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

Friday, May 02, 2008


We are sorry to see that Judge Development did not submit a bid for the purchase of City Hall.

Longtime readers will recall that we found the Judge proposal intriguing. Unfortunately, when the deal was originally announced, there remained many unanswered questions. Some of those questions still remain. The tax payers agreed.

The Judge deal involved a property swap. After the Mayor announced the deal, Judge purchased the Sixth Avenue Verizon building. City Hall was to move to the Verizon building and Judge would lease City Hall. Ultimately, the rent paid by the City to Judge for the Verizon building would be used to purchase the Verizon building.

We never understood why a straight-up trade wasn't proposed. Why the five-year lease of the City property?

Not too long ago, at a Committee meeting (or Council meeting) the Mayor did announce that the Judge deal was dead. That announcement came just days after a request was made to see the operating agreement of the entity that sold the Verizon building to Judge. An operating agreement discloses the names of those who own an interest in company or other business entity.

The group that sold the Verizon building is under no obligation to disclose their operating agreement. Such a document is not a public record. Still, the timing of the request and the Mayor's announcement is interesting. The Sun doesn't rise because the rooster crows, but could there be some cause and effect here?

Not all is lost, however. Other people have shown an interest in City Hall. Our particular favorite:

Attorney Seymour Fox* offered to buy city hall for $500,000, redevelop it and hang a gigantic model of a sailing sloop on the Hudson River side of the building. His proposal calls for leasing city hall back to the city. The unusual nature of hanging a model ship on the side of the building dismayed city officials.

The Mayor's office would then be relocated to the giant, hanging sloop.

* If the name rings a bell, Seymour Fox was lead Counsel in the landmark Supreme Court case, Marbury v Madison.

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