ROUSES POINT - The remains of historic Fort Montgomery may be overlooked by those crossing the bridge from Vermont to New York on a regular basis, but they've captured the attention of one organization.
The Preservation League of New York State has named the fort to its "Seven to Save" list, which identifies endangered historic properties. The recent addition of Fort Montgomery to the list means the nonprofit organization will provide "targeted support" for the fort and the other properties on the list, working with local groups to protect them.
The news came as a pleasant surprise to Victor T. Podd, Boca Raton, Fla., who owns the property with his brother, Stephen. The Montreal natives purchased the property in the 1980s to relocate their plastics manufacturing company, Powertex, which is fully-operational on the south end of the property today. Podd said he and his brother have always wanted to see the remainder of the property developed and the fort restored, though neither have found the time to undertake such a monumental project, he said.
"We had looked at possibly doing some type of marina development, condos and so on, but we are just so busy with our plastics business and expanding that, we've never pursued it any further," said Podd.
Not long after it was purchased by the Podds, the 365-acre portion of the property where Fort Montgomery stands was put up for sale. Unsuccessful, it was taken off the market and not actively marketed again until about three years ago, said Podd. The most recent attempt to sell the property has been through the popular on-line auction Web site, eBay. However, listing the property for even as low as $3 million has sparked little interest in the financially-troubled real estate market.
While he would like to see a private developer come in to restore the fort and develop the parcel's one-mile waterfront on Lake Champlain, Podd said he sees government ownership being a more likely reincarnation for the property.