November 30, 2021

Contento’s looks to buy city property, expand

Cortland’s City Council will consider a measure tonight to sell 6 acres on Pendleton Street to Contento’s Inc. for an office building.

Contento’s, a professional demolition, hauling, material processing and recycling company, wants to buy the land next door at 119 1/2 Pendleton St. for a new office building.

The company has offered $60,000 for the land, which the city has owned for nine years, Mayor Brian Tobin said.

Alderman Thomas Michales (R-8th Ward) said the bid is “low-balling the asking price,” but added Contento’s is “pretty much the only one interested in the land.”

The city’s 2020 assessment rolls show the property is assessed at $168,000, with a full market value of $182,717.

Tobin said the city “hasn’t identified proper use for it, so there’s no need for it.”

“We are looking to get the property back on the tax roll if a purchase can be completed,” he said.

Anthony Contento, vice president of Contento’s, said the new building would replace a building that is now too small. The new building would have three rooms, allowing for more administrative staff, a conference room and an estimation department.

The business in the future will consider putting indoor storage and possibly a mechanic shop in the new building, he added. “Our business is growing, so we want to grow our staff if we can,” Contento said.

The company would demolish an abandoned warehouse on the property, Contento said, adding that while the land was a suspected contamination area, he saw no safety issues.

“It’s not a desirable piece of land, but it makes sense for us to expand there,” he said.

The land was previously owned by the late Howard “Fritz” Brown, who ran a construction and roofing company there, Michales said. The city foreclosed after Brown fell behind on tax payments.

“If Contento’s is able to purchase the property, we can put a stipulation on it,” Michales said. “We can make sure it looks aesthetically pleasing.”

“We want to make the area look nice by cleaning up the area and doing some landscaping,” Contento said. “We also want to secure the area so our employees and customers are comfortable.”