Wednesday, December 15, 2004


JEFFERSON HEIGHTS, Dec. 15—In a daylight operation at the Elks Club today, 294 GreeneLanders, all elderly and hence scarcely able to resist, were punctured. In the upper arm. With influenza vaccine. Voluntarily. Gratis. By a big contingent of Public Health Department staffers, personally supervised by the chief himself, Dr Martin Kosich, and with Sheriff Richard Hussey personally directing traffic. Candidates for inoculation were warned of a possible 90-minute wait. They found that the operation moved along faster than that. According to Nanette Cance, communicable disease and clinic supervisor of the Public Health Department, the shooting “went especially well. We’re so pleased that the public could see we kept our word.” Supplies of flu vaccine, she added, now are abundant. And another round of free inoculations for residents who are 65 and over may be provided at the Senior Center in Coxsackie. For more information, try telephoning the Greene County Public Health Department at (518) 719-3600. (So hello anybody. This marks third installment of fresh experiment in communication. We'll see if it lasts) BIG PROPERTY DEAL. Largest single commercial property in downtown Catskill is changing hands. Allan Oren is selling what had been his furniture store, capacious basement, overhead walkway, and four-floor warehouse to new GreeneLander Hassan Gholizadeh, of Leeds (100-acre spread, formerly owned by Ruben Garcia) and Manhattan (parking garages). He bought, he told Linda Overbaugh (Heart of Catskill Association), with aim of “contributing to the renaissance of this wonderful place.” For $600,000 (modest sum, properly considered) Hassan acquired a 55,000-square-foot complex. As soon as deal (via Win Morrison Realty) looked ripe, Hassan went to Linda in search of ideas about optimal utilization. And Linda happily shared her dreams: “Transform the old store into a mini-mall of boutiques. Convert the upper floors of the warehouse into studios, techie offices and creek-side apartments. Put a micro-brewery on the warehouse’s ground floor. And under the warehouse, yet again, let there be a restaurant—this time a brew pub.” Hassan will do more brainstorming soon with country government people (Industrial Development Agency, Planning & Economic Development, Village trustees), as well as with savvy downtown business people. RENTAL MARKETING AHEAD. Availability of space in former Oren’s complex may coincide neatly with imminent push to lure more enterprisers here as renters of store spaces. In point of fact, there are plenty of vacancies—even with imminent proliferation, previously reported, of art galleries. Mesa Trading came to and went rapidly from, former Adventure Travel/Smart Systems building. Mayflower Café/Coffee Shop/Chocolate, bought by Andrea Lowenthal from Regina Doebler, re-opened, then re-closed—perhaps temporarily. And in just a few weeks, there could be still more choice storefronts for rent , as our stirring Community Preservation project, implemented by restoration ace Rich Rappelyea and his Dimensions North crew, comes to fruition. So: fresh tenants will be hunted by means of $17,000 advertising campaign, concentrated on publications circulating within 60-mile radius of the Village. Funding will come from Greenway Model Community and County Planning & Economic Development Agency dollars. VACANT BUT probably not available is rich-with-potential building at 352 Main Street, affording extraordinary rooftop view of Village, creek and mountains. It housed what Todd Martin dreamed would be mid-Hudson media empire. It’s slated for auction ($74,000 lien) in foreclosure proceeding January 13 in county courthouse. But according to reliable sources, it’ll be sold before that. OPENING AHEAD. Not vacant, and soon to be opened as a glittering new showroom, is former Sterling Trophy building, which also is former Perkins Plymouth-DeSoto showroom, at 495 Main Street. Peter Grasse III, having for years operated his car servicing business in the basement, took over whole complex, made extensive repairs, ran into usual scary structural shocks, gulped, persisted, and plans to open for business ”in early January.” New showroom, says Peter, will house retail end of Team G Performance Center: snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, related personal gear (helmets, jackets, boots…).

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