By Christine Graf
Saratoga County will vacate its offices at 31 Woodlawn Ave. in Saratoga Springs by mid-August and put a well-placed piece of downtown real estate up for sale and potential development.
The county has occupied the two-story brick building since the 1970s. It was most recently home to public safety, public health, emergency service and probation offices.
Those offices have relocated to the Public Safety Building in Milton, a 63,000-square-foot structure that was constructed to house the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department and the Saratoga County 911 Communications Center.
According to Saratoga County Supervisor Matthew Veitch, the county’s Building and Grounds committee met on July 14 to discuss the Woodlawn Avenue property. The building sits on 0.5 acres of prime real estate in downtown Saratoga Springs.
“The county doesn’t need that space any more. We don’t have any departments that would be moving into that location, so we will be looking to do something with the building,” he said.
The property is estimated to be worth significantly more than its 2017 appraised value of $2.1 million, Veitch said.
The county is in the process of obtaining a new appraisal and is willing to sell it to Saratoga for an amount less than what it would sell for on the open market. The city has expressed interest in the past.
Veitch has contacted the city to advise them that they are being given first rights on the property. A selling price has not been discussed. The city has been given 45-day decision window and must respond by Sept. 2.
“The county isn’t going to just give it to them. We would ask the city to come up with a value or give the county the appraised value for the building,” he said. “That will be up for negotiation with the city if they are interested. If the city is not interested, we will put it on the open market and see what kind of bids we can get from the private sector.”
Veitch said that several potential buyers from the private sector have contacted him regarding the property. It is likely that a private buyer would want to demolish the existing building and replace it with new construction.
“There is certainly some interest out there from the development community,” he said. “Based on the real estate market and where it is located in Saratoga Springs, it is certainly going to be a property that will have a lot of interest and go for a high value.”
By Christine Graf