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Seneca Harbor Place

Banking requirements delay Watkins housing project

 WATKINS GLEN—The developer of the Seneca Harbor Place housing project in Watkins is seeking an equity partner to meet more stringent requirements before work can begin.
Construction was expected to start Sept. 1, 2008.  Developer Greg Margerum said equity requirements have doubled and sometimes tripled since the project started five years ago, giving him more to do before work can start.  He attributed this to the recent state of the banking world.
Other than that, Margerum said he has all the permits he needs from different agencies.  He is also currently waiting on an easement being approved.
On June 30, 2010, the Schuyler County Legislature passed a resolution asking the state to allow them to grant an easement.  Margerum explained that it was passed by the state senate, and made it before the state assembly.  However, he added before any action was taken on it, the assembly went on holiday break.
Margerum explained that the easement is needed so the entrance of the project can be switched from the east to the west side of the property.  He said the easement covers land owned by the state park’s department.  He added that state parks is in favor of the easement, because in the land swap they get some lake front property.
Besides the entrance difference, Margerum said the only other change to the “upscale housing” plans is the number of buildings to be built.  He said the project now includes 37 units, which was previously 29.  Each unit will also have a boat slip in the plans.  Margerum said the starting price for each unit is in the higher $200,000 range.  He explained the project will still be done in three phases, if everything goes according to plan.
Margerum said he hopes work on a model unit will start this fall, to be created in the spring.  He explained that during next summer he wants to sell units, with construction taking place in the fall.  Margerum added in following spring, work would be done.
From selling units in summer to completed construction in the following spring would be one phase.  Margerum said the plan is to have the second and third phases follow in the same way.
Margerum explained that the goal is put out something marketable.  He said that in Washington D.C., where he primarily works, the market is starting to look better. 



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