CARS HOMES JOBS

Firm buys 25 foreclosed parcels in Schenectady County

Auction attracts 53 bids totaling $286K

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
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— Mark Henry could soon own land in every town in Schenectady County.

The principle of MCAL Properties LLC was the most prolific buyer during a property auction to liquidate some of the land that Schenectady County has foreclosed on in recent years. In total, he is poised to take title to 25 properties speckled throughout the county’s five towns once the Legislature approves the winning bids submitted last month.

Most of the property isn’t exactly what would ordinarily be considered prime real estate. And some of the parcels are just several hundredths of an acre — hardly a size that would be of much use by itself.

Still, the county could receive roughly $56,000 for the odd patchwork of land MCAL Properties bid on during the auction last month. The corporation is ready to purchase just under half of the properties that sold.

The county received bids on 53 of the 61 properties that were offered during the auction. The sales will net the county $286,150, according to the winning bids.

The total was a modest improvement over last year’s sales, when the county took in $237,200 from 42 properties. The auction this year and last year were the only two since 2008.

County spokesman Joe McQueen said the purpose of the sales is to help get long-delinquent properties back onto the tax roll. He said the county can sometimes take up to four years to auction off property that has been persistently delinquent on taxes.

“Some of these are properties we’ve had for years,” he said Monday.

McQueen said scheduling a property for auction also sometimes convinces its owner to settle up with the county. Other times, the auctions serve as a clearing house for inconsequential strips of land that are forgotten as a result of subdivisions or estate liquidations.

“Anytime we get a property, we’re going to get it back to auction,” he said.

It’s unclear what MCAL Properties has in store for the land — totaling about 16 acres — and attempts to track down a representative from the limited liability corporation were unsuccessful Monday. The largest property sold to the corporation was 9.77 acres of landlocked property on Upper Gregg Road in Rotterdam, while the smallest was a 20-by-28-foot triangle of land on Swaggertown Road in Glenville.

Over the past four years, the county has put nearly 170 properties back on the tax rolls through the auction process, by either selling them or getting the owner to pay the delinquent taxes. Additional properties have been transferred to county municipalities or dedicated as park land to expand green space, county officials said.

 
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