Could work resume on the stalled Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort soon?

Although the word “yes” has been an answer heard before, developer Robert Murphy is especially optimistic financing is in place to complete a resort that will bring 109 hotel rooms as part of the Hilton Tapestry brand, 44 condos, a restaurant, and nearly 13,000 square feet of conference space, among other amenities, to Canandaigua.

Pending approvals (the Ontario County Industrial Development Agency board took no action on an authorizing resolution Monday night), the hope is to have “boots on the ground in March,” Murphy said.

“It’s good to finally see this project close to fruition,” said Murphy, who declined to identify the lender until closing. “Everybody’s working together to get out and get it done.”

Barry Carrigan, an attorney for the IDA staff, said there is a signed commitment letter, but it needs to be looked over.

Ontario County Economic Director Mike Manikowski said he is optimistic, and once the documentation is vetted, a special meeting may be set for a vote.

“We’re not quite there yet,” Manikowski said. “We’re very close.”

A consultant for the developer, Harry Sicherman, characterized this as a “procedural issue.”

“As far as I can see, this is the last hurdle,” Sicherman said.

Work on the massive, five-story project on Lakeshore Drive stalled in July 2015, leaving a shell of a structure that has been dubbed the “bird cage,” among other nicknames bandied about on social media.

The developer and contractor, which had filed a mechanic’s lien and obtained a judgment of foreclosure and sale in Ontario County Court in 2017, early last year reached an agreement on the $3.6 million owed, staving off an auction of the property.

Murphy said the structure that is standing has been inspected as part of the financial due diligence.

“There’s no problem with the structure,” Murphy said.

Murphy said the resort will have 85 full-time employees.

With a viable resort project and a new-and-improved Inn on the Lake underway, $80 million in revenue will be coming to the city of Canandaigua and Ontario County, as well as needed conference space and hotel rooms, Manikowski said.

Murphy said the funding has been committed, based on approvals. Once approved, work can begin and would be completed 13 months later, Murphy said.

“It’s going to bring a lot of tourism and, obviously, a lot of conventions,” Murphy said.