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נשלח ב-28/1/2004 02:37
Developer buys last egg farm
By Chris McKenna
email@example.com February 01, 2004
Woodbury – The Etzels hatched their egg business in the 1920s, when Elizabeth Etzel began keeping some hens as a sideline while her husband, Alfred, tended their goat farm.
Eight decades later, the end is in sight for ACE Farm, the last egg producer in Orange County and one of the last farms in Monroe and Woodbury, the two towns it straddles.
Tyler Etzel Sr., who has been working the farm since 1949, used his weather-beaten hands on Jan. 16 to sign the 140-acre farm over to a commercial developer for $10.3 million.
"I'm worn out," the silver-haired, 74-year-old farmer, who runs ACE Farm with his son, also named Tyler, and his nephew, Michael Grindrod, said yesterday. "The other two can still go, but it's a lot for them."
The sale of the 87-year-old family farm, most of which is in Woodbury, is a milestone for the area, marking the loss of both a well-known local business and one of the last scraps of agricultural land in a place that has largely given way to housing developments.
"I think people understood it was inevitable," Woodbury Supervisor Sheila Conroy said. "But it was sad and it was the passing of an era."
The era hasn't quite passed yet. The Etzels have signed a lease to continue running their business for at least the next three years if they choose.
But that doesn't mean their former property won't be developed during that time. Much of it consists of unused fields across County Route 105 from the barns where the Etzels keep their hens and farm store.
The buyer, Ralph Petruzzo, when reached on his cell phone yesterday at a convention in Las Vegas, described himself as a commercial developer in the recycling and manufacturing business.
Petruzzo, who has an office in Corinth, N.Y., 50 miles north of Albany, said his development plans for the Etzel land remain uncertain, but could unfold within the next year.
"I'm land-banking it right now," he said.
As for the Etzels' business, Petruzzo said, "It's their play to operate as long as they want to operate."
The father and son, who live next door to each other on Acres Road, have sold their houses to Petruzzo for $500,000 each, but say they and their wives will remain in the homes for the three years of their lease.
Alfred Etzel began goat farming in 1917 on land that his parents, George and Mary, bought in 1911 when they moved to Orange County from Brooklyn. During the 1930s, with the popularity of goat milk waning, he switched his focus to chickens, the sideline his wife had begun.
The Etzels' poultry business took off during World War II, when beef was rationed, and after the war ACE Farm became a strictly chicken-breeding and egg operation.
At one time, chickens roamed the vast expanse of Etzel property in pens to munch on grass. That practice ended in the 1960s when their nutrition became more strictly regulated and the hens were confined to their coops, the Etzels said.
The Etzel land has also been used to grow corn – mostly for chicken feed – and vegetables and berries for the farm store. But today only a couple of acres are used for growing, while the rest lays fallow in an area where land prices are sky high.
Locals know ACE Farm as a place to buy fresh eggs, pick blueberries or pumpkins and take the free hay rides at Halloween that the Etzels have offered for about 15 years.
Over the years, developers have approached the Etzels dangling offers for their land, which is adjacent to the densely populated Village of Kiryas Joel.
Asked yesterday what had made the difference this time, the Tyler Etzels, elder and younger, cited the wearying toll of a 24/7 job, the difficulty of finding workers and the bruising competition from producers in states with lower taxes and cheaper labor and feed.
"Fifty-some years, seven days a week," the father mused, sitting in dusty work clothes in an office at the farm.
"We have to be plumber, electrician, carpenter – everything," he added.
Another reason to sell, his son said, is that he worries about him and his cousin running the business without his father, who is cutting back his work hours and responsibilities.
If something were to happen to him or his cousin, he said, the other person would have "absolutely no life" while he ran the farm, which has 11 workers and more than 100,000 hens.
The younger Etzel, who is 47 and sits on the Town of Monroe Planning Board, said yet another factor was the fear that rising opposition to housing growth would some day result in more restrictive zoning rules that would lower the value of the land.
"It's getting worse and worse every year," he said. "You never know when a group of citizens is going to take over the board and make changes that are going to affect your plans."
January 29, 2004
Farm's urbanization feared
ACE Farm flipped to
Source: handoff planned all along
By Chris McKenna
Woodbury – It first looked as though ACE Farm had wound up in the hands of a businessman who specializes in turning paper sludge and other waste into useful products.
But the future of the 87-year-old family egg farm and its 140 acres of prime real estate is more complicated than that.
Through some behind-the-scenes dealing, the fallow fields of ACE Farm could some day contribute to the expansion of Kiryas Joel, the densely populated Hasidic community next to it.
Within days of buying the property, the businessman, Ralph Petruzzo, flipped it to a Kiryas Joel developer – the very outcome the Etzel family had hoped to avoid when they sold ACE Farm this month, according to a Kiryas Joel source who knew about the deal but was not involved in it.
Under a deal quietly arranged before the initial sale, the source said, Petruzzo sold the property to the developer for $12.7 million, $1 million more than he paid.
Petruzzo, president of Petruzzo Products Inc. in Corinth, N.Y., also received a piece of the former Etzel land to set up whatever recycling operation he decides to open there.
Furthermore, the same developer who bought ACE Farm also owns 70 acres of contiguous land, creating the potential for Kiryas Joel to expand in that area alone by 210 acres – 30 percent of its current size, according to the same source.
The source would not identify the developer.
The acquisition is certain to delight residents of the 1.1-square-mile Hasidic community, who want more housing, and infuriate neighbors who oppose the spread of its dense, multi-family housing. Kiryas Joel, which now has about 15,000 residents, is the fastest-growing municipality in New York.
The source's account was bolstered yesterday by word that another group in Kiryas Joel had negotiated a similar deal, also using Petruzzo as a front man to buy the land after the Etzels had rebuffed their offers.
Pinkus Jakobowitz, who works for a social services agency called the Kiryas Joel Community Council, said he was part of a group that wanted to buy the Etzel property to satisfy a pressing need for affordable housing in Kiryas Joel.
He said he thought his group had an agreement with Petruzzo, and was surprised to hear that someone else had pulled off the same maneuver.
Tyler Etzel Jr. said yesterday that he and his father, who sold the farm to Petruzzo on Jan. 16, were shocked to learn that another owner – one from Kiryas Joel – had been waiting in the wings all along.
"My father didn't want to sell it to Kiryas Joel because he didn't want it to look like things look over there," Etzel said.
The Etzels have a three-year lease to continue operating the farm and to live in their homes, which now belong to the Kiryas Joel developer.
The land was flipped without leaving a trail of public documents.
The owner of record is 77 Acres Road Realty Co., a limited liability corporation that lists Petruzzo as its agent. Petruzzo relinquished the corporation to the Kiryas Joel developer rather than transferring the property deed, thereby keeping the transaction invisible, the Kiryas Joel source said.
Burton I. Dorfman, a Nyack lawyer representing the corporation, would not confirm the source's account yesterday in response to written questions.
But he wrote that the corporation is "fully aware of the pressing needs of the religious community in the Village of Kiryas Joel to have adequate housing, religious service and instruction, recreational facilities, public service facilities and all other necessary services."
He added that the corporation "plans to develop its property consistent with the needs of this religious community and the surrounding area."
Dorfman said a company called New York Bio-Conversion – incorporated by Petruzzo on Dec. 31 – has an option to develop a bio-conversion business on about 20 acres of the ACE Farm property.
Petruzzo has declined to answer questions about the farm purchase since speaking to the Times Herald-Record on Monday, when he said his plans for the property were still unclear.
Woodbury – Word that a Kiryas Joel developer had secretly bought a longtime family farm here set emotions and imaginations racing yesterday, even with no building plans in place yet.
At Woodbury Town Hall, employees fielded a steady stream of calls from residents, worried that the 140-acre ACE Farm – most of which is in Woodbury – would become part of the adjacent Village of Kiryas Joel.
Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun, a Blooming Grove Republican who represents Woodbury, expressed anger at how the developer had gotten the land – quietly buying it from a businessman days after he bought the farm from the Etzel family, as sources told the Times Herald-Record this week.
"It just reeks of deception," she said.
Meanwhile, in Kiryas Joel, Village Clerk Gedalye Szegedin said the village government had nothing to do with the purchase, but welcomes the prospect of additional land to meet the phenomenal population growth of his Hasidic community.
"This definitely fits in with the long-term planning of the community," he said.
The reactions stemmed from yesterday's story in the Record that upstate businessman Ralph Petruzzo had bought the 87-year-old egg farm and Etzel homes for $11.7 million and then flipped it within days to a Kiryas Joel developer for a $1 million profit.
The developer, who has not been identified, is also said to own 70 acres of adjacent Woodbury land, forming a 210-acre block that could some day be used to expand the densely populated village by 30 percent of its current size.
While seen as a boon by Kiryas Joel leaders, the expansion prospect raises concerns among neighbors and critics about the urbanization of the landscape and growth in demand for services such as water and sewer.
The 118 acres of ACE Farm that lie in Woodbury are zoned for farming and single-family homes on lots of 2 acres or more. The 22-acre portion in neighboring Monroe is zoned for apartments and condominiums – the type of housing most common in Kiryas Joel.
But neither town's zoning would matter if the land is annexed into Kiryas Joel, which has its own zoning. The village has added no land since it annexed 371 acres in 1983, six years after its formation.
Only a developer can request annexation – a proposal that must be voted on by the governing boards of both communities involved. If the two sides disagree, the matter can be taken to the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court.
ACE Farm has joined a number of large tracts of undeveloped land just outside of Kiryas Joel owned by members of the Satmar Hasidic community.
No annexation requests for those properties have come forward. Development proceeds at a fast clip within the village, although its leaders estimate enough land remains there to continue for another 10 years.
Kiryas Joel leaders say the community's explosive growth is all driven internally, not by new people moving in. Following ultra-Orthodox tradition, couples marry young, settle where the bride's family lives and raise large families.
This pattern has made Kiryas Joel the fastest-growing municipality in the state and created a constant demand for new housing. The current population is around 15,000.
For some people, the notion that a Kiryas Joel developer had snapped up a property as close to the village and inviting as ACE Farm came as no surprise yesterday. It seemed obvious.
"It didn't surprise me at all that the land would be flipped," Orange County Planning Commissioner David Church said. "If there's any surprise at all, it's how quickly it was done."
Orange County Legislator Roxanne Donnery, a Democrat who represents Woodbury, also said she wasn't surprised, but wondered aloud about the problems that will arise as Kiryas Joel keeps growing.
"What is going to happen in the future?" Donnery asked. "What's going to happen with the sewer capacity?"
Calhoun expressed dismay that Kiryas Joel residents could raise $12.7 million to buy the Etzel land. She thought that contradicted the village's claims of poverty and its application for federal funds to build a $25 million pipeline to tap into the New York City water supply.
Szegedin replied that median income levels in the village are the lowest in the state, even if there some rich people.
"Why isn't it right for Kiryas Joel to benefit from something because there are a few wealthy people?" he asked.
ACE deal creates bad feeling all around
By Chris McKenna
Woodbury – So much wrangling over one piece of land.
Furor erupted last week when it was disclosed that a businessman had bought the coveted ACE Farm on the outskirts of Kiryas Joel and then secretly sold it on to a developer from the Hasidic community.
The prospect that 140 acres of farmland could some day sprout apartment buildings for Kiryas Joel residents outraged the village's neighbors, even though Kiryas Joel officials celebrated the purchase.
But there is more to the story.
Once the land deal came to light, stories about months of back-room machinations seeped out – tales of front men and middle men, competing land suitors and double-crossing.
The scheming shows just how intense was the interest in one of the last farms in the towns of Monroe and Woodbury, where open space is shrinking and land prices are soaring.
ACE Farm's proximity to Kiryas Joel was perhaps the biggest factor in the wrangling.
For the leaders and developers of that fast-growing community of 15,000 Satmar Hasidim, the fallow fields of the 87-year-old egg farm seemed a logical place to push outward. But for many outside the village, the idea that a rural mainstay of the community would give way to Kiryas Joel's urban development was anathema. That tension – along with the struggle of competing interests in Kiryas Joel – fueled the tug-of-war for ACE Farm.
Here is how the battle unfolded:
At one time, it looked as though the fields off Acres Road and County Route 105 might give way to a golf course and housing development.
Bill Brodksy, the Rockland County developer who built the upscale Brigadoon project in Woodbury, had negotiated with the Etzel family for two years to buy their farm for a golf community. He went so far as to conduct environmental tests in preparation for a contract. Around last August, those talks ended, for reasons neither side will discuss publicly. But by that time, the Etzels may have had a new suitor.
In May 2002, a group in Kiryas Joel that wanted to provide more affordable housing for the community approached the Etzel family about buying their land, said Pinkus Jakobowitz, a member of the group. After they were turned down several times, Jakobowitz said, the group asked Woodbury developer Wayne Corts to serve as their front man – a non-Hasidic buyer who could allay Tyler Etzel Sr.'s concerns about selling to the Hasidic community. Etzel doesn't want his farm to be turned into the densely populated housing characteristic of Kiryas Joel.
Jakobowitz and his two negotiating partners said that Corts enlisted his friend, Ralph Petruzzo, and that together they negotiated a deal in which Petruzzo would buy the property, sell it on to the Kiryas Joel group and receive $1 million to split with Corts.
But then something happened.
Jakobowitz and his partners said that another Kiryas Joel developer learned of the impending sale and intervened.
In the end, they said, the other developer walked off with virtually the same deal they negotiated.
Jakobowitz's group didn't realize Corts and Petruzzo had dropped them until they read about Petruzzo buying the farm in the Times Herald-Record on Tuesday. Even then, they called Petruzzo thinking they had been successful.
Sources in the Satmar community have identified the ACE Farm buyer as Mayer Hirsch and the man who tipped him off as Abraham Goldberger, a Kiryas Joel builder.
Hirsch, 54, is a former Kiryas Joel trustee and chairman of the village planning and zoning boards. He is described as a major property owner and powerful force in Kiryas Joel, operating behind the scenes. He did not return calls for comment.
Goldberger, responding to questions about the deal by e-mail, claimed that Jakobowitz and his group had strung Petruzzo along with promises that they would secure the necessary funding, but that they never came through.
"Jakobowitz wanted to buy ACE Farm with his good looks and not with MONEY," Goldberger wrote.
Petruzzo, he said, "could not afford to wait, so he decided to deal with the real guys." Within three weeks, Goldberger wrote, "there was a CASH closing."
He didn't say whether he had alerted Hirsch after Corts told him about the talks between Petruzzo and Jakobowitz.
Corts, who built the luxurious Greens of Woodbury development, denies any role in the ACE Farm sale.
"I was definitely not involved," he said. "I've got nothing to do with any of it."
He did admit knowing Petruzzo, saying he used to shop at Petruzzo's plant nursery.
Petruzzo has refused to discuss the land sale since his initial comments to the Record on Monday. Michael O'Connor, his lawyer in Glens Falls, declined to comment.
Completing the circle of silence, the Etzels have also declined to discuss the negotiations. They insist they knew nothing about the Kiryas Joel buyer waiting in the wings when Petruzzo bought their property for $11.7 million on Jan. 16.
The outcome has left Jakobowitz and his partners feeling betrayed. They said they hoped to build 1,000 to 1,200 townhouses and condominiums at ACE Farm, with prices starting at $160,000 – roughly half of what similar homes now cost in Kiryas Joel.
As with many disputes in Kiryas Joel, this land struggle has political overtones, ones that could reverberate in future elections.
Jakobowitz is a leader in the Kiryas Joel Alliance, a political faction that opposes the village's political leaders and head rabbi, Aaron Teitelbaum.
Hirsch, sources say, is firmly in the camp of the village leadership and head rabbi.
Already, rumors were circulating on Friday that village officials were boasting of the ACE Farm purchase as fodder for upcoming trustee races.
Despite their disappointment, Jakobowitz and his partners expressed hope that the buyer would relieve what they regard as a housing crisis by providing more reasonably priced homes for Kiryas Joel residents.
"I hope those who got the property will have the wisdom to use it for the good of the community," said Jakobowitz.
Goldberger wrote, "there was a CASH closing."
He didn't say whether he had alerted Hirsch after Corts told him about the talks between Petruzzo and Jakobowitz
July 11, 2004
Myriad of deals done to carve out new village
By Chris McKenna
Kiryas Joel – In January, when one of the last farms in Monroe and Woodbury quietly changed hands in two quick deals, a mysterious organization from Kiryas Joel with $12.7 million at its disposal wound up with the 140-acre prize.
Less than two months later, when news broke of a plan to annex the newly bought ACE Farm and hundreds more acres into Kiryas Joel, the same entity was said to be coordinating the effort.
That entity is Vaad Hakiryah of Kiryas Joel Inc., an organization tied to the Satmar Hasidic community's main synagogue – Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar – and led by a former village official named Mayer Hirsch.
For at least 12 years, it has held much of Kiryas Joel's vacant land and acted as its invisible hand of development, parceling out precious acres to builders erecting multi-family housing to keep pace with the rapid population growth.
Until recently, Vaad Hakiryah was known only in the insular and divided world of the Satmar Hasidim, where dissidents have long complained that it controls Kiryas Joel's housing market and improperly bridges church and state realms – charges that village officials steadfastly deny.
But with the ACE Farm purchase and annexation plan, Vaad Hakiryah – which now owns at least 310 undeveloped acres outside of Kiryas Joel in Monroe and Woodbury – has stepped into the increasingly heated politics surrounding the development of one of New York's youngest and fastest-growing communities.
Its role could soon become even more prominent – and the atmosphere hotter.
A Kiryas Joel official, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed late last week that Vaad Hakiryah has shelved the annexation plan and instead will seek to incorporate a second Hasidic village – an alternative that could prove faster than annexation, while bypassing opposition from the leaders of neighboring towns.
Vaad Hakiryah means roughly "the committee of the settlement" in Yiddish, the primary language in Kiryas Joel. When it formed, who created it and how it came to possess so much of Kiryas Joel's vacant land is a matter of dispute, like so much else in the village.
Public records indicate it officially came into being in October 1989, when it was incorporated with Hirsch – then a village trustee – as its leader. The following July, four paper corporations were created to hold and transfer its land.
Two years later, on a single day in October 1992, 32 parcels totaling 153 acres passed into its hands. The inherited land made up 22 percent of the village's meager 1.1 square miles.
The reason for the transfer is unclear. William Goldenberg, a 68-year-old Kiryas Joel resident who appears to have signed the deeds shifting ownership from five paper corporations to the four controlled by Vaad Hakiryah, didn't return numerous phone calls for comment.
Over the years, Vaad Hakiryah has carved up its land and distributed much of it among developers, the village government, the United Talmudical Academy of Kiryas Joel Inc. – the religious school system used by most children in the community – and other entities.
Records of those transactions suggest that Vaad Hakiryah has at times used its valuable land to help the UTA raise money.
For example, while dicing and distributing a 79-acre chunk of land off Mountain Road – where most of Kiryas Joel's new development is taking place – it gave or sold the UTA 65 acres. The school system later sold the land to developers for $11.2 million. (See sidebar, "Carving the pie.")
Dissidents have repeatedly charged in federal lawsuits against the village that Vaad Hakiryah operates in a blurred nexus of government and synagogue leadership in Kiryas Joel.
Michael Sussman, a Goshen-based civil rights lawyer who has represented the dissidents, charged in a 1997 complaint that the organization was merely an association of congregation members and village officials and "the vehicle by which impermissible entanglement between government and religion is effected."
The charge was based partly on the revelation that Moses Teitelbaum, the Satmar grand rebbe, had decreed in May 1989 that builders must pay the UTA $10,000 for every new apartment and that Vaad Hakiryah would collect the money. The payments were said to pay for the new school space needed to accommodate the added population.
The dissidents implied that the village wouldn't issue building permits – a municipal function – until a religious school system had been paid. But they submitted no evidence linking the payments to building permits, and village officials denied any such link existed.
"No such monies have ever been received during my tenure as village clerk," Gedalye Szegedin replied in a court statement.
He said he was "unaware of any instance in which a developer was denied a building permit or other municipal approvals by the village because of this alleged $10,000 payment."
Dissidents supported their argument by pointing to the overlapping leadership of Vaad Hakiryah, the congregation and village government.
For instance, Kiryas Joel Mayor Abraham Wieder, a municipal official since 1984 and a former Congregation Yetev Lev president, signed public documents as the president of Vaad Hakiryah at least three times in 1990 and 1991, while he was deputy mayor. Copies of those papers were filed in court as evidence in connection with a 1995 dissident lawsuit.
Another link was Hirsch, a village trustee from 1982 to 1990 and chairman of the planning and zoning boards from 1990 to 1997 – while he was also the leader of Vaad Hakiryah.
During the 1990s, while running Vaad Hakirayh, Hirsch also was chairman of the Kiryas Joel Municipal Local Development Corp., a quasi-governmental agency whose building projects included the village medical center, completed in 1999.
Today, Hirsch, 54, serves on no village boards but is vice chairman of the development corporation. Both he and Wieder, in addition to their other roles, are trustees of the UTA school system.
Hirsch declined to comment for this story, referring all questions to his lawyer. Wieder, 55, also wouldn't discuss Vaad Hakiryah.
"The Vaad is neither part of, nor affiliated with the Village of Kiryas Joel," Hirsch's lawyer, Dennis Lynch of Nyack, wrote in response to written questions.
Refusing to discuss any of the organization's business dealings, Lynch also wrote: "The Vaad as a private for-profit entity is not required to disclose confidential commercial business matters including what properties it manages, if any."
Here's one property Vaad Hakiryah now manages: ACE Farm.
Earlier this year, word leaked out that the beloved, family-owned institution where locals have bought fresh eggs and other produce for years, had finally been sold to a developer – as neighbors long feared.
The buyer at first appeared to be a businessman from Corinth, who wanted to open some sort of recycling operation. But Ralph Petruzzo turned out to be merely a front man: He had actually flipped the Etzel family's land within days for a $1 million profit to Vaad Hakiryah.
For neighbors, the news conjured unpleasant images of more dense housing spreading across the 140 acres of fields bordering Kiryas Joel.
They got another shock in March, when it turned out plans had already emerged to try to annex ACE Farm and other Hasidic-owned property into Kiryas Joel from neighboring Monroe and Woodbury.
The Hasidic property owners had received a proposed contract, written in Hebrew, saying that Vaad Hakiryah would bundle their property with its own in a single annexation request.
In return, the landowners would have to pay $12 for every square foot of apartment space that could be built on their land – a charge that would pour millions of dollars into Vaad Hakiryah's coffers.
The proposal justified the charge by saying the organization had spent "tens of millions of dollars" on the community – to build roads, water and sewer lines, synagogues, ritual baths, the medical center, the shopping center and more – and would spend millions more in the future.
It's impossible to determine the extent to which those claims are true.
Lynch would say only that Vaad Hakiryah, like any other developer, has paid for "water, sewer lines, roads and other infrastructure" and then turned over the finished products to "the municipality having appropriate jurisdiction" – in this case, Kiryas Joel.
But he also distanced Vaad Hakiryah from any claims made in the proposal, saying it was written by a planner named Simon Gelb and has not been approved by Hirsch or his organization. Gelb, 33, who lives in Kiryas Joel, didn't return calls seeking comment.
A citizens' group called the Southern Orange County Alliance has since sprung up to oppose any future annexation request, as well as Kiryas Joel's plan to tap into New York City's water supply to meet its constantly rising demand – seen by opponents as the engine for more explosive growth.
But it now appears there may be no annexation request to resist. Instead, the Alliance might soon encounter a new target: a proposed village called Kiryas V'Yoel Moshe.
Carving the pie
Here is how Vaad Hakiryah, Kiryas Joel's invisible hand of development, has carved up and distributed a 79.5-acre chunk of land it inherited in October 1992 from several paper corporations.
Mazel Properties of Brooklyn bought the land from a Montgomery woman in January 1979, when it was an undeveloped tract in Monroe bordering the 2-year-old Village of Kiryas Joel. Kiryas Joel annexed the property in 1983 and dubbed it Section 307 on tax maps.
The property has since been subdivided numerous times and distributed, mostly to developers. Almost 65 acres passed first through the hands of the United Talmudical Academy of Kiryas Joel Inc., the village's religious school system. Property records show the UTA sold its share of the land in 1995 to developers for $11.2 million. Within the past five years, 222 condominiums and apartments have been built and occupied, 207 are nearing completion, and at least 318 are planned – a total of 747 homes.
1. 207 condos nearing completion and 126 more planned on 36.7 acres. Includes property the UTA sold to Kiryas Joel builder Abraham Goldberger on March 25, 2003, for $6.7 million.
2. 48 condos on 2.3 acres. Part of land UTA sold to Kiryas Joel developer Jacob Sofer on Feb. 20, 2003, for $1.2 million.
3. 48 apartments and grocery store on 5.4 acres. UTA sold the land to Shamrock Affordable Housing on April 29, 1999, for $481,000.
4. 102 condos on 7 acres, partly vacant. UTA sold Sofer the land on Jan. 26, 2001, for $1.6 million. (Six condos built by GPN Construction, which bought less than an acre from Sofer on Nov. 19, 2002 for $600,000.)
5. 24 condos on 1.3 acres. Part of land UTA sold Sofer on Feb. 20, 2003, for $1.2 million.
6. Partly cleared for construction of 192 proposed condos on 11.5 acres. Vaad Hakiryah sold Sofer the land on June 19, 2003, for $1.38 million.
7. Municipal water tank, Village of Kiryas Joel.
8. Vacant home on 5.2 acres, owned by Solomon Berkowitz.
9. Two municipal building projects on 4.4 acres. A new fire station – which will have a workforce development center on the second floor – opened this year. Behind the fire station, construction has started on a convalescence center for mothers. The village sold the land to the Kiryas Joel Municipal Local Development Corp. on Nov. 11, 2003, for $387,000.