What's the deal with the old 'Country Club' on Erie Boulevard?

The site of the former Country Club on Erie Boulevard.

Tens of thousands of drivers pass by it everyday, and most have probably stopped taking a good look at it. The hulking building that was most recently home to 'The Country Club' dance hall has become one of the most prominent eyesores around.

The building, which is visible from the intersection of Erie Boulevard and Bridge Street, was also once known as Uncle Sam's. People who used to frequent the club say it would draw famous bands and was once one of "the" places to party in Central New York.

It's where Judy Mcgarvey of Camillus met her husband of 38 years.

"He says I know you, did you go to West Genesse? And I said yes I did. And sure enough he knew me because I was the chitter chatter, gibber gabber. And the rest is history. We had a great time," says Mcgarvey.

John Cadorette of Syracuse says "it was the studio 54 of Syracuse".

For the past decade the 1.7 acre corner lot has been vacant. The nearly 8,000 square foot building features peeling paint.

The Icon Companies of Syracuse is the agency in charge of trying to get the site redeveloped. A website dedicated to the site indicates that the State Department of Transportation has approved building an access road so the land is accessible to from Erie Boulevard.

Graziano Zazzara purchased the property five years ago and has been working with the DOT for the past four years to get access.

"That's the key to that property," says Zazzara.

There are still several state and federal hoops to jump through, especially since the DOT is requiring a deceleration lane on Erie Boulebard and won't help pay for the project.

"It could be $300,000 to $1,000,000 and if it's that high it's not worth doing," says Zazzara.

If the costs are too high for the owners to absorb, they may ask the county for help or scrap the project all together.