The once respectable Gloversville funeral home that became somewhat notorious when police raided it in 2005 and accused its owner of operating it as crack house will reopen as a funeral home.
Northville Funeral Service owners William and Brian Mackey are purchasing the building from First Colonial Realty, which has been headquartered there for the past two years.
The Gloversville Planning Board voted Tuesday to approve the change of use. Brian Mackey said approvals are now needed by the Gloversville Historic District Review Board, which meets July 16, and from the state Bureau of Funeral Directing.
If all goes well, Mackey said the new business may be open in about a month. He said he and his father anticipate naming it the Gloversville Funeral Service.
Because First Colonial owners Amy and Gerard V. Heckler have maintained the building so well, Mackey said it can be converted back to a funeral home with very little effort.
Chamber of Commerce President Wally Hart said the new funeral home will be an asset to the city.
“To have a business that’s generating jobs and incomes in the city is welcome addition,” Hart said.
He commended the Hecklers for their effort in restoring the building, which he said was probably too large for a real estate office.
Amy Heckler declined comment on her plans.
The decision to expand into Gloversville made sense, said Mackey, because there was little growth potential in Northville.
He said he and his father are still considering staffing plans for the new facility. There are already three funeral homes in Gloversville, but Mackey said he is optimistic because Hollenbeck’s was a successful business for a long time.
Police raided the business in November of 2005, arresting 16 people on the premises, including owner Steven Blomquist, then 48 years old.
He later pleaded guilty to felony criminal nuisance and was sentenced to a prison term of 11⁄3 to 4 years.
After the raid, Gloversville Police Capt. James Lorenzoni described the party in progress the night police entered. He said it was “an open air market for crack cocaine.”