Lender forecloses on Saratoga Springs parcels eyed for project
SARATOGA SPRINGS A property that a Saratoga Springs builder planned to develop into a commercial and residential project now faces foreclosure because he didn’t get the necessary approvals to develop it.
More than four years after builder David Jelenik bought three parcels at the corner of Maple Avenue and Rock Street, a private lender filed foreclosure proceedings Sept. 24 in state Supreme Court in Saratoga County.
It’s the latest legal trouble for Jelenik, who was charged in January with nine felonies, including tax fraud and related charges.
The property at 129, 131 and 135 Maple Ave. is officially owned by 135 Maple Avenue Associates LLC.
The business was registered in 2008 with the state Department of State and has no registered agent on file, but it has the same business address as Jelenik’s construction company and Jelenik sold the property to the LLC for $1 in 2010.
Jelenik bought the properties in January 2008 for $375,000, securing a mortgage for that amount from Boca Raton, Fla.-resident Lawrence H. Long at 10 percent interest.
The loan was to be paid in full by June 30, 2012, and the mortgage stated that the lender had the right to demand payment in full if Jelenik didn’t get the approvals by June 30, 2010.
That is the reason for the foreclosure, the documents state.
Jelenik intended to build 16 residential units and a retail/office unit development at the site.
He planned to tear down two three-family homes and build in their place a four-story apartment building with a 27-space parking lot outdoors and 30 covered parking spaces on the first floor, according to plans filed with the city in 2008.
There was some resistance from preservation advocates, who opposed demolishing the 100-year-old buildings and wondered what the new building would look like from Route 50.
Jelenik eventually withdrew the application, said Bradley Birge, planning and economic development director for the city. It’s not clear whether he did so because of the preservationists’ opposition or for another reason.
Judith M. Long, executor of the estate of Lawrence H. Long, who died in late 2010, filed the foreclosure.
In an emailed statement Thursday, Jelenik said: “Larry Long was a personal friend and business associate. We both believed in the project. I completely understand the estate’s wishes to close out all unfinished business affairs.”
The foreclosure allows the Long estate to collect rental payments directly from the tenants, take possession of the property and sign and cancel leases.
It also demands payment of $25,600 in unpaid taxes.
Meanwhile, Jelenik’s criminal case is pending in court.
He faces several charges of tax fraud for allegedly misrepresenting his income in personal income tax filings.
In one instance, a state Department of Taxation and Finance investigator alleges that Jelenik reported a minus-$73,900 income for the 2005 tax year and no tax liability, while an audit indicated he had a taxable income of at least $335,000 and a state tax liability of $24,300, according to documents filed in Saratoga Springs City Court.
He allegedly owes more than $50,000 in unpaid taxes in total.
Over the summer the case was put on hold so that forensic accountants for the prosecution and defense could review documents and prepare their cases.
Jelenik is free on pretrial release because he has no prior criminal record.
He is still in business as the CEO of Jellco Construction, a business name he recorded with the Department of State in late 2010. His previous business name was Jelenik Construction.