Twelve Tribes members buy building in Oneonta

The Daily Star, New York/March 17, 2006

Two members of the Twelve Tribes religious group who came to Oneonta late last year have bought other property in the city.

Robert and Jill Racine bought a building at 81 Chestnut St. for about $400,000, according to the Otsego County Real Property Tax Service Office. The sale closed Feb. 10, a clerk at the office said Wednesday.

The Racines and two other Twelve Tribes members bought other property in Oneonta at the end of 2005. The Racines and Kenneth and Karen Hart, of Massachusetts, bought the former Freddy’s bar at 134 Main St., as well as the former Oneonta Sales Co. on Market St.

Robert Racine said at the time of that purchase that the four planned to turn 134 Main St. into a Common Ground Cafe.

The Chestnut Street building previously housed Brooklyn Boy Hairwerkz.

Max Rivero, the owner of Brooklyn Boy Hairwerkz, said he didn’t mind moving from 81 Chestnut St. to 215 Main St. The new space is much larger, Rivero said Wednesday. Rivero said he hadn’t owned the building; the owner, he said, was Patricia Carey.

"They made an offer," Carey said Thursday. "I was ready to sell, and they were ready to buy."

Carey wouldn’t say what the Racines planned to use the building for, saying she didn’t feel that was for "public consumption."

Roderick Frandino, a member of the Twelve Tribes Cambridge community who had worked with members in drafting site-plan reviews for Oneonta’s Planning Commission, did not return multiple phone messages left Wednesday and Thursday.

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