A group of investors that have considered purchasing the historic Schine Building for more than a year finalized a sale Thursday with the building’s owner, moving forward a project that city officials and residents hope will revitalize downtown.
Schine-Memorial Hall LLC bought the 1881 building on North Main Street from the Gloversville Economic Development Corp., which acquired it in March for $27,000. The GEDC bought the building after damage from burst pipes brought the purchase price down from $52,800.
The GEDC board met Tuesday and took a vote later that night on whether to move forward with the sale, said Dayton King, a board member and the city’s mayor.
“I knew there were some potential issues with the condition of the building,” King said, “but some of the members I knew were concerned about whether we have raised enough money to make all the right renovations. But they decided as a group that they were comfortable moving forward.”
City officials have eyed needed repairs on the ornate but decaying three-story building originally known as Memorial Hall since placing the winning bid on it at a November 2010 auction. The investors and GEDC have exchanged offers and counteroffers since August.
Schine-Memorial Hall LLC was looking to sell 100 shares at $5,000 per share to potential investors in order to fund extensive first- and second-floor repairs, as well repairs to the facade on the 30,000-square-foot building.
Investors with Schine-Memorial Hall could not be reached Friday, including City Court Judge Vincent DeSantis, who is a leader in the group.
The group held a July tour for potential investors. DeSantis at that time said the amount invested would determine the renovation schedule.
A full $500,000 would allow the group to restore the facade, renovate commercial store space on the first floor and remodel the second-floor office space facing North Main Street.
“I think it’s really fantastic that a group of private investors was willing to take this kind of risk in the city,” King said. “It should give the rest of the community hope that people who could invest in other places choose to invest in downtown Gloversville.”
King said earlier this year that part of the group’s plan involved creating incubator space within the building to help foster new downtown business ventures.
The building is eligible for up to $70,000 in state Main Street grant money for interior work and façade improvements. It was once the venue of the Kasson Opera House and headquarters of the Schine Theatre chain.
It includes seven retail storefronts on the first floor, offices on the second floor and offices and a private theater on the third floor.
“I think now that we have some people who are willing to spend money to invest in the building and also be a landlord as well is a great step forward,” King said. “The people that have bought this will be looking for new tenants and will be good landlords, which will in turn be good for our city and county.”
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Categories: Schenectady County