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Developer lands PILOT deal, support

Liberty eyes housing at Estee site in city

December 4, 2013
By LEVI PASCHER , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - The Common Council on Tuesday gave its support to a proposal to build affordable senior housing at part of the Estee Commons Complex.

Along with the concept, the council approved the terms of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement with Liberty Affordable Housing - the project developer - during the meeting.

Liberty, the potential buyer of the Estee Commons property, previously had its concept to construct the housing at 90 N. Main?St., part of the old Estee Middle School complex, approved by the city Planning Board.

Along with the concept, the council approved the terms of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement with Liberty Affordable Housing - the developer - during the meeting.

The developer, which is in discussions with the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth to buy the Estee Commons property, needed the Planning Board and council's concept approval so it can apply for funding from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Agency.

The developers want to construct an additional 35 one-bedroom units on the Estee Commons property to provide affordable housing for seniors. The other rental units already at the site would remain conventional rental properties.

Once funding is available, the developer would return to the Planning Board for site-plan approval, officials said.

The plans are contingent on Liberty reaching a deal with the CRG and obtaining funding for the project.

The developers said they would have to apply for the funding by the December deadline for the project and would hear the decision around April or May. The developers said the construction of the building would take about 15 months.

The four council members at the meeting Tuesday all voted to support the project. Councilman-at-Large James Robinson, 2nd Ward?Councilman Arthur Simonds and 3rd Ward Councilman Stephen Mahoney were absent.

PILOT?deal

The PILOT deal is set to last for 40 years, according to the resolution. The company will pay all sums due to the city, Fulton County, the state and school taxes based on the current assessment of $47,000. After the initial taxes, the company will then make annual payments in lieu of taxes to the city equal to 5 percent of the property's total rents received, which will be paid every year at the beginning of July and January.

However, the resolution also states, the PILOT is contingent on the purchase of 11 Fremont St. by Liberty from the Crossroads Incubator Corporation. The purchase contract terms also must be pre-approved by the city or by a court.

City Attorney Anthony Casale said it took some lobbying to have the contingency included, but it covered the city's current lawsuit over the Estee Commons funds.

In 1993, the city contracted with the Fulton?County Economic Development?Corp. to handle a federal grant with the expectation the city would get the money back.

The EDC loaned the money to the CIC in the mid-2000s to redevelop the former Estee school into the apartment complex.

Gloversville in March filed a lawsuit against the economic development agencies - the Fulton?County?Center for Regional?Growth is now the parent company of both groups - in an attempt to recover $750,000 related to the Estee Commons development.

"Going back to the Estee Commons building with the $750,000 loaned to that project, [the lawsuit] is only against 11 Fremont," Casale told the council. "It's not against 90 North Main at all, so without holding anything to 11 Fremont St. Liberty could have theoretically just changed their minds about the Estee Commons part and develop only the other portion."

 
 

 

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