F&M Building sale falls through in Lockport

Aug. 25—LOCKPORT — The F&M Building at Main and Locust streets is still up for grabs.

Heather Peck, interim CEO of Greater Lockport Development Corp. said the agency and the building owner, E.A. Granchelli Development, had been working with a potential buyer, and they were recently informed that Savarino Companies, LLC is no longer interested.

GLDC is involved in the sale due to the property being the recipient of almost $4 million in state grants, including $1.3 million of Downtown Revitalization funds, $375,000 with a 25% match from the New York Main Street program and $2 million from Restore NY, all to redevelop the iconic — and long vacant — Farmers & Mechanics Bank building. The grant money goes with the building, whoever owns it, according to Peck.

Savarino Companies was under contract to purchase both the F&M Building, 116 Main St., and the old Frontier Mall next door at 120 Main, and had proposed a $15 million redevelopment project involving residential and commercial uses. Buffalo-based Savarino on Tuesday abruptly announced that it's shutting down.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of an eventual sale of one or both properties, the Common Council on Wednesday voted to release Granchelli Development from terms and conditions of the city's Urban Renewal Plan adopted in 1963. The Frontier Mall was an urban renewal project.

"This is regardless of who owns it. This is a certain part of the title so that it's not a hindrance or loophole for whatever developer decides to purchase it," Mayor Michelle Roman said.

"When we have a successful plan in place, the developer for the F&M building, which I believe we will, they will not have to go through (this), we took care of it already," corporation counsel Pat McGrath added.