Timberland Properties back in Granary building

By Brian Sweeney
Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties has moved back into its Margaretville office space, after extensive repairs to overcome damage caused by Hurricane Irene.

The Bridge Street real estate company was among the hardest-hit businesses in the village on August 28 as raging floodwaters relentlessly slammed the structure. The flooding resulted from an estimated 10-plus inches of rain that deluged much of the region as Hurricane Irene raced up the east coast and left torrential rains inland.

When the record-breaking flood had receded, the historic Granary building in which the Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties is located, had sustained several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of damage.

In addition to the widespread destruction at the real estate office, the popular Flour Patch eatery (also located in the Granary) fell victim to the flood’s devastating power. Adding to the losses was the fact that Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties offices had undergone extensive renovations just prior to the flood.

Although the water did not reach the Granary’s second story, tenants in seven loft-style apartments were displaced for more than a month as potential structural concerns were addressed.

Company President Eric Wedemeyer founded Timberland Properties more than four decades ago and said he’s never seen a natural disaster with the impact of the August 28 storm.

Quick reaction
Despite the fact that his primary location (Timberland Properties also has offices in Delhi and Stamford) sustained a massive amount of damage from the record-breaking high-water event, Mr. Wedemeyer was able to quickly regroup. Within days after the flood, the real estate office was operating out of a temporary location in the Commons Building on Main Street. The company remained there until the December 9 move back to its longtime home at the village entrance.

 “The community resolve to get back on its feet quickly was evident from day one,” Mr. Wedemeyer stated. “Despite the historic flood, Margaretville is open for business and is refocusing on its role as a retail center for the region to be more vibrant than ever” he added.
Mr. Wedemeyer said it took a remarkable effort on the part of many people to get things back in shape so quickly.

“I want to thank the hard work and cooperative spirit of the entire community which helped so much in making this happen. My special appreciation to Code Enforcement Officer Patrick Davis, Mayor Bill Stanton, Peg Ellsworth and the entire MARK Project staff, Lee Liddle of Second Nature Construction and his crew, the Margaretville Telephone Company and so many others who helped achieve the speedy reconstruction of this historic building. Without them, and the outpouring of community support, it would not have been accomplished.”

He also cited the financial backing from NBT Bank and the Delaware National Bank of Delhi as vital to the rebuilding effort.

“If it were not for the backing of these banks, there would not be a finished building here today,” Mr. Wedemeyer explained.

A staunch advocate of the Margaretville business community, Mr. Wedemeyer said he never considered relocating his office. The building will now be more flood-resistant than ever.
The Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties office has been renovated and remodeled from bottom to top, as was the Flour Patch. Mr. Wedemeyer pointed out, however, that the most important changes were of the structural variety.

He explained that the front of the building (facing Bridge Street) has been completely reinforced with storm-resistant framing and windows. In addition, thick concrete walls have been poured in front and on the south side of the building to offer sturdy protective barriers designed to divert subsequent floods. The walls have been faced with decorative stones to provide aesthetic appeal.

Along with strengthening the structure and bringing back the existing businesses in “better than new” condition, Mr. Wedemeyer also took the opportunity to create two totally renovated retail and/or professional spaces between his offices and the Flour Patch.

“These new spaces have a southern exposure facing Margaretville’s entrance and Route 28. The units have energy-efficient central heating and air conditioning along with pleasant landscaping approaching their entrances. We now have these facilities for rent — more businesses are always a welcome plus for the village,” Mr. Wedemeyer explained regarding his decision to add the Margaretville’s commercial offerings.

Mr. Wedemeyer said he’s very pleased to have his office back in business so soon.
“I can’t tell you how many people have walked up to me and said ‘thank you.’ It was really touching to see the support shown for us having faith and trust in Margaretville and for reinvesting.”