Writer clarifies Quandt’s Food sale situation
The Quandt’s Food Distribution Facility in Amsterdam has been sold to Driscoll Foods of New Jersey. The closing occurred recently, and operations of the new owner will commence immediately. We felt it necessary to complete the story that was first reported by The Gazette some weeks ago while due diligence was being undertaken.
It was interesting that the reporter for the paper chose to contact the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation [EDC] office for information regarding the marketing of the property. It was noted that the EDC office had begun marketing the property upon learning of the purchase by US Foods of the Quandt operation. In point of fact and as demonstrated by the large sign in front of the property, Cushman & Wakefield/ Pyramid Brokerage Co. had been retained to find a buyer for the building prior to the end of operations.
Around the time of this report, The Gazette ran an editorial about the situation with Saratoga County and the competition of two EDC organizations. The position of the missive was that no need existed for more than one such office. I disagree. With competition comes competence. We see it in the commercial real estate business and all other going concerns in the private sector. With the myriad regulations imposed by local, state and federal authorities, there is certainly a need for a qualified, competent and responsive EDC office in every county. If that entails more than one office, so be it.
In late April, I had the opportunity to attend the Society of Office and Industrial Realtors World Conference in Las Vegas. This gathering of accomplished commercial real estate brokers is an event that allows for networking and becoming educated about markets across the county and around the world.
As often occurs, the subject of economic development and the hurdles that government places on it was a much-discussed topic. When pressed as to why their state was experiencing an economic boom, a Texas broker from the Houston area had an interesting observation about regulations, “We’re the least drunk guy in the room.” Comments about California, “drooling at the bar,” Illinois, “passed out in the corner,” New York, “throwing up in the bathroom.”
In keeping with the theme of the conversation, I was asked “what kind of crazy booze we were drinking in New York?” It was in reference to the mass-media blitz by the state touting the fact that we are “open for business.” Questions about how to locate a business that shared none of the burdens of the community, real estate and business taxes was the main point. I had no answer.
Every state has approval processes that rub the private sector the wrong way and I don’t advocate for the removal of a review process. When it comes to assistance in getting things done, a little competition in the public sector might just benefit the economic wellbeing of upstate New York.
Perhaps in the future, the reporter on the initial story about the sale of the facility could look to the lead agency in the marketing. That is, if she can get over the idea that all business activity emanates from the state.
The writer is executive managing director of Cushman & Wakefield/Pyramid Brokerage Company.