Ogdensburg getting $1.8M to raze old cheese plant

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 5:42 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - A big step forward. That’s what Ogdensburg city officials are calling the news of $1.8 million heading its way to help tear down a block of rundown property near the heart of the city’s marina district.

The closed cheese plant on Main Street has been shut down for more than a decade. Now with help from New York state and $1.8 million in Restore NY grant money, demolition is in the future for the foreclosed property.

“I do believe this is a real opportunity for sure in turning our city around. This is a step, and it’s a big step,” said Ogdensburg Mayor Mike Skelly.

It’s a step that Ogdensburg Director of Planning and Community Development Andrea Smith says the city would not have been able to take without assistance from the state.

“It’s a project of such magnitude that we could not take it on independently, without help from the state or federal governments. So it’s a very big step forward to have received this Restore NY award,” she said.

It is the second Restore NY award the city has received, with the first going to help restore the former Hackett’s Hardware store.

City officials say the addition of more than a block of property back onto the tax roll could be a game-changer for both the marina district and the city of Ogdensburg.

“It is probably the largest impediment to redevelopment within that marina district area, what we really sort of commonly referred to that as. Where we have seen businesses take a leap of faith and make investments in properties. I think that this will be a show of good faith on the city’s part. It’s great to have the state involved to help to be able to really launch that whole area to the next step,” said Smith.

Skelly calls the announcement of the grant money a win-win.

“Times like this are just a win for everyone that we clean up properties and dilapidated buildings, to bring in new business and the revenues and the jobs that follow it,” he said.

Smith says that the project is demolition ready, but needs to go to bid first and receive city council approval.