January 18, 2022

Contento’s gets land after 3rd attempt

Todd R. McAdam/managing editor

The city of Cortland has set a Sept. 30 deadline and a minimum $80,000 bid for this property on Pendleton Street, which it has owned for nine years. The neighboring property, Contento’s, a recycling and demolition company, had offered $60,000, a bid that was rejected in August.

Four months after the city of Cortland refused to sell a Pendleton Street property for anything less than $100,000 — despite a single $60,000 bid — and two months after it refused to sell the property for anything less than $80,000, it has agreed to sell the property.

For $65,000. To the company that initially offered $60,000 for the land.

Cortland’s Common Council voted, 8-0, Tuesday to enter into a purchase agreement with Contento’s for a 6.9 acre lot at 119 1/2 Pendleton St.

The $65,000 agreement came two months after the city said it would not sell the property for less than $80,000.

“We’ve been trying to unload this property for a long time now,” Alderman Tom Michales (R-8th Ward) said during the city’s Common Council meeting. “We finally have a cash buyer.”

Richard VanDonsel, the city’s corporation counsel, said property was sold at the lower price as he received no replies for requests to bid at $80,000. The city has owned the property since 2012 through a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Jerry Contento, the president of Contento’s, said Wednesday the company will use space, right next to the business, for a new administrative office because the business is expanding.

“We’ve just outgrown the office we’ve had here,” Contento said.

Contento’s is a demolition, hauling, material processing and recycling company.

The company had been trying to buy the property for the last six to eight months, he said.

Entering into the agreement to purchase the property was just another step in the process, Contento said. He hoped his business would close on the property this year and apply for a building permit after that.

“We’re happy they let us buy and we’re pleased we can move forward with our plans,” he said.

The 6.9-acre property in an industrial zone has a metal warehouse. It is bounded by railroad tracks to the east and the south, Pendleton Street to the west and residential properties to the north.

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