The Village of Williamsville has received an offer of $450,000 for the old Williamsville Water Mill on East Spring Street.
The owners of Sweet Jenny’s – the popular village sweet shop currently leasing space in the historic mill – submitted the formal purchase proposal earlier this month, and are awaiting a decision by the Village Board.
“We can be as patient as they want with the closing, but we would really like them to get under contract with us,” said Howard Cadmus, who owns Sweet Jenny’s with his wife, Tara. “If they want to negotiate, we’re willing to negotiate.”
The village – which rescued the property from foreclosure in 2005 for $450,000 – is pleased by the offer, but isn’t ready to jump at it just yet.
While officials don’t want to drag out a decision on the 1800s-era building, they want at least a few months to hear other offers, decide on the best use for the parcel and determine whether the two adjacent buildings on the property can be sold separately from the historic mill.
“The future of the mill is going to be decided by April,” said Williamsville Mayor Brian J. Kulpa. “That’s our goal.”
“Frankly,” Kulpa said, “I think we’re going to get a couple more offers.”
It’s anticipated that one of the offers will be from Iskalo Development Corp.
A few years ago, Iskalo proposed redeveloping the property for boutique shops, upscale lodging and an anchor restaurant inside the mill, but nothing ever came of the plans.
A representative for Iskalo did not want to comment Tuesday on the Sweet Jenny’s offer, but indicated the company is still interested in the property and its intentions will become more clear in the next two to three months.
In October, Storch Cooperative Development of Williamsville also sent the mayor a letter proposing a bed and breakfast and small retail shops for the two buildings adjacent to the mill.
Williamsville, meanwhile, is anxious to reach a decision on the old mill – and what it will become – as the village begins plans for redeveloping the entire block.
Williamsville recently received $800,000 in federal funds to re-create Spring Street – a back-alley byway off Main Street – into more of a village square centered on the 19th-century mill.
“By the summer of 2015, Spring Street will be fundamentally changed from what it is now,” Kulpa said. “It’s pretty exciting.”