Moreau prepares for surgery of Route 9 buyers

In anticipation of a surge in commercial land purchases on Route 9, the Town Board will pay GAR Associates $70,000 for help with commercial valuation.

The company will assist in determining the correct values for land that is suddenly worth much more because of the sewer. Work to build the sewer begins this year, but the construction project will take two years to complete.

The town needs help “as we start having more commercial real estate transactions occurring,” Supervisor Todd Kusnierz said.

The town must finish its next assessment roll by July, and GAR’s contract expires on July 31.

GAR will act as a consultant on commercial assessments. It will also visit selected sites, create digital sketches and take photos to defend the proposed assessments.

The town may be expecting challenges to some of those assessments, because the contract also asks GAR to help the Board of Assessment Review, which hears tax cases on Grievance Day.

“We are adding additional services,” Kusnierz said, adding that the expense was in the budget because of the sewer project.

“I anticipate some need for more services,” he said.

There has not been a wave of purchases yet, but there have been several large sales, which was rare for the corridor before sewer was approved.

Saratoga Olive Oil bought a vacant building at 1341 Route 9 for $480,000 and built a warehouse and small retail establishment there. The same parcel sold in 2016 for $326,000.

Stewart’s spent $1.5 million on 1311 Route 9, where a new Stewart’s will be built.

Representatives for a medical facility paid $1.424 million for 1265 Route 9, an undeveloped 5-acre parcel. The land is assessed at $275,000.

The company, BCR Route 9 LLC, bought the land from Munter Associates.

Munter Associates has, so far, been the only speculator buying property in the sewer district. The company bought 27 acres off Route 9 in 2017 for $1.6 million. At the time, it was not clear whether a sewer project would be approved. But afterward, the land gained value and Munter was able to sell one-fifth of it for almost as much as it spent on the entire parcel.

Published by The Post Star

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