Two longtime Saratoga Springs building owners have traded buildings in a transaction called a tax-free exchange.
Mark Straus, managing partner of Saratoga Historic Restorations LLC, has taken ownership of 17 Maple Avenue, known as the Metro building, and Melissa Paquet of Miranda Realty Co. has taken ownership of 446 Broadway, known as the Silverado building.
“I’ve never done it before,” Straus said about trading the two building that are assessed at about the same value. But he said the practice is common in other parts of the country.
Straus said his company has renovated and improved 446 Broadway in recent years. He said Paquet, who has owned 17 Maple Avenue for many years, was looking for a property with less turnover and so the exchange worked well for both parties.
Straus said he and his partner in Saratoga Historic Restorations LLC, Thomas Gardner, have been interested in 17 Maple Avenue for some years. The Metro on Maple Avenue has been a nightlife landmark for years. The Metro building was purchased and renovated by Peter Paquet in the 1970s, and under his direction the Metro became one of the most popular nightclubs in Saratoga County and the Capital Region in the late 1980s and 1990s.
Straus said Friday that the Metro building is currently empty. Earlier this year, a restaurant called 28 Tables had been in the building along with a bar and nightclub but those are both gone.
“I honestly don’t have a set idea,” Straus said when asked what will be going into the Maple Avenue building.
“We are going to give it a good cleaning and start to show it to people interested in it,” Straus said. Plans for the building and courtyard are being developed and the new owners are seeking tenants with new ideas and concepts, he said.
The courtyard that opens onto Maple Avenue is also the rear courtyard of the Saratoga Marketplace building that faces Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs and is also owned by Straus.
The 446 Broadway building formerly owned by Saratoga Historic Restorations has undergone extensive renovations in the past few years, including new heating systems, a new roof and a restored façade. It includes the Silverado store and four apartments. These will remain under Paquet’s ownership. Since the 1970s, Straus and Gardner have restored several properties in the city and have focused on the commercial revitalization of Broadway. They recently received awards from the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation for the exterior renovations to their buildings.
The exchange parties anticipate no changes in the use of the buildings.
Saratoga Historic Restorations owns the Saratoga Marketplace and several other buildings on the same block. Straus also owns what many people refer to as the Wheatfield’s building on Broadway as well as the building where Max London’s Restaurant and Saratoga Saddlery are situated.
Some years ago Straus owned a popular store called Mabou on Broadway.