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Pioneer Window faces legal action

May 29, 2013
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - A Boston company that owns several area industrial park properties filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court Friday against Pioneer Window Manufacturing Corp. seeking nearly $7 million and its eviction from the Johnstown Industrial Park.

Stag II Albany LLC filed suit against the longtime local window manufacturer, alleging breach of contract, saying Pioneer didn't pay its April rent of $50,522.

Many of the industrial park properties used to be owned by the Crossroads Incubator Corp., but the CIC in 2007 sold many of the agency's industrial and business park buildings and properties for $31 million to Stag.

Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Reese couldn't say Tuesday how many people are employed at Pioneer or how the company is doing financially.

"They downsized some time ago," Reese said. "Anyone in that building-component type of business is down since 2008."

The Center for Regional Growth now is the parent company of the CIC and the Fulton County Economic Development Corp. Legal documents revealed some of the money from the Stag sales was used to pay for more than $3 million in bonuses that former CIC executive Peter Sciocchetti and former EDC executive Jeff Bray paid themselves.

Their boards claimed they never approved the bonuses; they fired Bray and Sciocchetti, and the CRG is still trying to recover the money through litigation.

Stag II Albany's lawsuit was filed by Latham attorney John F. Harwick against Pioneer Window Manufacturing Corp. of Roslyn Heights, Nassau County. He couldn't be reached this morning.

Pioneer has a plant at 200 Union Ave. in the Johnstown Industrial Park. It produces windows, especially for New York City-area high-rise buildings. Pioneer leases the property from Stag. Bray and Sciocchetti brought the company to Johnstown in the late 1990s.

The lawsuit notes the CIC in the early 2000s entered into a 20-year sublease agreement with Pioneer.

After Stag purchased the property from the CIC in 2007, Pioneer was obligated to pay Stag monthly base rent of $50,522 and all its taxes. But court papers say the tenant failed to pay rent and taxes owed for April.

The lawsuit says Pioneer is in default of its agreement and terms of its lease, which runs until Aug. 1, 2022.

Stag seeks $5.7 million in rent owed through 2022 and about $1.1 million in taxes.

The lawsuit also requests the court issue a "warrant of eviction to remove the tenant from the leased premises."

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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