The Rockland County Legislature voted unanimously to approve the sale of two county-owned buildings for $8.2 million.
The building located at 185 North Main Street in Spring Valley netted a highest bid of $4.2 million from Congregation Khal Bais Shmiel, and the building located at 2 New Hempstead Road in New City brought in a highest bid of $4 million by JP Morgan Chase & Co. Both sales are subject to approval from the county attorney.
Both buildings were publicly advertised, and three bids were received for the Spring Valley location. In addition to Congregation Khal Bais Shmiel, bids were received for the location from the Village of Spring Valley and JR, LLC.
Legislator Toney Earl asked if the Village of Spring Valley’s bid was considered. Legislator Ilan Schoenberger told Earl the bid was considered, but it was also the lowest bid of the three, coming in around $1.7 million.
“I wouldn’t mind selling it to Spring Valley, I really wouldn’t, but we have to get the most money we can for the county of Rockland,” Schoenberger said.
The New City building received two bids total, with the only other bid coming from Koenig Management. Schoenberger said the county bought the building about six or seven years ago. Legislator Joseph Meyers asked how much the county paid for it then, and Schoenberger said he didn’t remember, but his staff told him it was about $2.5 million.
While Meyers voted in favor of the sale of both buildings, he was the only legislator to raise some concern about selling either property. He wondered if was a good idea to sell the New City location given its close proximity to the county offices, just in case the county government for whatever reason needs more space down the line.
“I just hope that the expense of getting additional space convenient to and close to our government offices will not be higher than what we’re selling this for now,” he said. “I worry about that.”
Schoenberger said the New City location still has a bond on it, but the sale will bring in about $8 million in cash to the county. In the proposed 2012 budget, the county executive had the sale of the two buildings bringing in $5 million, which would go toward deficit reduction. Selling for more than expected gives the county some options for the money, Schoenberger said.
“We can do that now, with $5 million to offset the deficit and still have $3 million for operating expenditures, or put the whole $8 million toward the reduction of the deficit,” he said.