continued According to Margaret Phillips, owner of Olde Orchard Real Estate, the property went under contract on Friday, Sept. 28, for $2.7 million. She said that there were indications at both meetings the property would be sold quickly.
“The board was told that there were other interested parties and that if they failed to act, the property would, in fact, be sold. I can only assume that the board members did not believe that to be true,” said Phillips.
The property had been on and off the market for several years. Phillips first listed the property in July 2011.
“Since I’ve had it listed, we’ve had a lot of interest,” said Phillips. The property includes the acreage along with three homes, one barn and other outbuildings. We had several buyers actually looking to buy the property and we were willing to work with the town and the buyers were willing to wait and see what happened with the town.”
She added once the town “dropped the ball,” buyers were ready to move. Closing on the sale will happen before the end of this year.
“(The Cappiellos are) very excited that the property is being sold. … They had some definite hurt feelings with regard to the way the town handled this,” said Phillips.
According to Phillips, the buyers intend to keep the property as farmland and not develop it. About 80 acres are now being leased by farmers for haying.
Members of the Cappiello family were not available for comment.
Joan Pott, chairwoman of the Ballston Farmland Protection and Preservation Committee said she was very disappointed in the board’s indecision. She said the meetings over the two nights got heated and offended the Cappiello family, which was willing to offer the land to the town at well below market value.
“It is my heartfelt hope that readers will recognize the tremendous gift the family originally endeavored to offer the town,” she said.
Pott added the committee was recently awarded a grant of $25,000 from the Department of Agriculture and Markets that would have helped codify their plan for preserving the Cappiello Farm. The grant will still be used in protecting farmland in the town.