Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi, email@example.com Wednesday, 16 April 2014 00:00Snouder’s Corner Drugstore is up for sale by Laffey Fine Homes. Patrick J. Valente, licensed associate broker said, “I just showed it yesterday morning to an interested buyer.” He said the asking price is $995,000, “just short of a million” and added, “everything’s negotiable today.”
Valente said, “It’s a great building, a town landmark and it does need work. It would be great for retail and maybe offices are a possibility. The heating plant is working and the taxes are a little under $40,000.”
He said, “It is the first thing you see when you come into town. It would be nice to have someone there.”
Valente said he has two potential buyers currently: “It depends on the price.”
The first floor is 4,000 square feet, and would be good for retail; the second floor is 3,000 square feet, which could be offices; there is a third floor big loft area. Located at 108 South St., Laffey dates the building at 1863. Snouder’s Corner Drugstore opened there in 1884.
It has housed two businesses on the West Main Street side. There is parking for two cars on the site.
The exterior has to be restored, Valente said, but everything has to remain the same, especially the paint color since it is a town landmark building. Town landmark law states that the area viewed by the residents from the streetscape must remain the same. Alterations out of view of passerbys are allowed with consideration.All In The Family
Marie Genovese is the other Licensed Real Estate salesperson selling Snouder’s. Marie is married to Frank Genovese’s son, Frank. The Genovese’s son John worked in the store for some time, handling the medical equipment side of the business.
In 2011 after they closed the business, there was a hope of creating a Snouder’s Corner Drugstore Foundation to raise $3 million to preserve and restore the building but no momentum from the community was ever achieved. The building is still owned by the two partners Eugene King and Frank Genovese.
Retired pharmacist and father-in-law Frank Genovese said they still have their collection of antique bottles from the building. He is looking forward to the sale of the property. When Smiros & Smiros did their version of the restoration of the building, they suggested stripping off the façade on the South Street side to reveal the original porch. Genovese said, “What happens depends on who buys it. We are not doing what was originally planned, to raise enough money to preserve it.”
They had planned for retail on the first floor and offices upstairs. He said while the third floor ceiling is high enough for someone to stand up in, “You could use the third floor depending on how you develop the upstairs. It could be a mezzanine type thing, not as a complete floor, but you would need fire escapes.”
He said, “We were trying to raise the money and to get someone interested, trying to get the funding, it didn’t work out to well.”
Valente said, “Our company, Laffey Fine Homes, is celebrating our 40th anniversary on April 30, in Huntington with a Paramount event.” They are inviting 700 of their closest family and friends, with live music, and more information to become available as they get closer to the date.
Valente has been with Laffey from over a dozen years. “Education is the most important thing in real estate,” he said.
“We are on the Internet at Laffey.com and have close to 17 offices on the north shore. The father started the company in Bellrose and his sons took over. I work out of the office next to P.C. Richard’s on Route 25A, Northern Boulevard.”
Valente said one of those interested in seeing the building was a young couple. He said, “They appreciated the old world charm,” and he was able to share their interest since he had studied architecture himself.
In 2011, Isaac Kremer, Main Street Association executive director at the time, said, “There are substantial incentives for historic preservation including grants and tax credits that the building would qualify for - and the MSA has demonstrated through the Octagon Hotel and many other projects that it would be able to help get them.”
Another perk of being a landmark building is that the town is unusual in terms of Landmark Preservation laws, as it allows about a 15 percent reduction of the town tax on landmark property.
Longtime residents fondly remember the soda fountain that was at the store in the 1940s and ‘50s. They had hamburgers too. The young teens like to sit on the steps to the second floor, on South Street. It was a favorite hangout. When the fountain was removed, Frank Genovese stored the marble counter in his barn for some time.