Work to begin this week on vacant Newell site

Work has begun to rehabilitate the 64,000-square-foot Newell Manufacturing building on Paterson Street. Tom Graser/Watertown Daily Times

OGDENSBURG — Repairs to the former Newell Manufacturing building will begin this week, City Manager Sarah Purdy has reported.

The repairs are being funded through a $1 million Restore New York Grant, awarded by Empire State Development and a ShovelReady grant provided by National Grid.

“We have completed an asbestos survey and we do know that there is asbestos containing material,” Planning and Development Director Andrea L. Smith said. “Asbestos abatement is part of the project. There is asbestos containing material in the roof as well as the interior.”

The Newell factory was built in 1912-1913 as a 15,000-square-foot brick masonry building on a hill above the St. Lawrence River. Additions were added in 1919, 1960-1969, and again in 1992.

In June 2003, the Newell Company closed its operations in Ogdensburg and the property was sold to Tri-Regency Warehouse Properties, Inc. for use as storage and warehousing. In June 2013, the city acquired the property through property tax foreclosure proceedings and has worked with the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency to market the property.

The project consists of abating asbestos, replacing the failing roof on the 64,000-square-foot facility with new rubber roofing, repointing existing brick on the western facade facing Paterson Street, and replacing windows to improve energy efficiency. Repairs are expected to continue through November.

Throughout the project, a third party, Atlantic Testing, will be on site monitoring air quality.

In 2017, a Canadian electronics and technology company backed out of a deal to purchase building to set up an American-based manufacturing site.

At the time, Ms. Purdy said that the company walked away from the sale after an environmental test by the company found contaminants in groundwater samples at the site.

The building is zoned for industrial use and is adjacent to Hoosier Magnetics, and the Port of Ogdensburg. The property is also within the city’s Brownfield Opportunity Area.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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