Guilford headache, opportunity now county's
By Patsy Nicosia
Guilford Mills now belongs to Schoharie County.
Judge George Bartlett signed the order for tax enforcement foreclosure last week, Treasurer Bill Cherry said Monday.
Mr. Cherry said his recommendation is putting the property back on the tax rolls ASAP.
And already, the County’s Economic Development Grow Team is seeking requests for proposals for the long-vacant 500,000-square-foot former factory.
“I’ve said all along that this is a unique property,” Mr. Cherry said.
“The county could sell it at public auction if it was advertised the right way. Or it could list it commercially. But we really need it back on the tax rolls.”
The Village of Cobleskill agrees.
Concerned about the loss of taxes not only to the village, but to the town, Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School, and the county, Mayor Mike Sellers and trustees have agreed to write a letter to the Board of Supervisors essentially agreeing with Mr. Cherry.
Working on behalf of supervisors, and the Schoharie County IDA, the Grow Team is seeking requests for proposals—RFPs--“to provide an open and objective review of development plans, sale, and lease options,” for the property.
Additionally, the county is looking for “conceptual ideas for the adjacent IDA land, which is zoned commercial mixed-use.”
All qualified real estate developers and companies must submit letters of intent by September 15, with full RFPs due October 15.
The property includes nearly 75 acres.
Top priorities for the project are job creation and longterm economic viability.
“Not to be overlooked, though, is identifying a qualified and capable partner to avoid ongoing blight and disinvestment of the site,” said Jody Zakrevsky, the county’s Economic Development director and a member of the Grow Team.
“Making this site more productive is critically important to our community,” he added.
The former Guilford Mills was closed in 2001.
The adjacent IDA land, known as the former Aker Farm, was purchased in 1985 and has yet to be developed.
Mr. Zakrevsky pointed out that the combined properties represent the “largest shovel-ready industrial and commercial site within 30 miles.”
Both sites are eligible for Empire Zone benefits.
According to the Grow Team, the former Guilford site includes 480,000 square-feet of manufacturing and warehousing space on 38 acres with access to all municipal services, including village water and sewer, natural gas, high-speed internet, and major electrical transmission lines.
The IDA commercial mixed-use site is approximately 36 acres “that lends itself to light industrial, office,” and other uses.
To download a copy of the RFP or for more information, go online to www.growSCNY.com or call 234-3751.