continued Town officials previously said awarding the bid would be based on more than the top price offered, with the overall positive impact of proposed usage in regards to jobs, investment and creating a new tax base to be considered in the selection.
Buffardi said the town appears legally limited to accept the top “responsible” bid, which includes the ability to secure funding and what zoning changes are proposed.
“[Columbia] is certainly the one in lead consideration right now,” Buffardi said.
Forum’s hand might have been shown, because the now dissolved Rotterdam Industrial Development Agency sent out a request for bids in 2007, in which it submitted a proposal.
Forum’s previous bid was all Buffardi said he had to estimate what might be offered this time around.
“I didn’t have a general expectation, but I knew that when the IDA had bid it out the Forum Industries (bid) was around $360,000. … That was the only thing I had to go by,” Buffardi said.
Forum’s bid proposal consisted of demolishing the two existing commercial buildings, constructing two three-story senior housing buildings with more than 180 units combined, relocating the existing TrustCo Bank to a new 2,500 square-foot building and constructing a 4,000 square-foot building for retail and office space.
Forum indicated in its proposal it had contacted TrustCo bank on the move and terms of a new lease agreement. Also, Forum said it executed an agreement to purchase portions of the property owned by The Golub Corporation. A draft site-plan was also included in its bid.
Columbia’s redevelopment proposal wasn’t as precisely detailed as Forum’s, but its project was similar in scope.
Columbia said it toured the site several times, but a draft site plan hasn’t been completed. It said renovating existing buildings would be “beneficial,” but a full review of the structures would determine the feasibility.