By Christine Graf
In April, Saratoga Polo Association owners Jim Rossi and Mike Bucci turned over the deed to the historic club to Carver Laraway, owner of Altamont-based Carver Companies.
Although Laraway’s plans for the 43-acre property remain uncertain, many local residents are hopeful it will remain a polo club. Located on Bloomfield Road in the town of Greenfield, just west of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Polo Club is one of the oldest in the United States. It was founded in 1898 by William Collins Whitney, a financier, politician and owner of thoroughbred horses.
Rossi and Bucci purchased the club for $1.2 million in 2004. Although they were successful in increasing attendance and sponsorship revenue, they were plagued by financial problems. They were also unsuccessful in efforts to develop apartments and condominiums on the property.
In March 2018, Pioneer Bank initiated foreclosure proceedings on Saratoga Polo’s $3.2 million loan. Foreclosure was halted after Laraway guaranteed the loan.
“Saratoga Polo fell on hard times last year and went through a foreclosure process in summer of 2019,” said T. Padric Moore, the Clifton Park attorney who represented the owners. “Around November of 2019, we struck a bargain with the guarantor and successor mortgagee, Carver Laraway, whereby we were given six months to sell property free and clear of all liens.”
In February 2019, club owners hired an online broker to auction off the property. Bidding for the property started at $4.3 million, well below it’s previously appraised value of over $6 million.
Media reports earlier in the year said there was some consideration to a 2020 polo season, but those plans never moved forward.
“We tried to auction off the property, but the auction process failed. We had some interested purchasers, but because of COVID 19, we lost all of our purchasers. In accordance with our settlement agreement that we had reached with Carver Laraway, we turned the deed over to Mr. Laraway’s company.”
Laraway operates several companies including Carver Construction and Carver Sand and Gravel. In 2007, he purchased the Port of Coeymans, a deep water marine terminal located 10 miles south of Albany on the Hudson River.
By Christine Graf