The historic building on the Schroon River in Warrensburg that once housed Herrick’s Variety Store is going up for bid oct. 15 in Warren County’s tax foreclosure auction. Assessed at $70,000, the parcel, along with 17 others, has no minimum bid.
The historic former Herrick’s Variety Store, which is perched on the edge of the Schroon River, is set to be sold in Warren County’s tax foreclosure auction Saturday Oct. 15.
For decades, it was a busy hometown grocery store with a deli. In the 1980s, such goods were augmented by hunting and fishing supplies and equipment as well, when it was owned and operated by Dick Maxam, a son-in-law of the second generation of Herricks.
Dennis Brower, an Real Estate broker-associate with Caldwell Banker, has been recently marketing the property for $59,000.
Charles Vreugde of Queensbury, the owner, said Oct. 7 that he he bought the property in Sept. 2006 for $50,000 cash and had invested a lot of work into it.
Vreugde had shored up the building with a post-and-beam structure inside. He said he had plans of operating a second-hand store on the first floor, while restoring the two apartments on the second floor for rentals.
He said that the taxes owed on it were about $5,400, but that he was temporarily cash short.
“It’s the state of the economy,” Vreugde said.
There is no minimum bid on the building. Vreugde said that despite his investment, he’ll be happy if another bidder ends up with the property, even if the upset sale price is only $20.
But he added that he’ll only be happy about the sale if the new owner restores the structure to its former state.
“The building has a great potential,” he said, noting that when he was working on it in recent years, former tenants of the apartments and store customers often stopped in and shared stories and pictures of the building in its heydays.
“I love the building, the river in the rear, and the people in the area, but it’s time to step back,” he said.
The structure is located on the southwest shore of the Schroon River, across the waterway from downtown Warrensburg, in the area of town once called Lewisville.
The building and land is assessed for $70,000. The store’s two parking lots are separate parcels, and Vreugde owns both and he is up-to-date on the taxes, real estate broker Dennis Brower said.
In the past several months, Vreugde has secured several contracts to buy the building at about the price he paid for it. The latest contract called for a sale in December, Brower said. Warren County officials, he said, wouldn’t delay the foreclosure sale until then.
Real property Services Director Michael Swan said Vreugde was given 10 days past the normal deadline to pay up, but he hadn’t. Vreugde said he was going to attend the auction, and perhaps buy the building back if the price is low enough.
The building was probably constructed in the late 1900s, local historians said.
Lenore Smith, who’s restored 17 buildings in town, said she had considered renovating it, but it would likely cost $200,000 to rehabilitate it. She said she recalled that the Herrick family owned and operated the store since at least from the 1920s.
The property is among only 18 to go up for sale in Warren County’s annual tax sale which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday Oct. 15 at Warren County Municipal Center off Northway Exit 20. Registration of bidders begins at 8:30 a.m.
Swan said that several months ago the county had 650 properties in the first stages of foreclosure, and all but 18 of them had been redeemed since.
None of the properties to be auctioned are owner-occupied. Most all the other plots are vacant, except for a two-story home on Riverside Drive and a mobile home on Agard Road in Chester. A booklet describing the properties is available at the county’s Real Property Tax office.