Syracuse University terminates deal with Gateway developer over construction delays

A rendering of the bookstore and fitness center that Cameron Group was to build at Syracuse University.
A rendering of the bookstore and fitness center that Cameron Group was to build at Syracuse University.

Syracuse University Friday announced it is terminating a project with Cameron Group LLC, the developer of the Gateway project in Mission.

The university had an agreement with the developer to build and run a $20 million commercial building that would include a bookstore and fitness center. That deal was signed more than 16 months ago. Cameron is based in East Syracuse, NY.

In a statement to Syracuse news organizations Friday afternoon, SU said it had terminated the contract with Cameron. It pointed to construction delays and Cameron’s failure to secure construction financing. “The developer has been unable to adequately address the University’s concerns or demonstrate a credible ability to successfully complete the project as it had contractually agreed to do so,” the statement said. The project was supposed to be completed by June of 2015.

The Mission Gateway project also has been subject to long delays in the start of construction. A groundbreaking ceremony was held nearly a year ago, but no significant progress has been made since then. The Mission City Council agreed to more than $30 million in public financing for the project in January 2013.

Tom Valenti of Cameron Group appeared before the Mission council earlier this month to talk about the delays in the Mission project and the prospects for securing financing. In Syracuse, the university still owned the property. In Mission, the developer owns the property. Valenti said Saturday morning that he had no comment at this time about the issues in Syracuse.

The Syracuse project included an 85,000 square foot building which the university would lease from Cameron for 30 years. In November the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency had said Cameron was in default on a 30-year tax deal because construction had not started within one year.

A rendering of the Gateway East project included in the property marketing documents used by RED Brokerage and Cameron Group LLC.
A rendering of the Gateway East project included in the property marketing documents used by RED Brokerage and Cameron Group LLC.