LOCKPORT – Youngstown businessman David M. Tosetto’s purchase of the former Mount View Health Facility from Niagara County was completed Wednesday and filed in the County Clerk’s Office.
Tosetto, who intends to install an assisted-living facility in the five-story building on Upper Mountain Road, paid the $550,000 the County Legislature insisted upon.
County Attorney Claude A. Joerg said Tosetto solved the problem of title insurance, which he said Tosetto had been unable to obtain, simply by not buying any.
Tosetto said, “I don’t want to talk about title insurance.”
The insurance companies balked because of public statements by an attorney for Briarwood Manor, a rival assisted-living facility in Lockport, that the deal was illegal.
Attorney Guy J. Agostinelli told the Legislature Aug. 6 that the property should have been auctioned, rather than simply listed with a real estate agent.
His complaint, rejected by Joerg, nevertheless led the Legislature to abandon plans to sell the building to Tosetto for $196,000. The county cut the price it had agreed upon in 2012 because of the heavy asbestos abatement costs Tosetto will face.
The former nursing home was built as a tuberculosis sanitarium in 1939. The county closed it as a nursing home in 2007.
Tosetto, a former executive with the ElderWood chain of nursing homes, plans a 150-bed assisted-living facility. “We’ll be open in the spring,” he vowed Wednesday.
As for Briarwood Manor, Agostinelli said the situation is still being examined before a decision is made on whether to challenge the sale in court.
Briarwood Vice President Mark C. Ferreri said, “The county has not provided us with anything that would indicate the sale was legal.”
Tosetto said he expects the equivalent of 50 full-time jobs at his new facility. “The supermajority of our people will be full time,” he said.
His purchase also includes a grassy area between the building and Upper Mountain Road, a small parking lot behind the building and two larger ones across a driveway that leads to other county buildings on the Mount View campus.
The county is keeping those buildings, one of which serves as headquarters for the Health and Mental Health departments.