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The Times
  • LF Common Council votes to sell Main Street building

  • The commercial property at 542 E. Main St. has a new owner, as the Little Falls Common Council Tuesday evening unanimously approved the sale of the vacant building to businessman Richard Ruggerio at a cost of $1.

    According to the terms of the agreement, if Ruggerio is unable to complete his renovations in two years time, ownership of the building would revert to the city.

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  • The commercial property at 542 E. Main St. has a new owner, as the Little Falls Common Council Tuesday evening unanimously approved the sale of the vacant building to businessman Richard Ruggerio at a cost of $1.
    According to the terms of the agreement, if Ruggerio is unable to complete his renovations in two years time, ownership of the building would revert to the city.
    “I plan to rehab the lower floor of the building — half would be a restaurant and half would be retail space for Valley Restaurant Equipment and Supplies,” said Ruggerio.
    He added the upstairs portion of the building would remain a “work in progress.”
    “With the extent of the renovations needed to the lower floor I will not be able to focus much attention on the upstairs,” said Ruggerio. “The upstairs are something that will be renovated down the road, but for now I have to concentrate on the lower floor.”
    He added the two years are necessary due to the amount of renovations that need to completed. “The two years to complete the lower floor are important to me, because it would be impossible for me to say I could have it finished in a year,” said Ruggiero.
    “And if I am unable to perform in those two years, the building will go back to the city.”
    “I wish him luck,” said Mayor Robert Peters. “I’ve walked through the building recently and I know the condition that it’s in. There is going to be a lot of work involved.”
    The commercial space was last in the process of being renovated by Orlando, Fla.-based Vertiglo in 2011. The software development firm at one time was in discussions to buy the 12,000 square foot building from the city, where it would establish a new office and relocate 20 staff members, and began renovations to the building’s second and third floors, as well as to the section that used to house Ho Ho Chinese Restaurant.
    In order to acquire the property, the city reached and agreement with the Herkimer County Legislature, which in 2010 voted to forgive $61,512 in tax liens on the property.
    The agreement directed the city to turn over any excess funds to the county, should it realize a gain on the sale of the parcel over and above the amount of the tax relevy.
    Common Council members Jeffrey Gressler and Patricia Long joined the mayor in wishing Ruggerio luck in his endeavor to revive the commercial space.
    “I’m going to need luck,” Ruggerio responded. “I know it’s going to be a lot of work.”
    In other business Tuesday evening, the council unanimously appointed Jennifer Chrisman to fill the vacancy created by Edward Rose’s resignation as city attorney.
    Page 2 of 2 - Chrisman began as city attorney on April 8 and will continue to serve in the position, which carries a fixed salary of $1,400 per month, for the remainder of 2013.
    The council also unanimously appointed Mark Metott to the city’s board of assessment review. His term will expire in 2017.
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