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Interest grows in redeveloping historic Willard Psychiatric Center in Seneca County

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Five parties have expressed their interest in redeveloping the Willard Psychiatric Center in Ovid, showcasing a mix of visions for the future of the historic site. Among the proposals, four are focused on housing solutions, ranging from affordable housing projects by Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services and Malone Maxwell Dennehy Architects to a development initiative by The Finger Lakes Land Bank. The Land Bank’s proposal also hints at broader considerations beyond housing.


The Sessler Companies, known for its diverse portfolio, has proposed a multifaceted redevelopment plan. Their vision includes waterfront development on Seneca Lake’s east shore, resort and conference facilities, a lakefront marina, commercial spaces, and various residential options, indicating a transformative impact on the local community and economy.

Seneca County, in partnership with the Industrial Development Agency and MRB Group, is leading the effort to find suitable developers for the site. The positive response to the Request for Expressions of Interest marks a promising step toward revitalizing the Willard site. County Manager Kyle Lovell expressed optimism about the project’s progress, emphasizing the importance of continued advocacy and engagement with potential developers to breathe new life into the Willard Psychiatric Center campus.