LATHAM (AP) – The All Times Union reports that the future of Latham New York’s Saratoga Winners, that was supposed to reopen in October, may be in doubt.
Six months after it was bought by a Saratoga Springs couple, who promised to revive the storied establishment, the building is still sagging and empty. Other than a new blue roof, no other improvements are visible.
Owners Stephen and Nickole say the concert hall has been caught up in an "issue" with the town of Colonie that has prevented work from continuing. They declined to provide details, saying their lawyer does not want them to discuss it.
"The Planning Board and the Building Department have been more than accepting of our project," Nickole Sutliff said. "But (the hall) does have other issues we have to address."
Town officials say they are not aware of a dispute, but do know of a number of problems that could make opening the hall too expensive for work to continue.
Michael Rosch, director of the town Building Department, said the couple was told they needed a sprinkler system and a new stairway in order to make use of the hall's long-abandoned second floor. The building was also not compliant with town code because the new roof lacked insulation.
Rosch said the couple gutted the existing building without a town permit, but that problem was rectified.
"Whatever they do there, they're going to have to go through the process," he said.
Denise Sheehan, the town's planning and economic development director, said the building also needed to be connected to the town water and sewer lines. Since the lines don't extend up Route 9 that far, such a project would be an expensive venture, she said.
"Structurally, it has a lot of issues," she said. "I think they've gone back and rethought whether or not to keep the building."
The Saratoga Springs couple paid $950,000 for the 10,000-square-foot structure in June. Once a potato chip factory under the Winners name, the barn-like structure became a nightclub, then a concert hall in 1982. The building was known for attracting heavy-metal bands and rowdy audiences.
At the time of the Sutliffs' purchase, the building needed a new roof, a new sound system, a new parking lot and a rehab on the sagging, second-floor porches.
At first, work was going well, with former concertgoers volunteering help or offering discounted work. But all that stopped after several months.
The Sutliffs referred questions to lawyer Bob Katzman of Saratoga Springs. Efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.