City Nixes Apartment Deal
The company that wants to buy an apartment complex off Ives Street in Watertown is evaluating its options, now that the Watertown city council has informally rejected a tax deal for the apartments.
Maple Courts apartments have just come off a 40 year tax break. Its current owners now pay the city $36,000 a year in taxes.
However, another company wants to buy Maple Courts and improve it. Related Cos. of New York City has offered $3.1 million for the apartment complex, with plans to put another $2 million into modernizing it.
Monday night, the Watertown city council informally rejected the tax deal sought by the prospectve buyer.
"I think the council is just at a point, a time when we're struggling to pay ever increasing pension costs and everything else," said Jeff Graham, Watertown's mayor.
"You just can't keep doing these incremental things that shift the tax burden to others."
The proposal comes at a sensitive time for local governments; two tax deals for new apartment complexes off Outer Arsenal Street faced significant opposition from the Watertown city school board, though both were ultimately approved.
Tax deals for both complexes were approved because apartments are scarce and demand high in the Watertown area, because of Fort Drum.
Watertown city assessor Brian Phelps and city manager Sharon Addison spoke with Allison Kunis, who represents Related Cos., Tuesday afternoon. According to Phelps, Kunis was disappointed by the city council's rejection and said she'll consult with other company officials about what to do next.
Kunis was "pretty adamant" that the company's offer was the best it can do, Phelps said.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Watertown, NY
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