No easy way'
College sprawl leads to senior housing crunch
By Willie Kiernan
After reviving an archaic company, Gladding Braided Products, founded in 1816, and becoming elected to the town board, Sparky Christakos has decided to take a little off his plate by signing a lease agreement with Cazenovia College, after being approached by them, regarding his property, the Cherry Valley Apartments on Sullivan Street.
"There's just no easy way to do this," Christakos said.
The straw that broke the camel's back was the fact that his property manager recently retired. Claiming not to be a handyman, Christakos implied he didn't relish the idea of having to keep up with the chore of maintenance and property upkeep.
"I've held on to this property for the people for 11 years," Christakos said. "I've been a conscientious landlord with rents only going up one percent per year."
There will be three or four college students residing in the apartments this semester.
"We will fill the vacancies with students as they become available," said Wayne Westervelt, director of communications at Caz College.
The college has signed a one-year transitional lease with an agreement for a 15-year lease afterward. The property will remain on the village's tax roll.
"I feel very sorry for the tenants that have to be relocated and I hope that the relocation will be as seamless as possible," said Mayor Tom Dougherty. "I am happy that Sparky and the college are going to keep the property on the village tax rolls for the
next 15 years."
The college was confronted with a sudden housing crunch due to students returning from their studies abroad.
"It happened really fast; the college is in a bind," Christakos said.
Though he claimed nothing was in the works until December of '07, according to Christakos, the college has been interested in purchasing the property for years.