The vacant Friendly’s building at the corner of Glenridge Road and Route 50 is carrying a very unfriendly price tag, town officials say.
The half-acre property can be leased for nearly $32 a square foot — $75,000 a year — which Deputy Supervisor Alan Boulant believes is too high.
“Everybody else around them is the $12 to $15 range,” he said. “They’re way out of touch.”
The nearly 2,400-square-foot building has been vacant since early January, when the restaurant chain closed more restaurants as it works through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Boulant said the owner is seeking a “lower Manhattan” price on what is a small building on a small piece of property in a difficult location.
“I have a bad gut feeling that’s going to sit there for a while because they are so delusional,” he said.
He added he believes only a national chain will be able to afford that rate. He has heard some conversations about Taco Bell wanting to go into that space, but that didn’t go anywhere.
Boulant said the owner thinks the property is valued at more than a million dollars if it were sold. The property is assessed at $478,400, according to Schenectady County tax records.
Kevin Corcoran, the town’s director of economic development and planning, agreed there would be limited room for expansion on the existing lot. Any significant changes to the structure would require the applicant to go before the town land use boards.
The property is in Glenville’s “town center” district, whose master plan calls for parking behind businesses and buildings placed closer to the street. It might be possible to enlarge the lot with the purchase of a housing lot that sits behind it, according to Boulant.
Boulant said Friendly’s doesn’t seem motivated to sell the property unless it gets top dollar.
“I think they’re looking for the home run,” he said.
Having that building sit vacant is discouraging, Boulant said. The town recently lost another restaurant up the street, Theresa’s Pizza, which his employees frequented and liked.
“I just don’t think they were doing well,” he said.
Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said the town is trying to market the Friendly’s property. He has personally made calls to various restaurants and franchises in the area, but without success. People are scared away by the price, according to Koetzle.
“The economy may not be to that level where people are going to make those types of investments,” he said.
Representatives of Ikon Realty, which is listing the property, did not return a call for comment Wednesday.
Friendly’s spokeswoman Lynn Bolton referred questions to property owner Malverne Realty LLC of Seaford and said Malverne was not the real estate arm of Friendly’s.
The number for Malverne is for attorney Mary K. Lucere, who also did not return a message Wednesday.
Town officials said the company is up to date on its property taxes.