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Old industrial properties get new lease on life in Ogdensburg

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 5:06 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - On the water and ready for someone to move in. That’s the motto for some industrial properties getting a new lease on life in Ogdensburg.

For sale. Prime riverfront. Magnificent views. In Ogdensburg.

“I think it’s spectacular waterfront and it has value on the St. Lawrence River, and I think it has a lot of potential for a mix of business and residential,” said John Rishe, Ogdensburg deputy mayor.

But first, the city of Ogdensburg wants proposals for the 24-acre Diamond site off Main Street. Developers have until September 20 to get those in.

“Our whole focus since we took office is waterfront development. We see that as the greatest potential for the city of Ogdensburg,” said Rishe.

On one piece of land, an abandoned paper mill once stood. There were two decades of environmental cleanup.

It’s not the only industrial site getting a new lease on life. Two miles away the Newell Manufacturing Building is being transformed.

“We’re trying to rebuild it, redeem it, renovate it – and turn it into an asset for economic development. Ultimately, hopefully get it back on the tax roll and get people working in here again,” said Patrick Kelly, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency CEO.

The IDA and city worked together to obtain $2 million in grants to rehab the building. It is the largest rehab the IDA has undertaken. They’re pitching it as a “flexible space.”

“There’s office space. There’s space that’s great for light assembly. There’s warehousing. There’s heavier work that can be done in here,” said Kelly.

Ogdensburg officials say redevelopment along the waterfront is a key to the city’s future success. They’ll soon find out if the private market buys into that vision.

City officials are pledging to work quickly on any Diamond site proposals. The Newell building could be ready for a tenant to move in by year end.

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