy has a vision for the properties he owns on East River Street and it revolves around the resurgence of the city's Marina District.
Mr. Duffy is putting the finishing touches on his property at 63 E. River St. The renovation of the building, which used to be a warehouse for Lee Valley Tools, began three years ago. When completed, the East River Street Apartments will offer three year-round living quarters for rent with the flowing Oswegatchie River in sight.
"Trying to make them quality units, I am trying my best," Mr. Duffy said. "It's taking me a little longer than I wanted but they should be done relatively soon."
Each of three apartments is 1,000 square feet and has similar layouts of two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room and laundry room. Each apartment will have keyless entry.
"They are going to be a little bit high-end and we will have to see how it works out," Mr. Duffy said. "But I have a lot of interest so far, so I think they should fill up pretty quickly."
He has been in discussions with the city about installing curbs and would like to have sidewalks put in so the area would be connected to the Maple City Trail.
With Hosmer's Marina next door, Mr. Duffy believes that the apartments will help the Marina District keep moving in a positive direction.
"You kind of get a feel for the neighborhood. With him (William Hosmer) going in there, this was an ideal place for apartments. I thought especially with the marina right over there and the possibility they (renters) could have a boat and a nice view from the front of the river," Mr. Duffy said.
There are plans for a brewery at the former Garns supply building property at 17 Main St., and Cornerstone Services has moved its plumbing and heating business into 7 Main St.
The former cheese plant across the way at 30 Main St., owned by the city, is slated to be torn down.
Mr. Duffy sees all of these as positives for the Marina District and he has other properties on East River Street that he hopes will add to its resurgence.
Next door to the soon-to-be apartments is a large building where he stores boats and Matt Tebo operates an antique machinery business, he says.
Across the street, he has plans to open three commercial spaces in a large building he owns there.
Mr. Duffy is a 1966 graduate of Ogdensburg Free Academy and a retired engineering professor at Penn State University, a position he held for 28 years.
Mr. Duffy and his wife, Sueann, both routinely visit Ogdensburg to see family and a small camp across the street from the apartments will soon be finished with a makeover that will include solar panels on its roof. The couple plans on summering there in the future.