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Expansive American Legion property in Geneva up for sale

Jennifer Lewke
Updated: September 11, 2019 06:38 PM
Created: September 11, 2019 06:08 PM

GENEVA, N.Y. (WHEC) — It’s a prime piece of real estate in the heart of the Finger Lakes, and it’s now up for sale. The American Legion in Geneva says its mansion along Seneca Lake is just too big for its shrinking membership.  

The 13-acre property is located along State Route 14 next to Belhurst Castle and Winery. It has 3 buildings, a pool and 500 feet of lakeshore.  It is scheduled to be sold at auction through a sealed bidding process.  

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Originally built as a private single-family estate, the American Legion Winnek Post 396 purchased it in 1951.  The main building is equipped with a commercial kitchen, bar, lounge and three upper stories all overlooking Seneca Lake.

Members of Post 396 say the sprawling grounds have become a lot to keep up with especially since a decade ago the Post had 1000 members while now “we're down to about a third of that and this building is way more size-wise and we just don't have the need,” says Dan Hurdle, the First Vice Commander.  

The City of Geneva tells News10NBC the property is currently assessed at $1.7 million.  Because the American Legion is a non-profit, it is not currently paying any property or school taxes.  

If a private or commercial buyer wins the bid, it goes back on the tax rolls. At its current assessment, that will generate about $30,000 more per year for the City of Geneva.

The American Legion wants to make it clear, it isn’t closing.  It will remain in Geneva, but right now, it’s unsure where.

“We just can't even make a plan with something this size until you know what you have to work with money-wise,” Hurdle says.

There is one idea: they’re hoping maybe a bidder will consider giving them a slice of the property they’ve called home for so long. 

“It will be sad to see it go.  Ideally, we would like to stay here and put up a more efficient facility if the bids would allow something like that,” Hurdle says.

The deadline to bid on the property is October 7th at 5pm, after that the membership will unseal the bids, discuss them, and decide how to best move forward.  

For more information on the listing, click here.


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