Following years of controversy involving legal skirmishes, an environmental study, an auction that never happened and dozens of town board meetings, the environmentally tainted property known as Frankâ€™s Nursery is set to be sold inÂ a $3.5 million purchase and sale agreement.
The Greenburgh Town Board unanimously approved the deal on Dec. 16.Â The purchaser, Capitol Seniors Housing LLC, looks to build an assisted living facility at 715 Dobbs Ferry Road with between 90 and 100 units.
According to the agreement, the developer will clean up the property using funds the town puts into an escrow account. The cost of the cleanup cannot exceed $2 million, according to the drafted agreement, and will be determined through â€œfeasibility studyâ€ talks with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the town and Capitol.
After the cost of environmental remediation is determined, Capitol will have 24 months to acquire the necessary permits, licenses and approvals, including licensing and approval by the state Department of Health required for assisted living facilities.
In a memo, Harold J. Bordwin, principal and managing director at GA Keen Realty Advisors hired by the town in 2014 to market the property, advised the town that based on the â€œpropertyâ€™s environmental conditions and restrictive zoningâ€ the offer made by Capitol is the â€œhighest and best in the marketplace.â€
The property was contaminated with about 500 gallons of carcinogenic No. 2 fuel oil in 2001 when the Frankâ€™s Nursery & Crafts site was owned by S&D Realty. The town acquired the 7-acre property after it was foreclosed on after the realty company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The situation got messier in 2011 when around roughly the same time Greenburgh received offers from two different sport facilities that made offers for the property. Game On 365 LLC put up $1.7 million for the land and a promise of $1.3 million over 13 years. House of Sports, of Ardsley, offered a cash deal of $3.5 million.
Ultimately, neither was chosen after both companies threatened lawsuits if Greenburgh chose either deal.
Woodard & Curran Engineering, a Harrison-based company, was hired in 2013 to study the site and found it could cost millions to clean up.
In June 2014, the Keen brokerage firm was hired and an auction was scheduled for November 2014, which fell through after bidders hesitated overÂ making offers without knowing more specific environmental costs to fix up the site.
The Capitol development group was one of four applicants â€“ the others being a storage facility, a 200-unit apartment complex and an independent living facility â€“ considered after the auction process earlier this year by Keen when it was decided the town should work with a preferred buyer.
From there, Keen, the Greenburgh Town Board and the community discussed the options, which found that an assisted living facility that would not require rezoning was most desirable.
If the resolution is passed at the Dec. 16 town board meeting set to begin at 7:30 p.m., the town will be authorized to sign the purchase and sale agreementÂ with Capitol.
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