EDA approves tax-saving deal for old Holley High School project
HOLLEY – The Orleans Economic Development Agency has approved a tax-savings plan for Home Leasing, the Rochester company that is planning a $17 million transformation of the old Holley High School.
Home Leasing wants to turn the landmark building in the center of Holley into 41 apartments for low- to moderate-income senior citizens, and also use part of the building for the village offices. The project will reuse a building at 1 Wright St that has set vacant for 20 years. Home Leasing is calling the project, “Holley Gardens.”
The EDA has approved agreements that would save the company more than $800,000 combined in sales, mortgage and property taxes. There was a public hearing last week in Holley about the incentives. There wasn’t any opposition to the proposals that were approved last Friday by the EDA board.
Home Leasing was approved for an 8 percent sales tax abatement on up to $7.8 million in expenses for equipment, materials, furniture and other taxable purchases. That will save Home Leasing $624,000.
The company was also given a break on the mortgage tax, 0.75 percent on a $3,192,700 mortgage, a savings of $23,945.
The EDA worked with local tax entities on a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) plan for 30 years that will save Home Leasing $197,440 in property taxes over 30 years, an average of $6,581 a year.
The PILOT also sets Home Leasing’s tax commitment to $547,669 over 30 years, an average of
$18,255 a year on a property that currently isn’t generating any tax revenue.
Jim Whipple, the EDA chief executive officer, said the project will fill a housing need for quality, affordable housing. The building is prominent on Route 31, a gateway location on the eastern end of Orleans County.
“Holley Garden’s central location presents a transformative opportunity for the immediate and surrounding community by creating a positive, contributing anchor,” the EDA said.
The project will create 40-50 construction jobs and 2 full-time equivalent positions to manage and maintain the residential space.
The EDA has also set up a holding company, the Orleans Land Holdings, so the title of the property can be transferred from the county to the Orleans Land Holdings and then to Home Leasing.
The county has owned the 52,000-square-foot building for many years after Liftec Manufacturing went bankrupt about two decades ago.
Many local, state and federal officials have been working on the project. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer visited the old school on Monday to state his support for federal and state tax incentives that go to developers who renovate historic buildings.
Orleans County legislators in July voted to forgive $75,421 in back taxes for the old Holley High School, easing some of the financial burden on the project for Home Leasing.