By James Nani
PORT JERVIS — As new owner of the Port Jervis Plaza, Carl Paladino’s development company might need a whisk broom and mop to revamp the vacant strip mall.
Port Jervis Mayor Russell Potter confirmed Thursday that Ellicott Development Co., chaired by former GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, has purchased the property at 100 Pike St.
“I’ll try to reach out to them once the deal is solidified to see if there’s anything we can do to help,” said Potter.
The Buffalo-based company snatched up the property for a little over $1.6 million at a Gohsen foreclosure sale Tuesday, said Port Jervis Corporation Counsel Damian Brady.
About 75 people once worked at a smattering of businesses in the strip mall before the city forced them to close after a hard rain on the evening of June 22. An inspection found unstable ceilings and water pouring out of electrical outlets.
Since then, the mall has sat vacant, with just Burger King continuing to do business in a separate structure on the property.
“There’s considerable work that needs to be done,” said Potter.
Brady said KT Associates, the previous owner of the property, stopped making payments to New York City-based BPD Bank in February. Records show they owed over $4 million.
Potter said he hopes developers can repair the building but wasn’t aware of Ellicott’s ultimate plans.
Brady said research he’s done shows Ellicott has a history of developing Rite Aid drugstores. A previous tenant at the plaza, Rite Aid is now renting at 57 Front St.
Councilman-at-large Kelly Decker said Ellicott will most likely face two options.
“They’re going to have to weigh out, as a company, ‘Do we salvage what we can or do we tear down and redevelop,’” said Decker.