Foreclosure proceedings are underway at TechCity, filed in mid-February by a bank against six of 25 parcels on the expansive former IBM site. The filings could also impact nine TechCity tenants, including Ceres Technologies, which has been planning to move its entire operations into the property from its Saugerties location.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based ConnectOne Bank claims that as of Jan. 31, payments amounting to roughly $232,000 are overdue from companies connected to TechCity owner Alan Ginsburg. The payments, according to ConnectOne, are related to both a $7 million loan dating back to August 2014 and a $600,000 line of credit from December 2017.
In addition to three businesses identified as TechCity LLCs, the complaint filed in the state Supreme Court on Feb. 15 also included nine TechCity tenants: Ceres Technologies (Buildings 42 & 64); Anaerobic Athletics LLC (Building 33); Brooklyn Brew Shop (Building 33); Innate Movement Parkour LLC (Building 33); JSP Plumbing and Heating (Building 51); C&A Custom Builders, Inc. (Building 51); Visual Color Systems (Building 51); Synergy Merchant Services LLC (Building 51) and Consolidated Harvest Company LLC, a.k.a., Hudson Valley Harvest (Buildings 51 & 64).
The filing follows a January 2019 merger of ConnectOne and Greater Hudson Bank, the holder of the original loans. According to the filing, TechCity still owes the original loan of $7 million, plus interest, along with late charges and other unspecified expenses.
Ulster Town Supervisor James Quigley III this week expressed concern about TechCity tenants being dragged into the potential foreclosure and potential job losses should the new landlord have other plans for the spaces.
“The town’s concern focuses on allowing those businesses to remain in possession to provide a location for the employment of the employees currently working there,” Quigley said. “That is our concern. Anything other than that is a relationship between a lender and a borrower.”
In December, Ulster County revealed plans to foreclose on 18 TechCity parcels due to tax debts, but three of those parcels were removed from threat when, according to county Finance Commissioner Burt Gulnick, Jr., ConnectOne paid the back taxes.
“Their bank is going through their own process, and it doesn’t impact the county because the bank paid on the parcels before they began a bank foreclosure process,” said Gulnick.
Back taxes totaling $9.74 million on 15 other parcels remain in play, but Gulnick said it’s unclear when — or if — the county will be able to move forward with their foreclosure.
“In terms of the county perspective, we had parcels that were eligible for auction this year. TechCity served an answer upon the county, which basically legally prevents the county from taking title,” said Gulnick. “And that’s where we’re at. It’s in the hands of the county attorney’s office now. It’s just a matter of going through the courts. It sometimes takes time, but this could prevent me from taking title and putting it in our public auction in April.”