LYONS FALLS — Established companies considering expansion and entrepreneurs with their next big idea are among those who have already answered the call for “expressions of interest” in a 46-acre property in the town of Lyonsdale formerly home to a biomass energy facility.
The Lewis County Industrial Development Agency, owner of the property, put out the official request for letters of interest from potential developers on March 1.
Four letters of interest have already been submitted, according to IDA Executive Director Brittany Davis, so she believes it’s fair to say the “whole marketing process is really opening the eyes of people” to both the site and the surrounding area.
“It’s putting Lewis County out there to the state,” she said, adding that it’s really saying: “Hey. We’re here, and we’re open for business. We have opportunities.”
Interest so far has come from companies and entrepreneurs locally based and from other areas of the state, but Mrs. Davis said it’s still early and expects potential interest from further afield.
The property is listed on commercial real estate development sites through local and regional media, social media and the consultant who is working with the IDA on the process, Saratoga Springs-based Camoin 310, also has significant contacts.
While the property could accommodate a large industrial venture, the webpage set up for it said it could also be split into multiple pieces if the right businesses were found. With the quiet and seclusion of the spot near the border of Adirondack Park, next to the Moose River, Mrs. Davis could imagine some sort of recreational opportunity making sense — like a lodge or a resort — being perfect as well.
“We actually had a meeting with the town of Lyonsdale to get their input and what they would like to see at this facility and really, they are open to anything and everything but their main focus is they want to see the property get back on the tax role,” Mrs. Davis said, “That’s their biggest goal, and that’s our biggest goal too ... and let’s get some new jobs at the site too.”
Mrs. Davis previously said that the majority of the 3823 Marmon Road property is flat and “usable” with some forested areas, although there is a steep hill to the road.
It features an office building, a mechanical building, an 11,000-square-foot pole barn and the truck lift and conveyor belt left over from the previous owner.
The power substation that’s on the edge of the site is not included in the property.
“ReEnergy still owns it and we’re not really marketing that part of it with this property because it’s just very complicated,” Mrs. Davis said.
Latham-based ReEnergy signed the property over to the Lewis County IDA in February 2020, having completed the required demolition and clean-up to an “environmentally acceptable” level.
That company’s 22-megawatt biomass-to-electricity energy facility had used material from logging and sawmill operations to produce an average of 162,000 MWh of electricity per year. The plant closed in 2017 because it no longer had a contract to sell renewable energy certificates to the state Energy and Research Development Authority. It had employed 22 people.
Expression of interest documents for the property can be downloaded from www.naturallylewis.com/initiatives/lyonsdale-development-opportunity and will be accepted through March 26.
For more information, contact Cheyenne Steria, IDA director of finance and incentives, at 315-376-3014 or by email at email@example.com.