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December 09, 2016
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Apollo project moving forward; Legislators vote to continue sale process

The long-abandoned Apollo Plaza is a step closer to being renovated as the county legislature voted to take the next step in the process of selling the property to the Resnick Group.
TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

On a related matter, Sheriff Mike Schiff asked that the deal be tabled for a month, and he also asked that the building known as the ARC Building on about three acres, be carved out of the deal. That building is now being used to house the new voting machines, and was mentioned in the past as a location of the Sheriff’s Road Patrol, which is currently located in a structure dating back to the 1850s called the Bushnell Building, and according to Schiff is unsafe. In 2009, renovations were begun in the ARC Building, with the intention that the road patrol would be housed there. But Resnick has reportedly said that he can’t go forward with the deal if that building is not part of the package.

To that issue, legislator Jonathan Rouis said, “Do we really want to take prime developable commercial real estate and house county functions? My answer to that is I don’t think so.” He said the road patrol faces “deplorable” conditions, but he said there is an opportunity to “take a hard look at somewhere right on Broadway, and put that road patrol right in the center of the county seat, where they can make a difference.”

Ultimately, the board voted seven to two to turn the property over to the SCFC. There are two phases to the deal, with phase one being the front of the property, which will include Apollo Plaza and will be sold to the Resnick Group for $600,000.

Phase two will include the ARC Building and acreage that was purchased by the county to be used for the expansion of the landfill, which never occurred. County taxpayers are still paying off the bond for the land. Resnick will have an option to buy the property for $2 million.

Some in the community have questioned whether the price should be renegotiated now that the casino resolution has been approved and it seems quite likely that a casino will be built just a couple of miles from the site, but the legislature decided to stick with the original terms of the deal.