The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Monday, March 03, 2008


The sale of 2 acres of city-owned property to SEFCU appears to be, if not dead, at least on life support.

The story, to date, is rather simple. Expect distortions and some revisionist history if the deal falls apart.

SEFCU had a project in mind: A $10 million project to house a branch of the credit union and/or administrative personnel. Troy's Mayor was quick to issue a press release, much to the displeasure of Senator Joe Bruno.

The story officially broke in the print media on November 16, 2007. It sounded as if this deal was inevitable. However, the Business Review story was much more tentative:

SEFCU is exploring the possibility of constructing a $10 million office building in Troy, N.Y., but has made no firm decision.

"We're evaluating development opportunities throughout the entire state," said John DeCelle, spokesman for the Albany, N.Y. credit union. "Troy is just one of the areas we're looking at."

The credit union went before the Troy City Council Nov. 15, proposing to purchase a two-acre, city-owned parcel on Sixth Avenue. The city agreed to begin negotiations. The parcel has an appraised value of about $400,000.

DeCelle said that while the property "holds tremendous promise" for a branch or an office building to house other functions, such as commercial banking and insurance, "we have made no decision to put a shovel into the ground." He said the credit union also has not decided which functions would move to the building if it is erected.

"We hope to come to a final decision in the next few weeks," he said.

A $400,000 offer was made on the property. On December 6, 2007 the Troy City Council approved the contract and authorized the Mayor to close the deal (see ordinance 8). Then.....silence from the Mayor.

In the next post will explore the "park" issue and show why it's a red herring or some other fish or fish-like product.

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