Eli Ruiz | Democrat
A view of the Apollo Plaza from East Broadway, in Monticello.
Apollo plans detailed
Story by Dan Hust
MONTICELLO July 12, 2013 With the signing of a formal contract reportedly near, a letter of intent obtained this week by the Democrat gives details of the Apollo Plaza’s proposed redevelopment.
The letter was signed by developer Butch Resnick and Sullivan County Legislator Ira Steingart earlier this year and is non-binding.
“We didn’t sign a contract yet, but we did sign a letter of intent,” confirmed Steingart this week.
The letter spells out the intentions of Resnick and the Sullivan County Funding Corporation, a mirror of the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the arm of the county handling the sale.
Resnick is proposing to buy the 25-acre Apollo property for $600,000, along with $2 million for the former 75-acre Phase II landfill parcels behind the old mall.
Resnick would also cover all of the Funding Corp.’s “reasonable costs and expenses,” so long as the Funding Corp. maintains the historical access to the mall via East Broadway.
His Mountaindale-based company, Sullivan Property Acquisitions I, has the exclusive option to buy those properties through September 30, provided it pays a $60,000 deposit on the Apollo land and a $200,000 deposit on the former Phase II land.
That option can be extended to March 31, 2014 for a downpayment of $50,000 on the Apollo Plaza properties, whereas the option for the former Phase II landfill parcels can be extended as far as March 31, 2018 for a series of deposits totalling $100,000.
Resnick is contemplating creating a supermarket and other retail space out of portions of the existing mall, though the central section would likely be demolished.
Ideas for the back 75 acres have not yet been released, though at one point there was a plan for a truck stop/tourist destination. The county plans to assist Resnick in finding financial assistance to test and, if necessary, remove any construction and demolition debris left over from the days when the county planned to use that acreage to enlarge its landfill.
The letter of intent indicates it will be a “sales tax-generating business ... with an estimated total cost of not less than $4 million (inclusive of land cost).”
The letter also stipulates that the county retains its “Rose Valley Building” a structure at the end of Plaza Drive at no cost during the option’s term in order to house its electronic voting machines. Eventually, however, the county would be required to either lease the building from Resnick or vacate it.
Currently, Resnick and the county are waiting for the Town of Thompson and Village of Monticello to agree to an annexation of Apollo property from the town into the village, in order to simplify (and lower the cost of) the planning board process Resnick will have to undergo.
A joint town/village board meeting to do so is scheduled for August 6.