The Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency today dealt a serious and perhaps fatal blow to a $24 million plan to rehabilitate the old Victory Packaging mill into an upscale apartment complex.
In a 3-3 tied vote, the agency failed to approve roughly $760,000 in sales and mortgage tax breaks sought by developer Uri Kaufman, who seeks to turn the 19th-century mill into housing.
“I don’t know,” Kaufman said of the project’s future shortly after the vote. “I have to see if this is still feasible.”
One agency member, Richard Dunn of Saratoga Springs, was absent. But IDA counsel Michael Toohey said the matter can’t be brought to another vote unless Kaufman files a new application. Kaufman said he would consider that.
The split vote came after a public hearing at Victory village hall that showed many town of Saratoga residents are concerned about granting special tax breaks to Kaufman’s project.
“I’m not in favor of subsidizing for-profit developers,” said Ian Murray, chairman of the town of Saratoga Planning Board.
Kaufman, of Lawrence, paid Saratoga County $50,000 for the abandoned mill in 2009, after the county acquired it due to unpaid back taxes.
He has proposed converting the 250,000-square-foot building that sits on Fish Creek into 98 upscale apartments and a 100-child preschool, but says he can’t afford the project unless he gets tax breaks.
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