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Ogdensburg officials hope the former Newell plant is ripe for development

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The city-owned former Newell Manufacturing plant in Ogdensburg is being offered up for development.

The city acquired the 29,000-square-foot building and the 4.5-acre parcel upon which it is situated at 48-52 Paterson St. last summer from Tri-Regency Co., Ontario, for $53,000 in unpaid taxes, according to City Comptroller Philip A. Cosmo.

And the inquiries have begun already.

“We have someone who has expressed an interest,” City Manager John M. Pinkerton told the City Council Monday.

City Councilor Jennifer Stevenson is optimistic. An Ogdensburg real estate agent by profession, she has many times seen successful developments begin with a single inquiry.

“It only takes one phone call,” she said Tuesday.

Ms. Stevenson envisions a redeveloped former Newell building as part of Ogdensburg’s ongoing 15-year waterfront redevelopment plan. The Connecticut-based Vita Nuova consulting firm has proposed residential and commercial development along a downtown 330-acre section of St. Lawrence River shoreline.

The three waterfront sites that are the focus of the study and their proposed usages are: the former Augsbury Oil Co. tank farm, Riverside Avenue, located a few blocks west of the former Newell building, condominium housing; the former Diamond International/Shade Roller property, Madison Avenue/Covington Street, rental and condominium housing, and the Marina District on the city’s west side, a boat launch, boat sales and repair businesses, and the Richard G. Lockwood Civic Center refurbished for more year-round use.

The former Newell building, perched on a hilltop overlooking the St. Lawrence River, would fit right in, Ms. Stevenson believes.

“It could be a multi-use building,” she said.

The building is located in a part of the city that is zoned industrial/institutional. Andrea L. Smith, the city’s planning and development director, said that even if that zoning category is changed or remains, any future occupant wouldn’t upset the basic tenet of the waterfront redevelopment program.

“It’s about revitalizing the community,” she said Tuesday.

The city recently made repairs to the building’s roof, according to City Code Enforcement Officer Gregg A. Mallette.

“The building is not in bad shape,” he said.

The property, which includes a small vacant lot in its northeast corner along Denny Street, is assessed for $95,000, according to City Assessor C. Bruce Green.

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