GERMANTOWN—Otto’s Market is on the market. Proprietor Otto Leuschel confirmed Saturday that after offering the market privately since April, he has listed it with Patricia A. Hinkein Realty in Germantown.
The list price is $995,000. And as of Monday, Mr. Leuschel’s Germantown Variety, across Main Street from the market, was listed with Ms. Hinkein, also for $995,000.
A purchaser interested in both properties, which might be considered the retail heartbeat of the hamlet,
could get them for a slight discount, $1.95 million instead of $1.99 million, said Mr. Leuschel.
Mr. Leuschel, 53, said he is selling the stores because he wants to move back to Washington, his home state, to spend time with his parents, who are 84.
“They raised four kids to go out into the world, and now they deserve to have one kid back home,” he said.
He said firmly that he is not selling his stores because of the Dollar General retail store proposed for Route 9G just outside the hamlet, less than half a mile from his stores. “It’s strictly for my parents,” he
said, of the sale and his move.
“My customers don’t shop [at Dollar General],” he added. “We don’t sell the same kind of food, or the
same kind of retail.”
Roy Brown, former supervisor and now chair of the town’s Business and Economic Development Committee, confirmed that the proposed Dollar General “did not” drive Mr. Leuschel’s decision. “Otto and I have talked about it, and I can say that confidently,” said Mr. Brown. “The demographic of who shops at Dollar General is different. They don’t shop at Otto’s stores now, so Dollar General would have
no impact on Otto’s business, or his decision.”
Mr. Brown noted that as an executive at Whole Foods, Mr. Leuschel had been “on the road” for 17
years, including postings in Houston, San Francisco, New York City and London. Mr. Leuschel arrived in Columbia County in 2003, and now “he wants to go home and spend time with his family,” said Mr.
Talking about his stores this week, Mr. Leuschel expressed pride that until recently, he had paid 100%
of his employees’ health insurance premiums. This year employees must pay a small amount toward the premium.
Mr. Leuschel opened Germantown Variety in 2012 with the goal that every item for sale would be made in the United States. Today, “as much as possible is,” he said. “Dealing in hardware, I have to source some items from China.”
Mr. Leuschel opened Otto’s Market in 2008. Since then the award-winning business “has made Germantown a destination,” Ms. Hinkein’s listing says. Certainly the store has made the hamlet a
destination for Germantown residents who can shop for groceries, fresh and nonperishable. There are
also tables inside and outside the store, and at the coffee bar that looks out on Main Street.
The awards referred to include Columbia County’s Most Promising New Business in 2010 and two from Hudson Valley Magazine, Best Local Food Market in 2010 and Best of Hudson Valley in 2011. Otto’s Market, built as Central Market in 1927, is a one-story building consisting of 2,000 square feet of retail space and a 500-square-foot office. Germantown Variety, built in 1925, consists of retail space with two “loft apartments” upstairs, according to the listing. Each sale includes inventory and fixtures.
“We will miss him,” said Mr. Brown. “But knowing Otto, he will make sure that he sells to the right person. He won’t sell to just anyone to get away. He’ll think of Germantown’s future.”