American Legion

An aerial view of the Geneva American Legion property on the west side of Seneca Lake.

GENEVA — Winnek American Legion Post 396 of Geneva decided in February to hold onto its valuable Lochland Road property after a potential buyer backed out for financial reasons.

That may no longer be true.

A second developer is now interested in the property, Ward 4 City Councilor Ken Camera said.

“A new developer showed up and started engaging with the city,” Camera said Monday.

Camera informed residents of his ward of the developments regarding the lakefront property, which could be worth more than $1 million. For two-plus years he’s been calling on the city to fast-track new zoning for the land to allow for higher-density housing development and other potential uses, such as a hotel. City Council resisted that sentiment, instead opting to have the property undergo rezoning as part of the current city-wide project.

However, Camera said he has been told the city is new looking at rezoning the property without the city project completed.

Camera cautioned that there is no guarantee the proposed sale will go through, but he’s hopeful a purchase will happen and ultimately provide the city with significant revenue once the property is redeveloped.

City Manager Sage Gerling did not respond to a request for comment Monday. However, in an email sent to city councilors early last month and obtained by the Finger Lakes Times, she confirmed that the Legion property is potentially on the market.

“The American Legion has a new developer on board,” she said in the email. “Neal (Braman, development services manager) and I are working closer with them for a rezoning application that will come before City Council (first will go to county and city planning boards). One of the partners was previously with the former developer that Neal and I had built a relationship already. Thus, we have hit the ground running with this group very smoothly.”

When contacted Monday, Geneva Post Commander Dale Mosher said he had no comment on the property’s potential sale.

When a potential buyer backed out for financial reasons earlier this year, Legion members opted to take the property off the market and focus on performing upgrades to the building and property, including the lounge area, kitchen, hallway, banquet hall and restrooms. Cosmetic work, such as fresh paint, also was planned for the first floor, along with repairs to the bar and kitchen, and some heating and plumbing work. Pool repairs were cited, also.

While the property has been for sale since 2018, the Legion decided last year that instead of selling the entire 12.9-acre property, it would make a 5.9-acre section available for sale and hold onto the remaining seven acres. It’s unknown whether the legion is now selling the full parcel or a smaller piece.

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