The view is changing for people who drive through Carrier Circle. A gas station that served commuters for three decades shut down Monday, creating another vacancy in a formerly bustling area. But as our Sarah Blazonis tells us, plans are in the works that could finally erase what some businesses call an eye sore.
DEWITT, N.Y. -- Art Hayes saw a lot of customers come and go during his more than 30 years at the Carrier Circle Mobil. They included workers from companies like Carrier and New Process Gear.
"There were probably 20,000 jobs over in this area, 15,000 to 20,000 easily. They're gone," said Hayes.
But his isn't the first business to shut down on the circle.
"That is probably our number one, if not number two, complaint: That abandoned building next door," said Kathy Shue, general manager of the Comfort Inn on Thompson Road.
An abandoned gas station and hotel nearby on Thompson Road have sat vacant for several years. Workers at the nearby Comfort Inn say it's costing them business.
"There's some wild life that probably shouldn't be living in the city area. There's a fox that lives over there. There's some feral cats," Regan Ward, the Comfort Inn's sales manager.
But CenterState CEO representatives point out there are good things happening in the areas branching off from the circle. More than 1,000 people work at the research and development site Carrier established along Route 298. And smaller industrial businesses are also popping up along Thompson Road North.
"I see small business growth, I see more traffic. We saw for the first time in a few years where we had actual construction workers back in the area working," said Lorene Dadey, co-owner of Sunshine's Coffee Shop on Thompson Road North.
And Hayes says the closing of his business can also lead to change.
"They're going to move it closer to the circle and then put a road in so that there will be access to the rest of this property, and hopefully, over the next few years, some things will come in over here," he said.
Town officials say they could reach an agreement with Carrier as early as next week that would give them access to an old parking lot. That's where they'd like to build a road that could help get the ball rolling on a long-delayed project to build two hotels on the abandoned gas station site.