PLATTSBURGH — The sale of the Old Stone Barracks to a Montreal developer has been completed, but the future of the historic site is still unknown.
A deal was hatched late last year between the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corp. and Bernard Schneider of BKS Properties in Montreal.
The 7.75-acre property off Route 9, which is assessed at $775,300, was to be sold for $35,000, stirring controversy in the community.
PARC maintained that it had been trying to sell the property since the base closed in 1995 but had no takers.
The historic site is bound by many state and federal restrictions as to what can be done with it, and renovations are expected to exceed $1 million.
The Battle of Plattsburgh Association had been working on a plan for two years to take the property and renovate the barracks into a museum, cafe and office space utilizing federal grants and funds from PARC.
But the group withdrew its plan last fall after it couldn't get bank loans in the soft economy.
PARC entered an agreement with Schneider in December, and the deal was finalized this week.
Schneider has said that he is willing to work with any local group interested in restoring the barracks, which were built in 1832.
He initially had wanted to develop two apartment complexes on the property, but he abandoned those plans after people in the community protested.
Carlos Tacheco, Schneider's property manager, told the Press-Republican this week that he will give local people six months to come up with a plan for the barracks.
"Hopefully, the community can come up with something; if not, we will look for other ideas," Tacheco said.
After several meetings earlier this year of local groups interested in the barracks, the Battle of Plattsburgh Association stepped forward and offered to take the lead in working with Schneider to restore the barracks.