GLOVERSVILLE - The owner of a fly-fishing business in the city wants to buy the 17,000-square-foot longtime Jewish Community Center building for $65,000.
The JCC Board of Directors indicated in legal papers filed last week in state Supreme Court in Johnstown it requested permission as a not-for-profit to sell its old Art Deco-style structure at 28-30 E. Fulton St. to Bokan Holdings for $65,000. The recipient of the building would be Michael Bokan, owner of Fly Shack, a fly-fishing shop at 15 W. Fulton St.
Neither board President Valerie Bochenek nor Bokan could be reached Thursday or this morning for comment.
The Jewish Community Center, shown on East Fulton Street in Gloversville this morning, has been sold. (Bill Trojan/The Leader-Herald)
JCC board member Fred Gilbert of Gloversville said today his organization has to get permission from the state to sell because the JCC is a non-profit group. He said the board figures selling the building to Bokan Holdings is a good deal.
"That's why they want to do it, to pay the bills off," Gilbert said.
Bokan Holdings would use the first floor of the two-story building as a showroom, office and distribution facility. The sale package also includes two parking lots.
The building sits in the downtown Gloversville Historic District. It was the work of New York City architect Victor Rigaumont and former local contractor Morrell Vrooman.
The JCC originally listed the building for $90,000 in 2010, but had since decreased the price to $75,000. The center has a 20-by-60-foot indoor pool, full gymnasium with bleachers, auditorium with stage, two locker rooms, workout rooms, a sauna, classrooms and kitchens.
Court papers note the Jewish Community Center of Fulton County closed the building in August 2010. The Gloversville Jewish Community Corp. received its certificate of incorporation on Dec. 12, 1919, but the group changed its name to the Jewish Community Center of Fulton County in 1928.
The state Supreme Court filing noted: "Petitioner now seeks to sell said real property, as it has ceased to operate. The membership at the center continued to fall to the point that there were less than 50 memberships, with most being members of the board of directors.
"The cost of operating the center could not be met, as many members of the board were supplying personal funds just to make payroll and utility expenses," court papers said. "After an unsuccessful summer day camp program for youth, the board closed the doors in August 2010 and [laid] off the few employees who had remained."
The petition by JCC to sell also notes the directors of the JCC believe it is in the "best interest" of the organization to sell at this time.
Court papers say proceeds from the sale would be placed in an attorney escrow account for the purpose of paying off obligations that remained after the center closed. Those obligations include repayment of a loan to Patriot Federal Bank, state tax warrants, a state Department of Labor judgment, a federal tax lien and several other debts.
"The directors believe this is the highest and best offer that will be received as the building continues to deterioriate while the obligations continue to increase," court papers said.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com.