John DiMarco Wins Auction for 11 Acres in Brighton

by Justin Murphy, Democrat & Chronicle

November 14, 2013

Eleven acres of land on South Clinton Avenue in Brighton, once slated for an Empire State College campus, will likely be returning to the tax rolls.

The college owned the land and had planned to put a 33,000-square-foot regional campus there, but the town urged the college instead to build at the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities campus on Westfall Road, since that property is already tax-exempt.

The college was reluctant to switch, but the town had leverage in withholding a needed sewer district extension. In August, the college agreed to build on Westfall Road; the Brighton Town Board approved a sewer district extension for that site Wednesday.

The South Clinton Avenue property, 11 acres across from the Tops plaza, then went back to a state auction and was sold Thursday for $910,000 to prominent local developer John L. DiMarco Sr., who beat out two other bidders.

DiMarco Group already owns the Tops plaza, which is currently undergoing a renovation.

John DiMarco II declined to disclose the company’s plan for the property, but a commercial development there would mean tax revenues in a town where one-fifth of all property is tax-exempt.

“I’m very pleased the land is going back on the tax roll,” Brighton Supervisor William Moehle said. “That’s exactly the reason we reached this agreement with Empire State College.”

The $910,000 is expected to go to the State University of New York, according to a January 2013 memo from SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.