Greenburgh Town Board Puts Frank's Nursery On Auction Block

  • Comments (4)
The Frank's Nursery property in Greenburgh will be auctioned in November.
The Frank's Nursery property in Greenburgh will be auctioned in November. Photo Credit: Daily Voice

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Greenburgh Town Board voted late Wednesday to put the property at Frank's Nursery on Dobbs Ferry Road up for auction on November 13.

The town acquired the land in a 2011 tax foreclosure and received an offer from Game On 365, a sports-training facility, which proposed to buy it for $1.7 million with the promise of paying another $1.3 million over 13 years.

Greenburgh officials announced in May 2014 they had agreed to that deal and critics in the community claimed the proposed agreement with Game On didn’t ensure payment of the $1.3 million balance. Others said the town should have considered an alleged $3.5 million cash offer from House of Sports of Ardsley.

"We anticipate that the sale will take place on November 13 and will start publicizing the auction immediately," Town supervisor Paul Feiner said following the Wednesday vote. "Our auctioneer, Harold Bordwin suggested that the Town Board hold the auction in November rather than October – providing his company with more time to effectively market the property."

The approved Bid Deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 5 and the approved Auction Date is on or about Thursday, Nov. 13.

The anticipated date for the Town to pass a resolution approving the sale is Nov. 19.

For further information on the auction, contact GA Keen Realty Advisors -- the auctioneers -- at 646-381-9222. 

  • 4
    Comments

Comments (4)

Thanks for the comments...We appreciate the input, background and opinions on both sides of all of our post. We hope to follow with updates on what the land may bring on the auction block, what the eventual buyer will build or use the property for and some of the comparable purchases for 7-acre parcels are bringing in Westchester.

How is that this "reporter" (Mr. LoPriore) still can't get the facts straight Is it because he is too lazy to avail himself of even online resources or because all he needs to dope out a story is one call to the Town Supervisor? The Game On 365 offer was "yesterday's news" not 2014's. Note that when Feiner "announces" it is unqualified while critics "claim" and House of Sports "alleges".
That the $1,300,000 balance is in the form of an unsecured promissory note is in the black ink of their offer and therefore it is a fact (not the dubious sounding "claim" by critics) while unmentioned by Mr. LoPriore is that payment of the balance is conditioned upon successfully obtaining the favorable commercial zoning necessary to their project. Lacking such, Game On 365 would not be responsible for payment of the note and could own the property for only $1,700,000 presumed paid even though Feiner now "talks the talk" that the parcel may be worth upwards of $5,000,000.

Only because the Town's officials were unable to proceed with holding a sale in a fair and unbiased manner (twice attempted, twice withdrawn) did it become necessary to hire an outside firm to create the illusion that an "arm's length" transaction is at hand. Interviews for professionals were held (partly in public, partly in the secrecy of Executive Session) in the Spring but anyone watching the public portion was aware that those seeking to earn a substantial commission (5%) would have to comply with Feiner's wishes and direction. Thus all in the running (including Mr. Bordwin) did not refute Feiner's then original intention -- to hold the Auction as early as this July -- as being unrealistic.

What taxpayers need to understand is that the property is owned by the residents of Greenburgh -- not by Town officials. It was taken by the Town because the former owners, Frank's and its Bankruptcy Trustee, perceived that it was better to let it go for the then unpaid taxes due rather than to target market a property with already known environmental contamination and default zoning which limited its successor use mostly to residential applications. Note: all of the Frank's Nursery locations were offered for sale during the original Bankruptcy filing (circa 2009-10) and no one stepped in with an offer for this location higher than the outstanding taxes -- why the Town took title. Note too that the real estate market has since improved and that the location is an outstanding one being a short distance from North and South highway access/egress. However, its commercial use was lost with the closing of Frank's and since 2011 the Town has demurred from going the distance and finding out the exact nature and cost to mitigate the known carcinogens found onsite: something that should be of concern to anyone seeking to develop, say, outdoor playing fields for use by children's soccer leagues.

The real problem is that for over four years, Mr. Feiner has been meeting secretly with his favored would-be owner, Game On 365, even to the extent of labeling the narrow State road (Dobbs Ferry) a second Greenburgh "sports corridor" and backing their plan for a non-conforming 8 story "bubble" as "good news" for Greenburgh. That structure and presumed traffic concerns were given short shrift by Feiner in his misleading Referendum which promised "$5,000,000 for Greenburgh" as the outcome and the outcome claimed as a victory by Feiner even though he knew that Game On 365 had neither the funds to pay the $5,000,000 (15 years of under-market rent with minimal taxes)or to fund their development…not to ignore that Feiner knew in advance of the Referendum that renting the property was illegal. This being the reason why the proposed Lease with Game On 365 never happened and $5,000,000 never found its way to Greenburgh coffers to reduce taxes…

So what's ahead? Perhaps the Broker will provide some professionalism, integrity and permit all the pertinent facts to be represented in an offering brochure. While I agree with the outcome of the most recent flip-flop (July-August) on allowing the property to be sold to anyone intending to develop it in whatever lawful manner (now or in the future) they seek, the take away point is that these "Town officials" still are clueless or, worse, tainted in their judgement and, that the professionals hired to provide impartiality continue to give no evidence that they are in control of the process.

As for the post "Auction" results, taxpayers and VOTERS should be mindful that the proceeds will be reduced by repayment of "District" taxes already advanced by the Town (around $1,600,000), the fee/commission earned by Mr. Borwin (likely 5% of the price), the marketing fees paid not by Mr. Bordwin but by the Town (so far $25,000 budgeted) and the near $125,000 the Town paid for half-assed appraisals and halfway environmental studies (an amount once promoted as to be funded by Game On 365 but [unspoken] ONLY if their Lease were executed). As for future property taxes, there is nothing to prevent the site from being land banked as an investment prime for future development when another use can be shoehorned in should the Town find itself in need of maximizing property tax revenue. A day which may not be too far off.

Yes, Mr. LoPriore, there is obviously much more to this story than your space or skill permitted. Nevertheless, "in the symphony of life here in Dogpark USA, the rests are as important as the notes".

Hal Samis

HAL. Your post reads bitter and nasty while Dan is simply summarizing the story in a quick snipit for the casual reader. your attack is unwarranted and lends the reader to believe you have an inferiority complex as you need to make others look bad so you look good.

While I appreciate your deeper dive in to the facts...it in nonetheless nuance. this property is tainted. we get it

Move on.

And these from the "now a word from our sponsor" department. Here's a few of his earlier Daily Voice comments (cut and pasted) on the Frank's site -- by the always pure at heart, mr. fun.

Commented on Greenburgh Gets Recommendations For Frank's Nursery Cleanup
03/08/13
Sell it to highest bidder. Clean it up. Develop it for sports. Let the kids enjoy it.. right now it is an eyesore. View Comment
Commented on Second Lawsuit Filed In Greenburgh Sports- Bubble Fight
02/27/13
Let the property be sold to the highest bidder, period. Who cares where someone lives, for how much, who divorced who, etc... that is all meaningless, personal, issues with no relevance. Let the market be the market. Greenburgh sells the real estate to the highest bidder so they can develop the property for the highest and best use. View Comment

Commented on Game On Proposition Passes In Greenburgh
11/07/12
Can't see how increasing competition by having more sports related venues would increase the cost of local sport participation. I think it is great to have more choices and more places for kids and young adults to recreate. Plus is solves an eyesore to the Town. The tax revenue aspect is another benefit. View Comment