by Nick Mecca

The continued development of The U District took another step forward this week, with Upper Mohawk Valley Memorial Auditorium Authority’s acquisition of the Tartan Textile property.

The AUD Authority officially finalized and signed the purchase agreement from Bowers Development, LLC. for the Tartan Textile property on Tuesday.

“The Authority has been striving towards procuring the Tartan property for a long time, so it is rewarding to see things finally come full circle,” said Carl Annese, Chairman of the AUD Authority. “I know I speak for the Authority as a whole when I say that that land is unbound in its potential, and that it will allow us to continue to push forward to make our Nexus Center project a reality.”

The Tartan Textile property spans 1.9 acres and encompasses the entire city block between Broadway and Charles Street. With the Adirondack Bank Center directly across the street, the plans for the centrally-located property focus on the Nexus Center, a tournament-based play sports and recreation hub.

Developed four years ago by Mohawk Valley Garden, the Nexus Center, meaning connections, represents the conglomeration of different sporting amenities and playing surfaces that will attract families from Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, New York City and more.

With demolition on schedule to start early in the new year, the purchase of Tartan officially propels the plans for the Nexus Center forward, as well as Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.’s vision for The U District — an arts, culture, sports and entertainment district set to transform and revitalize downtown Utica.

“The purchase of the Tartan Textile property is a huge win for the AUD Authority’s Nexus Center project and major step forward in the plans for The U District,” Picente said. “The continuing partnership between the County, the AUD Authority, Mohawk Valley Garden and New York State is a model of public and private development creating jobs, renovating infrastructure and reinvigorating the upstate economy.”   

That partnership recently yielded a $10.55 million state-funded 26,000-square-foot expansion of the Adirondack Bank Center that has added a new entrance, a half-dozen executive suites, a new women’s bathroom, a building-wide sprinkler system and other amenities.

“Securing the Tartan property is terrific news to receive just prior to Christmas, and shows the continued focus of all parties involved,” said CEO of MVG Robert Esche. “The Adirondack Bank Center has continued to be the change agent for growth, revitalization and development in our area, and we’re all looking forward to what the future holds.”