Governors Motor Inn sets asking price of $350K

The Enterprise — Elizabeth Floyd Mair

The house on the property of the former motor inn, included in the asking price, is divided into four apartments totaling about 3,200 square feet, according to Guilderland’s chief building and zoning inspector, Jacqueline M. Coons. ​

GUILDERLAND — Governors Motor Inn, which is being sold through the Albany County Land Bank, now has an asking price: $350,000. Prospective buyers will have to deal with demolition and probably asbestos, the land bank’s Executive Director Adam Zaranko said, but not with paying back taxes on the property.

The lot on Route 20, the town’s major thoroughfare, is 1.93 acres, according to the Guilderland assessor’s office.

The motor inn itself is almost 15,000 square feet, and the separate house on the property is 3,200 square feet, according to Jacqueline M. Coons, Guilderland’s chief building and zoning inspector. Coons said the house was formerly divided into four apartments and rented as part of the motor inn.

Governors Motor Inn was put on the commercial market about a year ago, through C. M. Fox, starting out with an asking price of $475,000; the price was reduced several times, landing finally on $275,000 before a planned sale fell through and Albany County began to move forward with foreclosure proceedings on all properties with liens dating back to 2012, including that property.

Buyers at that time would have needed to pay, in addition to the purchase price, more than $200,000 in back taxes to Albany County.

“And those things combined, basically, weren’t economically feasible for anyone to buy it, and that’s one of the reasons the building sat so long,” according to Zaranko.

Before transferring properties to the land bank, the county extinguishes the taxes and liens on them, Zaranko said, adding that this gives land-bank properties “the kind of shot in the arm they need, economically speaking, to get them back out into the market so someone can return them to productive use.”

The land bank is planning to send its property-maintenance teams to the former motor inn, to clean up some of the scrub and overgrowth.

The property is currently listed on the land bank’s website, but it will also be syndicated on the Multiple Listing Service, Zaranko said.

The land bank is in the process of getting a permit from the town to put up signs indicating that it is, again, for sale, Zaranko said; the land bank is also thinking about holding an event for commercial brokers and developers, to increase awareness of the property.

Any buyer would likely demolish the building, Zaranko said.

“Obviously we don’t think the building can be salvaged, and I don’t think any of the future uses would contemplate rehabbing that particular structure; it’s in pretty rough shape,” Zaranko said.

There may well also be a need for asbestos remediation; the land bank has not yet done any surveys, but Zaranko has been “told anecdotally that there is believed to be asbestos in perhaps some of the window caulking and/or building materials,” he said.

Asbestos is present in so many land-bank properties, he continued, that “we kind of assume it’s in there, right out of the gate.”

Developers who want to buy the property must submit an application to the land bank that includes information about the planned use and funding.

The listing for Governors Motor Inn on the Albany County Land Bank’s website also notes that the buyer must pay an estimated tax balance of $12,122.25.

Zaranko said there is a window between when the county forecloses on a tax-delinquent property, and when the land bank’s tax-exempt status takes effect; during that time the property is subject to municipal and school taxes.

“Sometimes a small amount of tax is generated on the property,” he said. “We try to disclose it up front, so it’s not a surprise to anyone.”

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