Businessman eyes former Decca plant

By ZACH SUBAR, The Leader-Herald POSTED: June 17, 2009

JOHNSTOWN – The owner of School House Companies may purchase the former Decca Records building on Route 30A east of Gloversville and use it for warehousing. The 250,000-square-foot building now is owned by Universal Music Group Manufacturing and Logistics, which is a division of Universal Music Group.

The building was temporarily owned by Grace Real Estate, whose subsidiary, Uni Water, considered establishing a bottling plant in the building in 2007. That project never got off the ground. Now, School House owner Fred Olbrych has expressed interest in buying the building so it can be used for warehousing and light manufacturing.

Olbrych’s attorney, Canajoharie lawyer Charles Tallent, presented information about the project to the town’s Planning Board at a meeting last week. School House does transportation work, and Tallent said the operation likely would run around the clock. He said there would be about 10 trucks entering and exiting the facility each day, so truck traffic patterns won’t be seriously affected.

The project “is not a huge operation,” Tallent said. Olbrych will look to replace some outdoor lights at the building, and he does not plan to have outdoor storage at the site.

Tallent said the project will be good for the town. The facility is not being used now, and Tallent said the purchase would allow taxes to be paid on the property once again. “It’s a no-brainer,” Tallent said. Olbrych said he is trying to complete the sale, and he expects to know more about the project in a couple of weeks. Town Planning Board members will discuss the project further July 14. Zach Subar covers rural Fulton County news. He can be reached at