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Tear it Down or Fix it Up? Gravina Garden Center to be torn down

The Gravina Garden Center, which in the past has also gone by the name Gravina Nursery, had done business in the Central New York community for nearly 80 years.

The former home of a longtime family-owned is expected to be torn down in the coming months after being abandoned for several years.

The Gravina Garden Center, which in the past has also gone by the name Gravina Nursery, had done business in the Central New York community for nearly 80 years. From 1973 until 2016 it was a staple off Buckley road in the Town of Clay.

"Growing up, I was proud to say that my mother was a Gravina," Timothy Maddison said. "My grandfather, Ron Gravina Sr., hired me to work at both the nursery and in the landscaping business when I was in high school."

Maddison would help customers find the mulch, fertilizer, grass seed, plants, flowers and whatever else they needed to beautify their home.

"My uncles and my grandfather always knew everyone by name and they would tell you this person wants this and you just have to take them this way," Maddison smiled, recalling the past. "Landscaping with them working with them is something you will never forget. "

Maddison's grandfather sold the business in 2003 but remained involved for several years thereafter. Public records show financial woes plagued Martin Mulrooney, the man who bought the property, and he ended up declaring bankruptcy in 2017. Gravina's Garden Center never reopened for the 2016 season.

Alberici General Contractors purchased the nursery out of bankruptcy court for $593,000 in October 2017, according to Onondaga County Property Tax data. They also own the neighboring Ravada Hill Apartments.

"It's an eyesore and it's unsafe," Anthony Alberici told CNYCentral.com. "The [former garden center] will be coming down hopefully in the next several months." There will be a full-scale clean up of the property, Alberici said. All that is planned to remain is a garage near the rear of the property that will be used to store equipment.

"We are not yet 100% sure yet what the former Gravina property will be used for," Alberici said. "Appartments are not out of the possibility but right now our priority is to get the building down."

The building contains asbestos and contractors are currently looking at the best way to level the property, Alberici said. He hopes a demolition permit can be filed with the Town of Clay in the coming months.

"It's kind of bittersweet. It's the end of an era and the beginning of something new," Maddison said. "I think my grandfather would be okay with the fact that another business is coming in and continuing to provide a service to the community."

If there is a building you would like featured on Tear it Down or Fix it Up, you can email news@cnycentral.com.


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