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Marketing of Massena’s former GM site ongoing

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MASSENA — Efforts to sell the site of the former General Motors plant continue, with one official saying she expects greater progress to be made as the cleanup approaches completion.

Patricia A. Spitzley, Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust deputy project manager, said she is expecting interest in the property to begin peaking soon.

RACER has received no new inquiries into the property over the past four months, Ms. Spitzley said. Many people are looking to 2015, “when it’s anticipated the bulk of the cleanup will be done,” Ms. Spitzley said.

Recent efforts to market the land included a transportation conference, where Ms. Spitzley said RACER was promoting properties in Ohio and Michigan as well as Massena.

This weekend, she said, the property was being promoted at a retail conference in Las Vegas.

“We continue to market the property,” Ms. Spitzley said.

She said the apparent lack of interest in the property at this point is not surprising.

“We had a tough winter,” she said, adding all of the activity going on at the site makes it a little more challenging for a developer to envision a project on the land.

The site is near Route 37, but the lack of a major adjacent highway also may be a hindrance, she said.

Massena Mayor James F. Hidy said a highway would be a big help.

“I couldn’t agree with you more,” she said. “If we had a highway that could connect 81 to 87 and the four major ports of entry, that would be a great thing.”

Ms. Spitzley said with Massena’s proximity to the Canadian border, RACER has made an effort to market the property to potential buyers to the north.

“It’s very easy to get to and from Canada because of the bridge. That’s why we’re heavily marketing the property in Canada,” she said.

She said some of the interest expressed in the property has come from leads generated by the U.S. embassies in Montreal and Ottawa.

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