Lender moves to foreclose on Richmondville fitness center
RICHMONDVILLE A lending agency is calling for repayment of more than $1.5 million in loan money or the sale of four properties in a foreclosure action targeting the $5.3 million Maranatha Family Center, which closed its doors in September.
In a summons filed Nov. 13, the New York Business Development Corp. is seeking to take possession of the 85,000-square-foot facility on Route 7, in addition to three other properties owned by Maranatha developer Stella McKenna.
The center, built in 2012 as an exercise facility and site for physical therapy and sporting events, closed in September after failing to pay its electric bill. The closure left several supporting economic development agencies unpaid, including the Schoharie County Industrial Development Agency, which provided $35,000, and the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, which loaned $200,000 to the project, all on the belief the facility would create 40 jobs.
McKenna could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Her attorney, Roger Mallery, said efforts to rescue the site continue, but the foreclosure proceeding puts at risk all of McKenna’s personal property.
“She put her heart and soul and all her money into it. If it doesn’t fly, she’s going to lose everything,” Mallery said.
Town officials earlier this month met with a downstate entrepreneur interested in playing a role in saving the facility by investing and serving as an equity partner, but the plan did not materialize. Mallery said there are others taking a look, but no firm developments as of Tuesday.
“There is some other interest in it, and we’re trying to work something out. ... It is a very nice thing for the area,” he said.
He said selling the building or taking in a partner are still possible, since the foreclosure process takes months. “We have three or four irons in the fire now.”
The facility drew $2.3 million in support from Empire State Development, the state economic development arm, as well. The agency is not involved in the foreclosure proceeding, according to a spokesman.
The foreclosure filing names various lenders and agencies, including the town of Richmondville. Town Attorney Marvin Parshall Jr. said the town is named due to its role as municipal sponsor for the Maranatha project, and town assets are not being placed at risk due to the foreclosure.