Mount Vernon commercial real estate strong, pros say

Mount Vernon, NYA panel discussion by business professionals in Mount Vernon painted a local real estate market whose commercial sector was stronger than the residential.

Maybe it is a sign of the times, but even the property where the discussion was held itself changed hands several weeks ago.

John H. Goad III, of Goad Real Estate Co. in Mount Vernon, said commercial property is selling for $100-$110 per square foot in the city, and properties with premium locations can fetch $150 per square foot or more.

Higher interest rates this year are posing more of an obstacle than a year ago, Goad said. But finding good commercial property for sale in a city that’s 96 percent developed is also an issue.

A host of residential apartment buildings are on the boards or under construction in the city. But buyers of houses are still resisting price demands of sellers, said Linda Rose of Fleetwood Realty.

“Some of the owners have not come to terms with the decreases in price,” she said. “As soon as they do, everything goes.”

With so many projects under review in Mount Vernon, the city is evaluating the need for a new master plan, its first since the 1960s.

“Over the years spot zoning became the norm, and that’s why we have to change that,” chamber President Gerrie Post said.

A number of panel members praised New York state’s Empire Zone program that provides tax breaks and other incentives for businesses that set up shop in designated areas. Most of Mount Vernon qualifies as such a zone.

Ira Mines, the city’s zone coordinator, said 359 businesses have been certified, and 42 applications are heading to Albany for approval.

The Journal News 

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