What Happened to the Hancock Great American?

By Matt Markham

January 25, 2012 Updated Jan 25, 2012 at 9:44 PM EDT

Hancock, NY (WBNG Binghamton) An eyesore in the center of Hancock is no longer. A supermarket vacant for years has been torn down. The owners of the property say they're making way for economic development in the Delaware County village.

Folks in Hancock have waited seven years to see the demolition of the old Great American. That's how long the store sat empty.

"The purpose of the lot is to improve the economy by making Hancock a more attractive place to shop, and potentially relocate," said Jerry DaBrescia of Hancock Partners,

Hancock Partners will build a town square park here as place where people can gather and around which business can grow.

It could soon, a few hundred yards away, with a proposed condo development between the East Branch and Front Street.

"That'll be $4 million on the tax rolls that wouldn't be here, we don't think, without this kind of amenity in the community," DaBrescia said.

The park's price is about half a million dollars funded through grants from Delaware County, the federal government, and a charity.

The project should be complete by the summertime. Until then, people are walking by and keeping track of what's going on here."

"Well, it was kind of an eyesore for the village," said Rebecca Smith. It's good to see some sort of progress coming through."

Leroy Card, a crossing guard across the street from the site, said, "it's about time that the ugly building got out of there!"

"This is going to be a real benefit to Hancock...to have something of beauty for a change instead of an old building," said Cathy Chamberlain.

If the grocery store is something of a social center of town, neighbors say a park brings the lot back to its roots and capitalizes on the whole town's prime real estate at the gateway to the Delaware River.

Great American wasn't the only grocery store in town. Grand Union is still open down Main Street.