Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fasig-tipton pavillion work underway

Fasig-Tipton work on show pavilion gets under way
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Work is beginning on the second phase of improvements at the Fasig-Tipton pavilion.

On Wednesday, contractors removed ground-level windows slated for replacement at the pavilion at 251 East Ave. The horse auction company decided in November to scale down, scrapping bigger expansion and facade plans because they aren’t needed, Fasig-Tipton attorney Michael Toohey said in a letter to the city Planning Department.

The first phase completed this summer — especially the walking ring that improved visibility for patrons looking at horses — proved so successful that more people view the horses outside rather than crowding into the pavilion.

“Many patrons, who previously preferred to participate inside the pavilion, now utilize the wonderful areas near the horse ring and exterior areas,” Toohey wrote.

“Our client believes the full expansion of the building is no longer necessary.”

The smaller — 450-square-foot, two-story — expansion will extend from the pavilion toward George Street, creating a new handicap-accessible entryway. Most of the work that was planned for the cedar-covered curved facade that faces East Avenue has been scrapped. Some of that work included a walkway to the back of the building, which the company found isn’t needed. The previously-proposed windows and awnings on the second floor are being eliminated as well, the plans state.

The Lexington, Ky.-based company still plans to build a landing inside the 1967 pavilion’s entrance for people with disabilities.

In November, Fasig-Tipton told the city it planned to scale down the project, which was approved in December 2008.

Other renovations completed last summer included sprucing up the bathrooms, creating an outdoor restaurant and relocating a snack bar.

Fasig-Tipton, the country’s oldest thoroughbred horse auction company, holds a yearling sale on the grounds in August. This year, the Select Yearling Sales are slated for Aug. 2 and 3.

Last year, the sales started an hour earlier than the traditional 7 p.m., with the on-site restaurant, Man O’ War, serving dinner to patrons.

Fasig-Tipton is owned by Synergy Investments Ltd. of Dubai, which is headed by Abdulla Al Habbai, a close associate of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and an avid horseman.


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