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Developer drops plan for old mill

March 3, 2010
By JOEL DiTATA, The Leader-Herald

BROADALBIN - The owner of the former Mohawk Furniture Mill in the village is trying to sell the property for $75,000 after a developer's offer to buy and renovate the building fell through.

Long Island developer Uri Kaufman failed to secure grant money to renovate the building and no longer wants to buy the property, he said. The owner, Texas Torah Institute of Dallas, has put the property up for sale.

Last year, the village had applied for a $2.5 million RestoreNY grant, which the village did not receive. Kaufman said he had wanted to use "anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million" of the grant to restore the building's roof, which collapsed because of heavy snow last March.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Joel DiTata

The owners of the former Mohawk Furniture Mill, shown Tuesday, are trying to sell the Broadalbin property.

"When the roof collapsed, it kind of put everything behind the 8-ball," Kaufman said.

Kaufman said after the grant was denied, he thought about buying the building and tearing it down to make way for residential homes, but he decided against that plan.

"In this economy, no one is building homes," Kaufman said. "Maybe when the next cycle comes around."

According to the real estate agency trying to sell the property for Texas Torah, Richard Kessler Commercial of Albany, the mill is a three-story structure on 12 acres. The property includes a 6,600-square-foot office building. Kessler said the mill and the office building are "in need of repairs." The property also has an 11,000- square-foot warehouse, which could be used immediately in its current condition, Kessler said.

Village Mayor Eugene Christopher said the roof collapse caused potential buyers to lose interest in the building.

"I would like to see someone in there for sure," Christopher said. "I like the idea of the apartments, but it doesn't look like it will happen."

Last year, Texas Torah filed a lawsuit against the town's assessing department, claiming its assessment of $700,500 was too high. The two sides recently settled out of court on a reduced assessment of $310,000, town Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo said.

The assessors dropped the property's value from $950,000 to $700,500 early in 2009. The lawsuit by Texas Torah cited a study done by the Bauer Appraisal Group claiming the assessment should be $110,000.

Texas Torah representatives could not be reached for comment.

Joel DiTata can be reached at



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