NBT Bank has made an offer to sell the Schine Building to the Gloversville Economic Development Corp. and EDC spokesman Wally Hart said the board will meet at 8:30 this morning to discuss it.
Hart, EDC secretary and president of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, declined to discuss the specifics of the offer, but said the bank is offering to sell the historic North Main Street building for a nominal price with conditions, because of water damage.
He said EDC attorney Jeremiah Wood will meet with the board this morning at the Chamber office to review the offer.
Meanwhile, EDC board member and downtown property owner Susan Casey said she is concerned about possible deterioration of the Schine Building roof structure. She said the roof drains now sit higher than the roof line, an indication the roof could be sinking. If that is the case, she said, there could be a collapse of all or part of the roof that could force demolition of the building.
Hart said he still has confidence in the integrity of the roof. He said the drains have been tarred so many times that they are now raised above the roof line.
He said he is more concerned that since pipes froze in the building in late January, cutting off the heating system, that a thaw could cause significant new water damage.
The EDC was the high bidder for the building at a Nov. 10 bank auction. With auction fees, the purchase price was to be $52,800. But the agency has been cautious about the planned purchase since the initial flooding from the pipe damage. Estimates to repair that damage have ranged from $30,000 to $50,000, Hart has said.
At the time pipes froze, EDC was in the process of setting up a closing with the bank.
The bank, which held the mortgage for the current owners, never foreclosed but did gain authority from the owners to auction the property, one of the largest and most distinctive downtown structures.
In a statement last week, a bank official said: “Any final arrangements leading to the sale of the Schine Building will be negotiated between the building’s current owner and the buyer [and that] NBT Bank is hopeful ownership can be successfully transferred … for the redevelopment of the historic building.”
Hart said though he personally favors taking the bank’s offer, it is unclear whether a majority on the EDC board agrees with him. The cost of repairs — in addition to about $20,000 in delinquent property taxes — may dissuade some board members, he said.
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Categories: Schenectady County