Announcing the 2020 Presidents Club Members

We are very proud to announce our 2020 Select Sotheby’s International Realty President’s Club! Each agent who is inducted into this club will provide you with an unparalleled experience with buying or selling your next home. Congratulations to all of these outstanding professionals.⁠ Presidents Club Social Media 2020

3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Second Home

Buying a vacation home sounds like a dream, but that doesn’t make it the right move financially. Consider these three things to see if purchasing a vacation property makes sense for you. teamed up with Keir Weimer, an Associate Real Estate Broker with Select Sotheby’s International Realty, to promote his expert advice at a national level, on three things you should consider before purchasing a vacation home. Keir’s team specializes in second home, commercial and resort properties throughout the Adirondack Park and Upstate New York.

Watch the video here :

John Burke Sells His Shares of Select Sotheby’s International Realty to Daniel Collins

Select Sotheby’s International Realty, founded in 2007, with offices in Saratoga Springs, Bolton Landing and Lake Placid, is excited to announce that Daniel Collins is the new President/CEO and sole owner of the company.

Dan Collins purchased the shares formerly owned by John A. Burke, Jr. on July 17, 2015. Burke founded the company with three other partners in 2007 and started out with no agents, no clients and no listings. As of July 2015, the company has 56 agents and over 480 active listings. In 2014, the total sales volume was over $110 million.

“My passion is in business development, the start-up phase of new companies. Select Sotheby’s International Realty has reached a point of maturity, and I am excited and confident that Dan Collins can take the company to the next level,” Burke said.

John is also excited for the opportunity to build his sales portfolio as an associate real estate broker for the firm and to focus on service for his clients.  Real estate will remain a strong passion for him. He is committed to providing a level of service that is consistent with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand, and by stepping down as President/CEO, he can focus more of his energy on doing so.

Burke also noted that he is at a point in his life where he wants to spend more time with his family, especially his children. With only 4-5 years before they are off to college, he wants to be sure he can attend all of their school and life events, having as much of a presence as possible.

Dan Collins is excited to make some positive changes for the company, including building a more agent-centric business with a focus on training and development. “We want to create an environment where the agents won’t be competing with the brokers for sales,” Collins said. “We’re going to be personally working with each agent to help them be more successful, which is mutually beneficial for the company. I have also decided to promote Andrea Demoracski to Director of Operations. Her primary role will be overseeing the agent support team, and improving the overall agent experience by streamlining and developing processes to make things run more efficiently.” Dan is a former owner of D.A. Collins, a full service construction group headquartered in Upstate New York.

Current Vice President, Joanne DiMarco, will continue her role of growing the company revenue, with agent recruiting, training, development and day-to-day management support for the agents.

As part of the change, the company hosted a meeting and celebration for its staff, agents and clients. Featured guests Fran Santangelo, Senior Vice President of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, LLC, and Robert Byrne, Vice President of Affiliates Services Northeast for Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, were on hand for the event.

Select Sotheby’s International Realty Hosting Pet Adoption Clinic

The Saratoga County Animal Shelter will be at Select Sotheby’s International Realty, located at 270 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, New York on Saturday, June 27, from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm for a pet adoption clinic.

The Saratoga County Animal Shelter will be at Select Sotheby’s International Realty this Saturday with adoptable dogs and cats from the shelter. The shelter is a modern facility which provides a space where animals can be made healthy and adoptable. The shelter promotes spay and neuter programs. There will be information available about volunteer opportunities and The Friends of the Saratoga County Animal Shelter.

The Friends is a non-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to providing financial and volunteer support to the Saratoga County Animal Shelter for the care and well being of the animals that pass through the shelter. There will be a raffle and refreshments.

For additional information, please contact Jane Sanzen at 518-526-6056.

New owners plan McGregor Links as year-round destination

The new owners of McGregor Links Country Club are bringing in a brewing company, installing an indoor golf simulator and renovating some of the golf course to turn the Wilton, New York country club into a year-round destination.

“We’re really pushing for the year-round. We’re really pushing to bring the country club back to families,” said Blake Crocitto, one of the new owners.

Crocitto and his business partner, William Ahl, owner of Ontario Scrap Metal in Albany, will bring in Druthers Brewing Company to run the restaurant, with cross-country skiing, ice skating and snowshoeing as recreation options.

Druthers Brewing Company, a craft brewery and restaurant based in Saratoga, will move into McGregors by April. The brewery, which is also expanding into a new Albany location, will use the space as test-kitchen to develop new beers and to brew small batches for club members. Crocitto and Ahl will add air conditioning and heating to the restaurant and expand the bar area.

McGregor will remain a semi-private club. The restaurant will be open year-round to the public.

McGregor Links is the fifth most difficult golf course in the Albany area, according to the Albany Business Review‘s Book of Lists. The country club features an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool and clubhouse.

The club has more than 440 members. Crocitto believes he can add about 100 members over the course of 2015.

“It’s a lofty goal,” he said. “We think we can get here, even possibly by the end of this season.”

Part of the draw, he said, will be an indoor golf simulator that will bring in members during the winter months to work on their game or test new equipment. The simulator will be installed in late 2015, he said.

Members can expect to see course improvements during the summer, Crocitto said. Those improvements will including patching up the fairways and greens and removing some trees for more sunlight.

“It’s really an exciting time for McGregors,” he said. “My business partner and I feel this is the best course in the area when it comes to layout, so we won’t do too much to the layout. We’ll just make it better.”

Two manufacturers awarded tax breaks for Saratoga Springs expansions

The Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency will award nearly $1.5 million in tax breaks to two manufacturing companies.

The tax breaks offset the cost for both PeroxyChem LLC and Greenfield Manufacturing Inc. to build manufacturing plants at the Grande Industrial Park in Saratoga Springs, New York. The industrial development agency approved tax incentive packages for the two companies Tuesday.

PeroxyChem, a Philadelphia chemical manufacturer, plans to build a 7,140-square-foot peroxide purification plant in Saratoga Springs, New York. PeroxyChem, which employs 600 globally, will receive nearly $894,000 in tax breaks over a period of eight years.

The move brings jobs and production from the company’s plant in Texas to New York. The company estimates the project will cost $23.1 million. More on that here:

Greenfield Manufacturing will receive $525,000 in tax incentives.

The specialty chemicals manufacturing company plans to construct a 33,000-square-foot factory in the Grande Industrial Park, where it leases a smaller factory. It will own the new building. More on that here:

New housing on the rebound in Wilton

WILTON>> New home starts in town increased for a second straight year in 2013 and were at their highest level since 2007, a major indicator of increased consumer confidence in the local economy.

The town issued 45 residential building permits last year compared to 34 in 2012 and 29 in 2011, the lowest figure in recent history.

The number is a far cry from the 202 permits issued in 2002 but still reflects a turnaround that is slowly gaining steam.

“We’re very encouraged,” said Charles Wait, Adirondack Trust Co. president, chairman and chief executive officer. “All of our loan activity increased substantially during the past year, including personal loans, mainly for new car purchases. Housing and car loans are a very good sign for the economy and this area.”

Loan applications are up for both new construction and existing homes, not just in Wilton, but Saratoga Springs and Milton, he said.

Some people are encouraged by the gradually improving economy. Others who put off purchases during the recession are now making needed expenditures. However, there’s also a third group, Wait said.

“Some of it is money on the sidelines coming in; people who had money, but were being cautious with it,” he said.

The 45 residential permits issued last year in Wilton were the most since the 74 issued in 2007. An average 33 permits were issued annually for the five-year period of 2008 through 2012.

Developer Bill Morris has begun clearing property for his 49-lot Craw Farm subdivision on Traver Road, just south of Wilton Town Hall.

“We’re cutting a road now and will start building a model home this spring,” Morris said. “We haven’t tried the market, but there’s definitely a lot of interest. That’s why we’re putting in infrastructure now.”

Meanwhile, commercial construction crept upward, too, last year in Wilton as 43 permits were issued, the highest figure since 2006 when 45 were approved. However, actual non-residential new construction totaled 32,625 square feet, the least since 2005 when a peak 214,357 square feet was built.

The town Planning Department’s 2013 Development Report says there are 629 approved, but still undeveloped residential building lots in Wilton, meaning the town is poised for considerable growth, depending on the area demand for new housing.

Some approved subdivisions have dozens of undeveloped lots each. They are: Park Place at Wilton (114 lots), Mill at Smith Bridge (60 lots), Craw Farm (49 lots), Burnham Hollow (38 lots) and Olson Farm (31 lots). Ridgeview Estates and Rolling Greens Executive Estates have 28 undeveloped lots each.

Also, Witt Construction owner John Witt has a proposed subdivision called Palmertown Ridge on 900 acres near the Mount McGregor Correctional Facility property. Homes would be priced from $500,000 to more than $1 million.

“I’d like to see the high-end market come back a little before we start that,” Witt said.

However, he’s busy elsewhere.

In Saratoga Springs, an “in-fill” project is currently in the design phase. Plans call for seven single-family condominium units on one lot, on Jumel Place.

Witt is also drawing up plans for 108 apartments and more than 50 townhomes at Northway exit 15, near the Marriott Hotel, a project he hopes to start work on this summer.

“Things have definitely picked up,” Witt said. “It’s not crazy busy, but consistently steady. Everybody is still very conscious of price. That’s going to drive a lot of the new construction. If interest rates stay low, things should be good the next few years.”

Saratoga National Bank & Trust Co. Chairman Raymond F. O’Conor said, “Saratoga County never saw the depths of the ‘Great Recession.’ We had a relatively strong base. Now, with an overall improved economy it was time for the housing sector to make a strong recovery.”

Star Exemption Deadline

Have you reapplied for your STAR exemption? All homeowners must do this by 12-31-13 or they will lose the exemption. Here is the link. It only takes a few minutes.

New York voters approve casino gambling expansion

As many as seven new casinos, complete with roulette and craps tables, could be built in New York state.

NY voters approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday to expand casino gambling in the state, according to a report by The New York Times. An unofficial tally showed that about 57 percent of voters approved the measure.

The first four casinos will be constructed in upstate NY – in the Capital Region near Albany, in the Catskills and along the Southern Tier, a region that runs along the Pennsylvania border.

Here’s The Times report:

Earlier this year, the president and majority owner of Saratoga Casino and Raceway talkedabout the impact that the casino expansion could have on his business.

Out with the inns: Adirondack destinations slowly vanishing

Before there were automobiles, before there was air conditioning, there were the Adirondacks and its all-inclusive inns.

Dinner, tennis and lakefront views were some of the amenities the inns offered guests who retreated from the sweltering cities during the summer months in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

While several traditional inns and resorts hold on to a piece of American history, others are being sold to developers poised with a wrecking ball to level the large buildings, subdivide the land and build private vacation homes to bring in the big bucks.

“Everyone will eventually — I’m sure — suffer the same fate (as Holl’s Inn in Inlet) because it’s just not economically feasible to try and eke out a living running a hotel … “ said Greg Timm, co-owner of Timm Associates Realty in Old Forge. “There’s more value in the land subdivided into parcels than there ever would be in trying to resurrect a hotel. That’s unfortunate, but it’s a fact of life.”

At least 18 inns in the Old-Forge-Eagle Bay-Inlet area have closed over the years, and while some see the trend as impending for all of the quintessential Adirondack inns, others believe there’s room in vacationers’ habits for them to be maintained.

Steven Engelhart, executive director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage, said some of those still operating include Covewood Lodge and The Waldheim on Big Moose Lake, and Hemlock Hill on Lake Clear.

“It’s disappointing to hear when a big sort of historic inn like the Holl’s Inn in Inlet is going to be demolished and no longer function as an inn,” Englehart said. “That seems like a fad passing and kind of the end of an era.

“On the other hand, there are lots of examples throughout the Adirondacks of similar kinds of establishments that continue to thrive and do well.”

In contrast, Timm — who was Realtor for Holl’s Inn, a lakefront property nestled in a cove off Fourth Lake — sold the property to Pittsburgh, Pa., residents Charles and Hillary Porter. It eventually will be torn down.

He said two cottages on the premises will be restored.

Calls to Hillary Porter were not returned.

“They are not going to operate it as an inn,” Timm said. “It was in extreme disrepair.”

Fading history


A demolished portion of Holl’s Inn could be seen during a recent visit to Fourth Lake. Signs dotted the property — from the driveway to the lake shore — warning off trespassers. Many of the windows on the faded green building were boarded up, while others allowed a glimpse into the inn’s history with sights of mattresses and lamps — artifacts of an inn that once provided the American Plan to its guests.

Once upon a time, an inn providing the American Plan was the way to vacation in the Adirondacks. The plan provided lodging, meals and activities at one price.

Prices ranged from $10 to $21 per week per person in 1890 (that would be about $250 to $520 in 2012).

“They would spend a month or an entire summer on the resort,” said Jerry Pepper, director of the Adirondack Museum library. “They were trying to escape the cities.”

With large trunks in tow, Pepper said families would take trains from cities such as New York and Boston, as well areas such as Utica, to the Adirondacks, and from the station take buses or steamboats to their specific resort.

After the automobile was widely introduced in the 1920s and ’30s, he said interest in all-inclusive resorts began to decline.

And once air conditioning was commonplace in big city businesses, Pepper said shutting down for the summer became obsolete.

“More and more of the Adirondack tourism you see centered in places like Old Forge, Lake George or Lake Placid, where there are chain hotels and chain restaurants,” Pepper said. “People are seeing the Adirondacks through the windshield of a car.”

Restoring history


Despite many inns around them closing, Joedda McClain and Jay Latterman have put time, money and effort into preserving The Woods Inn in Inlet.

The inn was abandoned for 28 years. There were offers to purchase and demolish the building in later years, but Latterman said the owner was looking for someone to restore the inn, restaurant and tavern.

“It was in horrific shape. We did a complete restoration,” McClain said of the more than $1 million project. “We really wanted to get the building back up and running.”

From sinking balconies to a lack of insulation and adequate bathrooms, contractor McClain and electrician Latterman dove into the project.

They knew what they were getting into, McClain said, and now after 11 years the inn is for sale and hopefully will go to someone who will appreciate the history within.

At one time, Latterman said the inn operated with the traditional American Plan and featured tennis courts, a dance hall — where traveling bands performed — and an ice cream parlor, the latter two operating in the unused barn-like structure on the premises.

“There’s still a lot of people who appreciate the historically accurate place,” she said. “It’s a totally different experience than staying in a big box inn, or general vacation spot.”

And it was that experience that attracted Sondra Gawlikowski.

The Philadelphia woman was at the inn setting up for her Sept. 7 wedding, and said the lakefront business always was her family’s vacation spot.

“It’s a nostalgic thing. My fiancé — Andrew Zabroske — and I got engaged up here,” she said. “We wouldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else.”

Nancy Martin Pratt, co-owner of The Waldheim on Big Moose Lake, said she’s the third generation of her family to manage the business, which still operates on the American Plan — featuring three meals a day, lodging, maid service and a camp picnic mid-week.

They also have a “fire boy” who comes to each cottage and lights a fire in the fireplace each morning, Pratt said.

“We’re kind of at the end of the road, so it’s kind of a destination spot,” she said. “We’ve watched other businesses come and go, and I don’t know, it’s a miracle, I guess.”

Pratt said her family — the Martins — have owned the establishment, which features 17 cottages, since 1904 and have maintained a loyal customer base.

Plus, her family’s dedication also keeps The Waldheim in business.

“I think they come to value what we stand for, which is family,” Pratt said. “Our family, but also the connection with other families who have come for years.”

There is a lot of family tradition with inns still in operation, Engelhart said, which is a key distinction between them and the “homogenized” places you can stay, no matter where you are in the country.

“People are seeking out places that are distinct, that are different, that are intimate, that are unusual,” he said. “I think that’s part of what the appeal of these places is. Hopefully (they) only continue to be more sought out.”