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Demolition in Palmyra continues, new restaurant to be built

Palmyra, N.Y.— On Thursday, crews continued to demolish what was left of four historic buildings destroyed in downtown Palmyra.

Two months ago, a large fire gutted four historical buildings on East Main Street. Police investigators say that fire was intentionally set by 29-year-old Christina Nicklaw in her upstairs apartment.

The fire destroyed the Mark’s Pizzeria flagship store which opened in 1982. According to Mark Crane, the CEO of Mark’s Pizzeria, he has purchased all four buildings and is paying to have them demolished.

In the space, he plans to build a new Mark’s Pizzeria restaurant on the foundation of the old one. It will be twice the size and offer more seating. There will also be some leftover room.

“We’re going to put a public park,” Crane said. “That way anyone visiting Palmyra for the pageant or Canal Days they can enjoy the park.”

Crane said this work is being paid for completely out of his pocket.

“I decided I wanted to help the village out because I really wanted to build my pizzeria on the same foundation,” he said. “That was my main motivation… to take control and fix it. It would have been easier to move our location but I really wanted to build on the same foundation.”

Crane said that the building will have the same historic façade as the rest of the buildings in the village and will be made of red brick.

Many of the business owners and residents in the village are sad to see that the buildings were destroyed but are happy that something is being done with the space.

Joanne Lee of Goldie’s Goodies lost pretty much everything inside her store during the fire. She also did not have insurance.

She gets angry when she thinks about the fire and how it was started. She’s sick of seeing the charred out building.

“Just bring it down,” she said. “I’m tired of looking at it every day.”

She says she’s glad someone had taken the initiative to do something with the space.

“I think [the restaurant and park] will be an excellent addition to the community. It’s just something new and it’s a fresh start. I think it will clean up the area.”

According to Crane, once the demolition is finished, construction on the restaurant will begin almost immediately.

Angela Hong, 13WHAM-TV
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