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RACER continuing to market Massena’s former GM site

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MASSENA - Members of the North Country Redevelopment Task Force learned on Thursday that the RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust received three “credible inquiries” into Massena’s former GM site over the past 12 months.

Patricia A. Spitzley, who serves as deputy project manager for the trust, added that since the trust was first formed in 2011, they have received 14 inquiries into the property.

“Of the 14 we still consider them all active inquiries,” she said, adding that CSX also continues to express interest in the site for its Select Site program.

Should CSX ultimately select the site of Massena’s former GM plant, they would prove to be a valuable partner in marketing the property.

With cheap power and utility rates, rail access and close proximity to Canada all available, Ms. Spitzley said the land is certainly a valuable asset.

“These three things makes this a very attractive site,” she said, noting she feels the best opportunities for the site are currently north of the border.

Ms. Spitzley said the trust has been in contact with embassies and consulates in Canada to help market the site. All of the efforts though haven’t taken place in Canada.

Noting she was sad to see that Congressman William L. Owens would not be running for re-election, Ms. Spitzley said both he and Sen. Kirsten E. Gillebrand have proven to be valuable assets to the trust.

She also noted that it is important to find the right developer for the site.

“We only have one shot,” she said. “Once that sale is done, RACER is gone from a marketing standpoint.”

Referring to a previous presentation, Task Force Chair Anthony J. “Tony” Arquiett asked whether the fact the cleanup was significantly over budget would hamper the trust’s marketing efforts.

That is something that Ms. Spitzley said definitely would not happen.

“Absolutely not,” she said. “It will have no impact on how aggressively we market the property.”

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