TOWN OF WALLKILL – The owners of the 100 acres of land upon which the Orange County Fairgrounds and Speedway are situated want sell the property to a developer that would construct a 900,000 square foot warehouse and distribution center there.
The property owners, the Orange County Agricultural Society and the M&W Partnership, “have determined individually and collectively that it is necessary to use reasonable efforts to sell and liquidate all assets, payoff their creditors, including federal and state tax agencies and explore operating these enterprises elsewhere,” attorney Jennifer Mulleady wrote to the town board in a letter that preceded the board’s vote last week to impose a six-month moratorium on new warehouse and distribution development. Her firm represents the owners.
She told the town officials that the moratorium “may force a sale of the fairgrounds property to the same buyer for a real estate housing development or an alternate buyer for the same use at a much lower price than what is expected.”
The attorney wrote the moratorium would restrict and impact the development of nearly four-million square feet of warehousing development resulting in the town “jumping into a pool of unlimited litigation exposure.” She said the moratorium “will undoubtedly result in prolonged litigation placing serious financial burdens on the town and its residence that appear to be substantial.”
Mulleady said an “influencing factor” in support of the town’s moratorium is it may wish to pursue development of a civic center on the property. “It is highly possible that the town wants to use the warehouse moratorium as a tactic to buy time to raise funds through various artifices including grant applications in its own efforts to purchase the fairgrounds property,” she wrote. “We have advised our clients that should it be established that the moratorium was influenced and adopted for this reason it could be considered an impermissible taking by the town that would entitle the property owners to appropriate compensation.”
Mulleady did not respond to several phone calls and emails seeking comment on the issue.
Source: Mid-Hudson News