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SARATOGA SPRINGS: Parking rules

Sonny Bonacio, owner of Bonacio Construction, faced a half hour of scrutiny before the Saratoga Springs City Council finally voted to award the bid for the sale of the Broadway parking lot adjacent to Lillian's Restaurant for $750,000.

Accounts Commissioner John Franck, Finance Commissioner Matt McCabe and Public Works Commissioner Tom McTygue vote for the sale. Mayor Valerie Keehn and Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim voted against it.

Bonacio Construction was the only business to submit a plan to develop the deteriorating parking lot at 420 Broadway, where currently up to 40 cars can park. A second offer of $850,000 came in from Joseph D. Boff of Florida Life Homes in Marco Island, Fla., but that offer did not satisfy the city's request for proposals and was dismissed.

Bonacio offered the city $750,000 for the lot, where he plans to build a basement garage with parking for 31 vehicles, retail space on the first floor, offices on the second floor and residential units on the third and fourth floors. The building would encompass 62,000 square feet.

McTygue is proposing using the revenue from the sale of the lot to generate 400 or more parking spaces on Woodlawn Avenue.

McCabe's vote came after about 30 minutes of debate that started when he said he could not support the sale unless some of the provisions in Bonacio's proposal were deleted. The commissioner was concerned with clauses that called for a waiver of all city fees on the sale, and wanted clarity on what would happen with the parking spots and property tax until Bonacio broke ground on his proposed retail/condominium building.

These are all things that have to be in place before I can support this, said McCabe, after the motion was made by Franck to award the bid.

McCabe proposed the closing of the sale be postponed until January of next year.

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