A local homebuilder is in the process of buying three old, vacant homes on Lafayette Street from an Orthodox Jewish congregation, renovating one of the homes and leveling two of the more dilapidated structures.
The homes are currently owned by Congregation Mikveh Israel, whose remaining members live in Brooklyn.
The three rooming houses on Lafayette Street, with a total of 22 rooms, were used as summer lodging for the congregation members when they visited Saratoga Springs to take the mineral waters.
Rejuvenation Homes of Saratoga Springs, a design-build company, is in the process of purchasing the three old buildings, said Dina Levinson, vice president.
She expects to close on the homes within the next two or three weeks.
The building in the best condition will be renovated, Levinson said. She said the other two buildings, which appear to have been built in the late 1800s or early 1900s, will be demolished and a single house in will be built in the same Greek Revival style on the lot.
“They weren’t maintained,” Levinson about the old buildings. She said many of the interior elements have been stripped and removed from the buildings.
Levinson and her husband, Todd Levinson, have presented preliminary plans to the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation and have talked with the Saratoga Springs Design Review Commission.
“We’ve been working with them,” said Samantha Bosshart, executive director of the Preservation Foundation.
The foundation has not yet given the Design Review Commission an official recommendation on the plans.
Dina Levinson said they will have to meet with the Design Review Commission to provide more information and possibly seek approval from the Saratoga Springs Planning Board.
The addresses of the three buildings are 24, 26, and 30 Lafayette Street, a short street that runs from Henry Street east to Circular Street.
The Congregation Mikveh Israel wants to disband and sell its properties. Last month, the congregation petitioned state Supreme Court in Saratoga County to disband. Religious organizations are required to get court approval to sell property.
“The buildings are no longer usable and have been found structurally unsound,” the court petition states.
“The congregation has not operated as a place of worship or temporary residences since the High Holidays in the fall of 2009 and seeks to dissolve and sell and transfer its assets, rather than relocate,” the petition says.
Rejuvenation Homes specializes in preserving older homes.
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