Jon Alexander is reporting that Sears in Saranac Lake is up for sale:
The owners of Sears in Saranac Lake are seeking to sell their building, the business and the recently-barricaded Main Street parking lot that has roused non-stop controversy for months.
Adirondack Premier Properties owner Margie Philo told WNBZ Tuesday that the owners of Sears, Larry Mullen and Phil Vivlamore, are looking to shed the property because of the fallout surrounding the parking lot’s August closure.
“The owners feel that at this time – with the business climate in village and their difficult experience over the last 16 months – they just felt unwelcome,” she said. “So they decided to list it.”
Vivlamore and Mullen have been locked in a test of wills with village officials for months.
They sought to sell the property to the village for at least $265,000 or negotiate a lease that far surpassed the previous agreement that they inherited when they bought the property 16 months ago.
But unwilling to match their price, the village balked at buying the 100-spot parking lot and it has remained barricaded to a general public that had enjoyed access to the convenient location for years.
Philo said the 1.41-acre property and the building – including the existing leases with Nori’s Village Market and Edward Jones – are listed at $819,000.
The Sears business is also for sale, but is listed separately.
“They’re very busy with other properties and businesses – and this only being one of them and feeling it wasn’t going very positively – they decided it was in their best interest and probably in the best interest of the town and village, it would be best for a new owner to be there,” she said.
Unlike most local controversies, the Sears’ lot fallout has remained visceral and divisive. Many Saranac lake residents have called for a community-wide boycott of the business.
Adirondack Premier Properties has received seven inquires since it was first listed early Monday morning. Philo said several site visits are scheduled for this week.
She characterized one of the interested parties as – quote – “a prominent” local business owner, but would not elaborate.