Editorial: Golub buy robs Rotterdam

Residents of Rotterdam tired of the sight of the long-blighted Curry Road Plaza have reason to rejoice, as all signs point to a buyer soon being selected for the property.

As John Purcell reports this week, Forum Industries is the last bidder standing before the town, and has plans to construct 180 senior apartments and two commercial buildings on the 12-acre site. It is by all accounts a good plan, one that would turn an eyesore into a productive piece of land. It would also net the Town of Rotterdam a cool $375,000 in addition to putting the property back on the tax rolls.

There is a story behind this story, however, and in it we see the town losing access to a bid nearly $1 million in excess of Forum’s offer because of corporate maneuvering. As we have previously reported and further expound this week, Columbia Development was offering more than $1.2 million for the property, but pulled its bid after the Golub Corporation snapped up a neighboring property that would have been prime real estate for… oh, let’s say a grocery store.

Here’s the catch: Golub is the former owner of the Curry Road Plaza property, and as such there is a deed restriction forbidding the placement of a business that would compete with the company’s Price Chopper chain. The neighboring Palma Lumber property, which was so vital to Columbia’s plans until Golub purchased it, had no such restriction. Columbia would not speak with us for this story, but it’s worth noting the developer has headed up every ShopRite project in the Capital District. There is a Price Chopper practically around the corner from the Curry Road Plaza that would be impacted by another grocery store in town. You do the math.

A representative of the Golub Corporation told us they’ve long been interested in the property, what with the possibility of a redevelopment. They’ve even been working with Forum on the project, she said. And to be fair, Golub put money into the property when it was owner in hopes of seeing the property be made useful again. Kudos there.

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