A new billboard installed atop the former Beech-Nut administrative and processing building caps off a year of progress toward the revitalization of one of what’s being billed as one of the most exciting economic development projects in New York state.
Montgomery County’s continued efforts to turn the former Beech-Nut food processing plant off the New York State Thruway’s Exit 29, into an economic engine for the region will take even greater shape in 2020.
The site, which was home to Beech-Nut for more than 100 years before the company relocated to a new state-of-the-art facility in the Town of Florida, is currently undergoing demolition and remediation efforts funded by a combined $6.8 million in grants received by the county and the village to date.
“Creating a new campus that grows good-paying jobs and economic opportunity while complimenting the Village and surrounding area has been a complex but exciting process. Major progress has been made this year thanks to the efforts by our team at the BDC and the strong leadership of the County Executive Matt Ossenfort,” said Montgomery County Business Development Center CEO Ken Rose, whose team is spearheading the redevelopment process.
Montgomery County foreclosed on the site and took ownership in 2018. In 2018, the County and Village of Canajoharie secured $6 million in a Restore NY grant in addition to the $500,000 secured the year prior through the same program, for work including site demolition and remediation.
The County has been consulting with the EPA, state agencies, engineers and planners to develop a strategy for redeveloping the site.
“While we are overseeing the demolition and remediation efforts, we are also working daily to find prospective developers who can revitalize this site and restore a major economic driver for the village and the county,” Rose said.
In 2019, Exit 29 redevelopment efforts included:
- January 2019 – Montgomery County Legislature contracts with Gorick, a Binghamton-based
demolition contractor, to remove a majority of the remaining structures on the East Side of the
- May 2019 – Montgomery County launches Exit29Project.com website to enhance redevelopment
efforts and attract potential suitors for the property;
- August 2019 – Demolition of East Side structures completed by Gorick;
- October 2019 – Montgomery County Legislature selects Apollo Dismantling Services, LLC., to
move forward with another round of demolition and asbestos abatement work at the former food
- November 2019 – National Grid issues payment of grant for debris removal work.
The Business Development Center’s 2020 redevelopment goals include:
- Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Materials Removal, Asbestos Abatement and Interior Demolition
of Western Side structures;
- Outreach and Marketing of the Eastern Side with the end goal of a private sector enterprise with
quality jobs for the Region; and,
- Working with the Village of Canajoharie to update the LWRP Plan for the Village with the help
of an $85,000 grant received through the Department of State.
“We’ve worked hard to attract millions in grant money and interest from investors,” stated Rose. “All of
that work will allow the long-term vision for this site to start taking shape in 2020. It’s going to be an