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7 years Ago By / AJ Ross Staff

Burton Towers’ Elevators Being Repaired

NEWBURGH, N.Y. (August 30, 2011) — Wilder Balter Partners, Inc. announced today that it has initiated repairs on the two elevators at the Burton Towers in Newburgh. The Elmsford, NY-based Company is paying for and supervising the elevator repairs that began yesterday at the 126-unit affordable senior property.

William Balter, principal of Wilder-Balter, also reported that the firm, in cooperation with the Newburgh Housing Authority, will be vying to win a scheduled foreclosure auction on the property to be conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Friday, September 2.

“To show our commitment to this project, we got permission from the current management company to allow our contractors to come in and fix the two elevators that were causing problems for the building’s tenants,” Balter said. “Although we have no ownership interest in the property as yet, we are doing this work for the residents since it is just not reasonable to not have operational elevators in an eight-story senior community.”

One elevator has not operated since 2009 and the other elevator broke three days ago. “Yesterday we fixed the elevator that recently broke and by the end of this week we expect to have the other elevator operational,” Balter said.

Wilder Balter Partners has been working with the Newburgh Housing Authority on an $11-million redevelopment plan for Burton Towers that calls for the complete renovation of all 126 apartments. This will include new kitchens, bathrooms, heating and cooling (with Energy Star equipment), the installation of new elevators, new windows and a new roof. The national award-winning affordable housing developer, had in fact negotiated a contract of sale with the current owners, but later learned that HUD, which had filed foreclosure proceedings, had scheduled a public auction on the property earlier this month. That auction was postponed until this Friday. Both the Newburgh Housing Authority and the city of Newburgh each have the right of first refusal on any sale.

The Wilder Balter plan was endorsed by the Newburgh Housing Authority Board on August 24. Newburgh Mayor Nicholas Valentine and the City Council have backed what Wilder Balter Partners believes is a less comprehensive plan with Mountco Construction and Development of Scarsdale, NY.

Balter said that there have been some misconceptions circulated about the Burton Towers redevelopment and his firm’s intention to acquire the property either through a right of first refusal sale or through public auction.

For example, Balter related that the City is not at risk of losing $700,000 in outstanding PILOT payments and water and sewer liens as Mayor Valentine has charged. “Wilder Balter Partners had offered to pay the City the $700,000 owed plus $300,000 in impact fees, which is $100,000 more than Mountco’s proposal,” Balter said. “Wilder Balter also offered to pay the City $500,000 of that amount at closing versus $0 with Mountco.”

In addition, Wilder Balter’s plan calls for the Newburgh Housing Authority to be part of the ownership and management of the property whether it is acquired through a right of first refusal transaction or by public auction. Other key components of the agreement call for the Newburgh Housing Authority to receive a significant percentage of the development fee, as well as a proton of the management fee and cash flow going forward.

Balter also noted that his firm had several conversations with Newburgh City officials about its Burton Tower plan. The firm also attended the August 4th City Council work session in order to discuss its plan. However, the City Council chose to discuss the Burton Towers redevelopment in executive session. A few days later Wilder Balter learned that the Mayor and City Council had decided to move forward with a plan to buy the property and then flip it to a different developer—Mountco Construction and Development.

Balter also said, “We believe we have the right plan for Burton Towers, its residents, the Newburgh Housing Authority and the City of Newburgh and are confident that in the end we will prevail.”

To showcase the quality of a Wilder Balter development, Wilder Balter will conduct a tour of its Hearthstone development in Goshen for Burton Towers residents on Wednesday, August 31. A coach bus will leave Burton Towers at 10:30 a.m. A lunch will be provided after the tour followed by a return trip to Burton Towers.

Wilder Balter Partners Inc., managed by William G. Balter and Robert H. Wilder, Jr., is a leading residential developer in the Hudson Valley. Their work ranges from historic rehabilitations to redevelopment of affordable housing communities to construction of luxury homes.

WBP’s past projects in Orange County include Hearthstone in Goshen, the Brewery in Middletown, Stone Hill in Washingtonville and Creekside Apartments in Warwick.

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