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By Timothy Chipp
Town of Niagara officials on Tuesday formalized an agreement to list for sale a town-owned former strip mall on Military Road.
Cushman & Wakefield/Pyramid Brokerage Co., of Buffalo, will oversee the sale, which is expected to cap off a lengthy process that saw the town rehabilitate over the course of several years the former strip mall at 4435-4445 Military Road.
“We’re going to (list the property) immediately,” Supervisor Lee Wallace said following Tuesday’s regular board meeting. “They’re supposed to come back to the board with an idea of what they think the property is worth.”
For their part, Cushman & Wakefield will collect a 5% commission on the sale, a slightly reduced rate, Wallace said. Normally, the firm would collect a 6% commission, though its municipal rate allows for the reduction.
If, however, a different broker is able to identify a buyer, the town would be required to pay the 6% commission, according to the resolution authorizing the agreement.
Meanwhile, the town has been able to rehabilitate the property at no cost, and officials are hopeful to quickly return the property to the tax roll with its sale.
Niagara came into the property following its previous owners incurring a tax lien from Niagara County several years ago, Wallace and Town Attorney Michael Risman said earlier this month.
Categorized as a brownfield site, the town was able to use funds through a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation program to clean up and make the property presentable to prospective buyers, they said.
Cleanup was completed in November.
In other Niagara board news, a local law restricting the ability to offer short-term rental properties like those found on websites like Airbnb.com was approved by unanimous vote, 5-0.
The new law prohibits residences in agricultural and residential districts from offering the property to renters who will occupy the location for less than 30 consecutive days.
Wallace and other board members suggested across multiple meetings they’ve had a number of complaints regarding tourists coming to town residential areas and causing commotion. Wallace said he’s been told of one property where renters brought fishing boats and were causing noise issues in the early morning hours.
Commercial and industrial zoned facilities are not covered in the new law, but site plan approval and special use permits must be obtained for these properties to be used for short-term rentals.
This new law takes effect immediately, though existing short-term rentals in the town will be able to honor their bookings for a one-year period.