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Bait shop property developers hope to break ground in summer

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CAPE VINCENT — Developers of the old bait shop by the ferry dock plan to break ground on their proposed expansion project as soon as this summer and aim to add two stories on top of the single-story building by year’s end.

James M. Rossi, who purchased the waterfront property with his wife, Carolyn J., said the idea is to get the building watertight before it starts snowing and have contractors finish the interior work over the winter to get the property ready by next spring.

If all goes as planned, there will be two commercial spaces on street level and four residential units on top — three apartments on the second floor and a home for the Rossis on the third.

“We’re looking for somebody to lease the space and open a business, preferably something year-round,” Mr. Rossi said.

The village Zoning and Planning boards recently approved a zoning variance and site plan application for the proposed expansion, allowing the Rossis to move forward with the state-funded project.

The couple purchased the property for $139,000 in 2011, and their project was awarded a $200,000 state Homes and Community Renewal grant the following year with the help of the Cape Vincent Local Development Corp.

The state grant comes with a deadline, among other requirements, and the Rossis must finish their project by December 2014.

Mr. Rossi said he is waiting for the state to allow him to hire architects and contractors.

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