A group led by City Court Judge Vincent DeSantis — and calling itself Schine-Memorial Hall LLC — has offered to purchase the Schine Building and is soliciting investors interested in paying $5,000 for each of 100 shares in the property.
The group is circulating a prospectus on the building and is taking reservations to show the historic structure at 5:30 p.m. today and Thursday.
The tours will end in the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market, the prime tenant in the 1881 building, where group leaders will deliver a short presentation and field questions.
The Schine Building was acquired in March by the Gloversville Economic Development Corp. for about $27,000. The EDC offered a total of $52,800 at a bank auction last fall, but pipes burst inside over the winter and the purchase price was negotiated downward.
Gloversville EDC spokesman Wally Hart, the president of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, said Friday DeSantis’ group has made an offer and EDC has responded with a counteroffer.
After gauging investor interest following next week’s tours, the group is expected to be in a better position to weigh EDC’s counterproposal, Hart said.
DeSantis could not be reached for comment Friday, but Mayor Dayton King said the plan was discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of the Business Improvement District.
“Anything that Vince DeSantis is involved in I think will be successful,” said King. DeSantis has restored several buildings in the city and was also the leader of the community effort to save the Glove Theatre.
King said it is his understanding that part of the group’s restoration plan is to create some incubator space in which to nurture new downtown business ventures.
“It’s very exciting,” Hart said of the proposal. “If we want our community to turn around then we need to step up and make it happen,” he said, referring to this investor initiative.
Hart said he is optimistic the plan will come to fruition but he noted the Schine Building, at 30,000 square feet, is a large structure to renovate.
EDC has begun repairs on the building and when work now in progress is completed will probably have about $75,000 invested, Hart said.
With the building eligible for up to $70,000 in state Main Street grant money for interior work and facade improvements, Hart said there was a tentative goal of initially spending about $140,000 on renovations. The state grant money has matching conditions.
In the prospectus, the group of buyers describes the new LLC venture as a “community project that will have tremendous positive implications for the future of Gloversville … gathering a community of investors will provide the necessary capital to tackle this project. It will also create the sense of community that is desperately needed in Gloversville and may be the impetus for the redevelopment and growth that is required for Gloversville to survive,” the solicitation says.
Founding members of the group have secured about $200,000, the prospectus continues, and have a goal of raising $500,000 “for the long-term viability of the project.”
Those planning to take a tour have been asked to make reservations by calling the chamber of commerce.