Tuesday, June 4, 2019

For Sale: Mid-Century Building in Heart of City

Earlier this year, the City tried to sell 427 Warren Street, the former police station, by soliciting sealed bids. No bids were submitted.

Now the City is going to try to sell the building at a public auction to be held on Monday, June 10. The notice of the auction reads in part:
The minimum bid shall be $300,000.00. The conveyance of the subject premises shall be subject to the terms and conditions of a Penalty Note and Mortgage in the amount of $100,000.00 in the event the property: (a) is not developed for a commercial use, as evidenced by a certificate of occupancy, within three (3) years of the conveyance of title, or; (b) all or a portion of the property is sold within three (3) years of the conveyance of title. A copy of the Terms of Sale and the terms and conditions of the Penalty Note and Mortgage may be reviewed at the Office of the Mayor, Hudson City Hall, 520 Warren Street, Hudson, New York 12534.  
All the documents mentioned are also available online, and Gossips has provided a hyperlink to each one. The auction takes places at 3:00 p.m., on Monday, June 10, in the Council Chamber at City Hall. For more information, click here.

Meanwhile, this tasteful sign tells the world that the building is for sale.



  1. Anyone interested in the participating in the auction of the building who would like a tour during the week or over the weekend, please give me a call either at the Mayor’s Office, 518.828.7217, or my cell, 518.821.3397.

  2. Why must the people of Hudson be so bureaucratic ? A penalty clause ?? the penalty is the hight tax rates and the lack of services.

    Hudson people live behind the iron curtain, where they come up with all sorts of reasons why an investor should not buy.

    Its not like it is ready to move into, is it ??

    1. The penalty clauses were put in place in response to a commonly perceived and decried problem: to combat gaming of real estate (flipping and warehousing) at the tax payers' expense and are, therefore, based on experience. The penalty clauses were devised (not by Hudson, but other jurisdictions) in response to the same issues we faced at the time. This type of gaming was a very common occurrence with publicly auctioned properties in Hudson. When the problem was considered important enough to address, the Common Council did so after doing quite a bit of research and having a number of public discussions and editing sessions of the relevant local laws.

      Goverment rarely acts in a vacuum and, in fact, is constitutionally designed to operate after the fact in an ad hoc manner (thus addressing problems after they arise). The penalty clauses, then, are well within this political philosophy and practice and, as such, are quintessential examples of American government in (somewhat slow, after the fact) action.

    2. JOHN,

      while i understand the intention of the penalty note , the assumption of risk in the investment and the possibility of high renovation costs, coupled with Hudson's bad reputation for over inflated renovation costs and dilatory contractors, makes it super risky to invest.

      Hudson is only for those of us who take the gamble for the goal of creating an alternative to the wretched dullness of most other places. While i have made many investments here, none have given me the type of returns that i would have gained in Brooklyn or other places outside of the city. The one thing is, Hudson has an indescribable new vibe that is rewarding and unlike any other place i know of. However, its not about making money really. the numbers never worked -- but it has been fun and rewarding on another level.

  3. "Mid-century" is often used as a handy euphemism for bland, incredibly lame architecture. I hope someone puts a second story on that thing. At the moment it looks like an abandoned convenience store.

  4. I don’t live in Hudson and this is not my problem, but I don’t understand the penalty for selling “all or a portion of the property” within three years.

    This provision may be legal but it strikes me as counterproductive, in that it will discourage buyers. There are many reasons other than opportunistic/speculative “flipping” why one might want (or might need) to sell a property—I want to move to Hawaii, or my plans changed, or I need to raise cash, or a hundred other things. What if I die? Is my estate penalized if the estate sells the property within three years of my purchase of this building? I would honk the City would want to make the sale as quick and easy as possible, but what do I know?

    1. yes exactly. Hudsonians want you to march to their beat alone - and damn the consequences. No smart person will agree to these terms. Anyones lawyer will tell them NO. it just doesnt make sense, for the reasons you state.

    2. BUT we do not always listen to our lawyers, and sometimes it works out.

      i do think that if there were no penalty clause, there would be spirited bidding. its a good location.

    3. J Kay -- you have it exactly backwards: it's not damn the consequences but manage them within reason. Your analysis equates the highest dollar value received by the City as the highest value use of the property. That's facile, particularly when it involves an important location on an important street. The highest value use of that property is the use that benefits its owners and occupants as well as not causing the city to suffer negative externalities of the sale. It's the same for any parcel. The difference here is that as the property is presently publicly owned the City can marginally manage the outcome.

      As to your assertion that lack of a penalty clause would increase bidding activity: of course it will, that's not a mystery. The question for decision makers is whether or not a short delay in selling or a marginally lower price is fair value for controlling the outcomes to the extent the penalty clause does. It's really very much like zoning in that regard.