According to an article in the December 19th Observer Dispatch:
Several buildings at The Orchard shopping center are up for sale – for a total of $10 million…. The buildings currently have tenants, and the leases will transfer to the new owner, said Lawrence Adler, principal of the Cameron Group, the company that developed The Orchard and still owns portions of the 300,000-square-foot retail center.The article goes on to say:
Adler, whose company also is developing the New Hartford Business Park, said capital from the sale will be reinvested.Who has invested in New Hartford? Mr. Adler, I believe the taxpayers are footing the bill for your “reinvestment”.
“We’re a development company, so that’s what we do,” he said. “We’re happy to say we’ve reinvested in New Hartford.
Again, according to the article:
Adler said there is no significance to the timing of the sale other than following a general plan of development of the retail center.General plan of development of the retail center? In a recession? Could it be that Larry Adler is "cash-strapped"? Why was it necessary for Fred Burrows, Jr. to be a guarantor on the “Letter of Credit” that was part of the business park deal Larry Adler made with the town to cover any losses if the dollars generated by tax revenue don’t cover the $2.3 million bonds the Town of New Hartford plans to sell by March 5th? We FOILed a copy of the signed “Letter of Credit” that says in part:
"...THIS IRREVOCABLE STANDBY LETTER OF CREDIT IS INTENDED TO SECURE THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE GUARANTORS, LAWRENCE R. ADLER, THOMAS J. VALENTI AND FRED BURROWS, JR. IN CONNECTION WITH THE AGREEMENTS WITH THE TOWN OF NEW HARTFORD, ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK WITH RESPECT TO DEBT SERVICE ON SUCH TOWN OBLIGATIONS IN THE YEARS 2010 THROUGH 2018."It is easy to understand Larry Adler and Thomas J. Valenti as guarantors, they are partners in Cameron Group, LLC, the developer of the business park. But Fred Burrows, Jr.? What part does he play in the repaying of the town obligations?
Fred Burrows, Jr…hmm...isn’t that the excavating company that “won” the bid for clearing the land and building the roads in the business park? Fred Burrows Excavating was the “lone bidder” for $1.3+ million of the work that has been done thus far in the business park. Hmm...awarding a $1.3+ million dollar contract and yet there was only one bidder. [See our previous post on the bidding process.]
Is there a connection between Fred Burrows and Larry Adler? Is Mr. Burrows a "silent" partner with Larry Adler? Anyone find it odd that the owner of the company doing the work in the business park would also be a guarantor?
New Hartford is chuck full of quinky dinks...
UPDATE: In a related matter. It came to our attention that it is necessary to apply for a grading permit whenever more than an acre of land is cleared. We FOILed the Application for Building, Zoning, and Demolition Permit allowing the clearing on Route 840:
October 16, 2007. What is interesting is that the bid for the work in the Business Park was actually awarded to Burrows Excavating at the June 18, 2008 Special Town Board Meeting...8 months after Mr. Burrows signed the grading permit that was provided to us through our FOIL request. Maybe the town just provided us with the wrong permit...although our request was quite specific:
We would like to FOIL a copy of any required permit(s) filed with the Town of New Hartford Codes Dept. allowing the clearing of more than one (1) acre of land in the vicinity of The Hartford building and the New Hartford Business Park between Woods Highway and the NYS right of way on Route 840.Any required permit(s) means that if there is more than one, we would like to get a copy. Either they didn't apply for an additional permit or the one we received covered the entire project. How would Burrows Excavating know in October 2007 that they would be doing the work?
Lone bidder...guarantor on Letter of credit...clearing permit issued 8 months before bid awarded...interesting!