Company withdraws plans to buy vacant Monticello plaza
A company in negotiations to buy a vacant strip mall in Monticello backs out, forcing Sullivan County officials to look for other options to revitalize the plaza and generate business. Our Venise Toussaint has the story.
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MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- The grass is unkempt. The store fronts vacant, the once booming Apollo Plaza in Monticello is nothing more than an eye soar.
The bad economy ran its course chasing business owners away from the East Broadway plaza well over a decade ago. Since then, the building has been desolate. For years, Sullivan County officials have been working to sell the property, get it revamped and back on the tax rolls and until recently had a buyer but negotiations came to a screeching halt.
Due to the economy, Chancellor Livingston, the company the county has chosen to work on the East Broadway Development project has withdrawn leaving the county to explore other options
“We want to make sure whatever is going to go there is going to be able to come to fruition and it creates sales tax and also jobs,” said Sullivan County Legislator Ira Steingart.
Chancellor Livingston had planned to turn the old retail center into a shopping plaza with large chain stores that would draw more people and business to the area.
“We certainly would’ve liked it to happen, but realistically, having a mall in that location would be a challenge to bring big box stores here and make it work,” Steingart said.
The news of the company's withdrawal dashed the hopes of nearby business owners like Alex Rey, who owns the carwash and service center next door. He says he remembers the time when customers from the plaza would trickle into his shop.
“People would drop their vehicles off then walk to the mall and did their shopping, then picked it up after that’s what it was. That’s what I’m hoping would come back,” Rey said.
County officials say another company was interested in buying the property at one point, though they are not sure what will be done with the plaza moving forward.
They say details will be discussed in a legislative meeting on April 12th.