Bower threatens lawsuit over eminent domain proposal for Utica hospital
Business proposal

Bower threatens lawsuit over eminent domain proposal for Utica hospital

Syracuse-based Bowers Development has a signed purchase agreement for 411 Columbia St. in Utica, city officials said.

But if the Oneida County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) follows through with possible eminent domain to acquire the property for the Mohawk Valley Health System, the developer may seek legal remedies against OCIDA. 

OCIDA voted August 20 to have staff look into the legal right to use eminent domain to acquire the property, which is currently home to J.P. O’Brien Plumbing and Heating and is within the hospital footprint. 

This rendering shows what downtown Utica will look like once The Wynn Hospital, tall building in the drawing's center, is complete in 2023.

Hospital officials said the Columbia Street property is imperative to the plans for a Medical Office Building (MOB) that have been in the works for years.   

The hospital’s site plans include the property and other buildings in that space, which were chosen because it is across the street from Wynn Hospital, and there were ample sites for parking, officials said. 

Hospital officials said the MOB is expected to house physician offices, an ambulatory surgery center, outpatient radiology and a laboratory patient service center.   

“The latest maneuvers being attempted by MHVS’ CEO are beyond questionable,” Bowers Development said in a statement. 

Bowers further said MVHS has had the opportunity to purchase the property at a fair and reasonable price but has not. 

The development company said MVHS is now threatening to take private property through OCIDA, not for public benefit, but for the benefit of another private entity.