SARATOGA SPRINGS – A local bank was the high bidder for Saratoga County’s former office building at 31 Woodlawn Ave. in downtown Saratoga Springs, which the county is selling through an online auction.
Adirondack Trust Company, with offices less than a block away, bid $2.8 million for the property. The county Board of Supervisors’ Buildings and Grounds Committee on Thursday recommended the board accept the bid at its meeting later this month.
“I think we’re very happy with the amount for the bid, it was a little more than we were expecting,” said committee Chairman Matthew Veitch, R-Saratoga Springs.
Bank officials have not yet said what their plans are for the property, which includes parking.
The county had the property appraised at $2.3 million, primarily due to its location, on a block immediately west of Broadway that has seen new commercial and condominium development in recent years.
Veitch said there is no designated use for the sale proceeds, meaning they will go into the county’s general fund.
The online auction was overseen by Buffalo-based Auctions International, which has conducted other online auctions for the county. The bidding deadline was April 28. There were 182 bids received, according to the auction company. Because online bidders were anonymous, Veitch said there is no way to determine whether the auction drew interest from beyond Saratoga Springs.
“We’re very happy with the results. There was a fair amount of interest,” Veitch said.
The property, which has frontage on both Woodlawn Avenue and Railroad Place across from the downtown Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas, was vacated by the county last summer after the county Public Health Services moved to the county’s new Public Safety Building in Milton. The county used the building for a variety of county offices for the last 80 years.
This past winter the two-story brick building was used as an overflow Code Blue shelter for the homeless, but county officials made clear that their intention was to sell the property, which is probably more valuable for the location just a block off Broadway than for the building itself.
According to an auction house description, the building has a long history. Completed in 1927, it was originally used as a clothing factory until 1936, when the county rented it from the city of Saratoga Springs. The county purchased the building from the city in 1940.
The building has a finished basement area with offices and two floors of offices.