CATSKILL — Village officials and local real estate agents will be reviewing available vacant real estate to determine potential future uses.
The board of trustees and the village planning board, along with local real estate agents, will be looking at vacant and underdeveloped properties in the village to answer important questions about how these parcels could be incorporated into the village, Village President Vincent Seeley said.
Some of the properties include 55 acres behind Price Chopper, the former Rite Aid building on Route 9W and the former Condor dealership, Seeley said.
“The information will be used to see if the parcels are priced right,” he said. “What are the challenges to selling them? What could be some optimal uses of the parcels?”
In 2003, State Supreme Court Justice Leslie Stein ordered Condor Pontiac, Cadillac, Buick and GMC Truck Inc. to pay more than $140,000 to 66 customers, $8,700 in civil penalties and $2,000 to the state Attorney General’s Office. The dealership closed soon after. A large thrift store that opened there also closed.
The former Catskill Rite Aid closed in July 2018 after the Rite Aid chain was acquired by Walgreens.
Walgreens Boots Alliance, the owner of the Walgreens brand, announced it would buy approximately half of Rite Aid’s stores for $5.18 billion in 2017. The Federal Trade Commission approved an agreement Sept. 19, 2017 for Walgreens Boots Alliance to buy Rite Aid with 1,932 stores for $4.38 billion.
Another concern for the village is housing, Seeley said.
“We need housing,” he said. “Can we accelerate the development of one of these vacant parcels to meet our affordable housing needs?”
Planning Board Chairman Patrick McCulloch called the review a great idea.
“I think it’s a great idea to start planning for our future,” he said.
The review will outline all of the vacant properties and village planners will look at what projects could go on the parcels, according to the new comprehensive plan and zoning law, McCulloch said.
“Then we will meet with Realtors to find businesses interested [in those properties],” McCulloch said.
Angela Lanuto, president of Columbia Greene Northern Dutchess Multiple Listing Service has been invited on board, Seeley said.
“We will look at vacant parcels and get a game plan for how to better position those properties to pitch to investors,” Lanuto said.
Interest in purchasing properties in Catskill has been on the rise, Lanuto said, as businesses and homeowners relocate to the area.
“I love the fact that the trustees are looking at doing this and connecting with us in the real estate industry,” Lanuto said. “I’m excited to sit in on the meeting.”
The group, consisting of trustees, planning board members and real estate agents, will begin meeting on a monthly basis in February, Seeley said, adding that the review will continue throughout 2020.
The results of the review will be presented to the village’s Local Development Corporation, he said.