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Rye Officials Close to $5.6M Deal for Lester’s Building

The city faces a $600,000 loss on the property it bought seven years ago.

The City of Rye may get $5.6 million for the Lester’s building it bought for $6.2 million seven years ago, according to an agenda document for this Wednesday’s meeting. The city council will discuss selling the property to Bill Wolf Petroleum Corporation, a gas station company, at its Feb. 27 council meeting, according to the agenda and a drafted purchase and sale agreement. City documents do not specify what Bill Wolf Petroleum would do with the building after purchase.

In 2006, when time Rye bought the building, formerly a CVS, the administration then had plans to use it as a city court, police department headquarters. However, when the current administration took the helm they decided it was not in the city’s best interest to go through with the plan, which reportedly would have cost more than $20 million. The mayor and majority of the council officially voted the relocation plan down in 2010.

Currently, the city leases the building to Lester’s clothing store for about $24,000 per month. Lester’s owner offered to buy the property for $3.6 million and the council considered it last year, but the city would have lost $2.6 million on the property if they agreed to that price. Last September, the council voted to extend Lester’s lease, which was set to expire at the end of this month, through the end of 2013, and to hire a brokerage firm to market the property.

Since they hired the broker firm CBRE, the city has received several competitive bids. The council will discuss the Bill Wolf Petroleum Corporation purchase and sale agreement at 8 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the council meeting in city hall. The environmental due diligence period is stil on-going, but is expected to end by mid-March, according to the city resolution. 

Calls and emails sent to Bill Wolf Petroleum and city manager Scott Pickup were unreturned as of publication time.

RyeDad February 27, 2013 at 02:46 PM
The City of Rye and the taxpayers owe Ted Carroll a big thank you for leading the effort to stop French, Jovanovich and others from selling this taxpayer owned property for $3,600,000 just last year. Was there any connection, financial or otherwise, with French and Jovanovich to the person they were willing to sell this taxpayer owned property to for $3,600,000? Let's not forget Jovanovich also tried to sell this taxpayer owned property to a developer for around the same $3,600,000 who was going to build 70 townhouses here. If Jovanovich was allowed to go through with this plan this would have brought another 100 or so kids into our schools at about $25,000 a kid. This comes to about $2,500,000 a year it would have cost us going up every year from day 1. No wonder Jovanovich had to go out of the publishing business and his Rye Record is sinking into oblivion. Did Jovanovich have any connection, financial or otherwise, with this developer? And to think most of this was done in secret. Shameful! Thank you Ted Carroll for sticking to your guns and stopping these fools from costing us taxpayers $2,000,000 in proceeds today and $2,500,000+ a year every year after that.
HEALtheHARBOR.com February 27, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Rye Dad, I agree, we do owe thanks To Ted and I do believe that if it was up to Deputy Mayor Jovanovich he would of sold it for a 2 million dollar loss at the expense of the taxpayers. I also question if Deputy Mayor Jovanovich had any connection, financial or otherwise, with this developer? I find it interesting that the corporation that he was in charge of was named in at least six additional suits by former stockholders. Mr. Jovanovich's company defended a case where investors were misled about the financial position of the company. The suit also claimed that false information was distributed by executives that violated securities law and artificially inflated the value of the company's stock as they strapped the company with nearly $3 billion of debt at the same time. This suit has nothing to do with another suit brought forward by a employee, Ms. Judith Hill who claimed charges of sexual harassment against the now Deputy Mayor of Rye. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1992-03-13/business/9203130427_1_preferred-stock-suit-jovanovich http://www.kroplaw.com/win_hill.html

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