Feb 20, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The building that houses Skaneateles Village Hall, 46 E. Genesee St., is officially for sale, the village Board of Trustees announced at its Feb. 13 operations meeting after passing two resolutions to allow the action.
Local realtors, many of whom attended the meeting at the trustees’ invitation, are now at liberty to show the property to prospective buyers, and are vying to find the highest bidder.
“We want very much to have equal and equitable participation by all our locally established realtors,” said Mayor Marty Hubbard. “We hope you bring us very high. We’re all in this together.”
The trustees have set a minimum reserve price for the sale, which is not being made public until after the opening of the purchase bids.
Bids will be accepted by the village until 2 p.m. Monday, March 19. The winning bid, if there is one, will be announced and accepted at the Thursday, March 22 regular board meeting.
The sale of village hall is part of the overall process to renovate the old fire station on Fennell Street and move the village municipal offices there.
The village board previously agreed, during an executive session after its Feb. 9 meeting, to declare village hall “surplus” village property and allow it to be offered for sale through a competitive bidding process. They also agreed to the terms and conditions under which the building would be sold.
These two actions were formally adopted by the board through resolutions on Feb. 13.
Under the terms, the building will be sold to the highest bidder as long as the minimum reserve price is met; the bidder must give a returnable deposit of 5 percent of the purchase price with their bid; payment form the winning bidder must come within 30 days of closing; the realty agent representing the buyer will receive a 3 percent commission from the total sale price; and, after the sale, the village will be allowed to occupy the space for up to 12 months, paying rent and utilities costs, while the Fennell Street location is being renovated.
If no acceptable bids are received by the board, the trustees reserve the right to modify the terms of the sale to accept a satisfactory bid. If there are no bids at all, the trustees will hire a marketing firm to better advertise the property for another sale attempt.
“We want to do the best we can for our taxpayers,” Hubbard said.
A number of local realty companies sent representatives to attend the operations meeting, including Finger Lakes Realty Partners, Exit Realty, Hunt Realty and Williams Realty. Village Clerk Patty Couch sent emails to about 12 local realty companies informing them of the sale and inviting them to the meeting.
All interested realtors were given packets of information that included all necessary property information, such as the abstract of property title, survey and tax maps of the property, copy of the property ownership deed, the draft deed by which the village would convey the property to a successful bidder and a title insurance commitment reflecting the willingness of a title insurance company to issue a policy of title insurance to a successful bidder, if requested.
The trustees also recently approved the undertaking of a Phase 1 environmental study of village hall to assess the existence of any environmental hazards in the building, which will be completed by Feb. 24. The study is a standard provision in any sale of a community property, and is not expected to find any environmental hazards on the property given the building’s history, said Village Attorney Michael J. Byrne.
Byrne investigated the building title back to 1888. From that year until 1929, 46 E. Genesee St. was a bank; from 1929 until the present day, it has been a municipal building. The building has had only three owners.
“You guys did a great job covering all this, this makes it much easier,” said Jerry Morrissey, broker and managing partner of Finger Lakes Realty Partners.
Byrne said gathering and preparing all the building documents helps expedite the sale process by showing potential buyers the condition of the building. Typically all this paperwork is done by the buyer’s attorney.
“This just makes it easier for the buyers,” said Trustee John Cromp.
All the trustees expressed their opinions after the Feb. 13 meeting that they were “confident” the building will sell. They also felt assured that renovations to the old Fennell Street fire station would be completed within the 12-month period stipulated in the sale terms for 46 E. Genesee St., before the village would have to vacate the property.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.