May 2016 Feature Story: Real Estate

Jefferson, Lewis home prices dip

Slight increase in Q1 median price for St. Lawrence County

By Ted Booker, NNY Business

The median price of Jefferson County homes sold during the first quarter fell by $33,000 compared to the same period in 2015, a trend that suggests more foreclosed homes are being snapped up.

The median price fell by 22 percent from $147,000 to $114,000, and the 25 lowest-priced homes during the first quarter sold from $9,000 to $40,000, according to Lance M. Evans, executive officer of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors. Those home sales were among 137 made over the period, down by 12 units, or 8 percent, from the 149 sold in the first quarter of 2015.

Mr. Evans said homes in the county that were foreclosed on by banks appear to be in high demand among investors and landlords that see value in rehabilitating them.

“We’ve had a lot more investors who are picking up properties for great bargains,” he said last month. “A lot of these houses are going to be turned around, flipped or rented. But they need to be fixed up first.”

The decline in the number of homes sold over the period comes as the market in the county continues to be impacted by the abundance of new rental housing options, Mr. Evans said. New rental complexes built over the past five years to meet demand at Fort Drum have contributed to the buyer’s market.

“You’re starting to see more specials out there for free months of rent,” he said.

Compared with the same period last year, the first-quarter median home price in Lewis County dropped by $39,500, or 34 percent, from $117,000 to $77,500, according to the Jefferson-Lewis board. The number of homes sold over the period, however, climbed by 17 units, or 74 percent, from 23 to 40.

Mr. Evans said that Lewis County, like Jefferson, also had several homes sell for under $50,000 in the first quarter, causing the median price to dip from last year.

In St. Lawrence County, however, the first-quarter median price home price increased slightly by $2,750, or 3 percent, from $79,250 to $82,000, according to the county Board of Realtors. And over the same period, the number of homes sold increased by 31 units, or 34 percent, from 90 to 121.

Debra J. Gilson, a broker for County Seat Realty in Canton who serves as president of the St. Lawrence board, said that mild winter weather helped spur more first-quarter home sales across the county.

Because it takes about eight weeks to close on home sales, she said, many deals initially made in November and December are included in first-quarter statistics. Realtors across the county enjoyed similar success during the winter by selling a lot of homes, she said.

“A typical December would be about four transactions, but I had 12 sales on the books for December alone,” she said. “I attribute a lot of that to the mild weather and also to the low interest rates that buyers know will go up.”

The Jefferson-Lewis board has 335 Realtor members and the St. Lawrence board has 184, Mr. Evans said.

Convergys call center aims to hire 300 employees through May

The Convergys call center on Arsenal Street plans to hire 300 employees from now through May, a move that would significantly increase its current staff size of 900. [Read more…]

Caprara aims to open Henderson Harbor waterfront restaurant in May

The site plan for Harbor Waterside Bar Pub — a restaurant that William F. Caprara plans to open in mid-May — was approved Tuesday by the Henderson Town Planning Board. Exterior and interior renovations at the two-story building on County Route 123 have been completed, said Mr. Caprara, who is a co-owner of F.X. Caprara Auto Sales. The waterfront building formerly operated as the Harbor Inn. Photo by Stephen Swofford, Watertown Daily Times.

The site plan for Harbor Waterside Bar Pub — a restaurant that William F. Caprara plans to open in mid-May — was approved Tuesday by the Henderson Town Planning Board. Exterior and interior renovations at the two-story building on County Route 123 have been completed, said Mr. Caprara, who is a co-owner of F.X. Caprara Auto Sales. The waterfront building formerly operated as the Harbor Inn. Photo by Stephen Swofford, Watertown Daily Times.

The site plan for Harbor Waterside Bar Pub — a restaurant that William F. Caprara plans to open in mid-May — was approved Tuesday by the Henderson Town Planning Board. [Read more…]

Clarkson study: Henderson could lose $40 million in property value from wind project

A Henderson-funded study on the potential impact of the Galloo Island wind project found the town could face a total loss in property value of up to about $40 million because of the view of turbines. [Read more…]

Cuomo mulls giving farmers break from minimum wage proposal

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office is working on a plan that would give farmers a break from his proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage proposal. [Read more…]

Orleans Planning Board reviews wind developer’s proposal for test tower

Iberdrola Renewables plans to put up only one wind measurement tower in the town of Orleans, according an application reviewed Tuesday night by the Planning Board. [Read more…]

JCIDA OKs 10-year tax break for Watertown business incubator

Finishing a nearly yearlong negotiation process, the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency’s board of directors approved a 10-year tax break on Thursday for the Watertown Center for Business and Industry. [Read more…]

Business of the Year award recipients honored by Watertown chamber

Krafft Cleaning services’ Lynn E. Krafft, left, and Justin Krafft receive the For Profit, Fifty or Fewer Employees Business of the Year Award Thursday from Kylie Peck, president of Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce at Savory Downtown. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

Krafft Cleaning Services’ Lynn E. Krafft, left, and Justin Krafft receive the For Profit, Fifty or Fewer Employees Business of the Year Award Thursday from Kylie Peck, president of Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce at Savory Downtown. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

With roots in the city that go back to 1915, RBC Wealth Management was among the 2015 Business of the Year award recipients honored Thursday by the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce. [Read more…]

DANC launches regional program to restore blighted homes

Launched by the Development Authority of the North Country with $1 million in state funding, a new housing program will offer aid to rehabilitate old homes across Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. [Read more…]

February 2016 Feature Story: Manufacturing

Eastman put $3.5m in Knowlton

Knowlton Technologies headquarters on Factory Street, Watertown. Knowlton is one of the north country’s longest operating manufacturing firms, dating back to the early 1800s. Since Eastman Chemical Co. purchased the company in 2014, it has invested $3.5 million in capital improvements. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Business.

Knowlton Technologies headquarters on Factory Street, Watertown. Knowlton is one of the north country’s longest operating manufacturing firms, dating back to the early 1800s. Since Eastman Chemical Co. purchased the company in 2014, it has invested $3.5 million in capital improvements. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Business.

New owner has funded upgrades since 2014 takeover

By Ted Booker, NNY Business

Knowlton Technologies has spent nearly $3.5 million on projects since its Factory Street plant was bought by Eastman Chemical Co. in the summer of 2014. [Read more…]