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Canajoharie, NY ,

Demolition at former Beech-Nut to begin soon

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - Updated: 9:52 AM


C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- Sitting vacant since Beech-Nut's move to a $124 million dollar manufacturing facility in Florida, the former factory taking up 20 acres of space in downtown Canajoharie has been purchased by TD Development LLC, which announced a numerous-phase, 3-5 million dollar redevelopment plan that will first involve the removal of a 220,000 square foot portion of the facility.

Canajoharie Code Enforcement Officer Clifford Dorrough said Tuesday, as he surveyed work currently being done to clear warehouse space in the former Beech-Nut, that he has issued a permit for the removal of 220,000 square feet of warehouse space, which will constitute the first part of a numerous phase project, plans for the second phase of which have also been submitted for review by Dorrough and the village board.

Workers are currently clearing pipes and scrap metal from warehouse space facing the NYS Thruway, a project that has taken the bulk of January, and which was delayed slightly due to freezing temperatures and the lack of heat in the facility.

Phase one will include the removal of an L-shaped section of warehouse space, which will clear a path for heavy equipment. A hole will be knocked into a portion of the facility facing 5S in the near future, which is expected to take about one day. Once the path is clear for heavy equipment, it will be brought into the warehouse space, which will be cleared starting from the side facing the NYS Thruway, working back to 5S.

Three of the facility's four bridges will be removed during this process. TD Development, LLC sought permission from United States Army Corps of Engineers, who gave them the go-ahead, noting that they don't have to be on site for the bridge removal, according to Dorrough.

Heavy equipment will be kept in the fenced-in area along Incinerator Road for the duration of phase one.

Dorrough said that TD Development, LLC plans to remove 500,000 feet of the facility altogether, but must obtain a second permit to continue work.

Dorrough said that he's awaiting the results of testing on the third and fourth floor of the former Beech-Nut, which was closed off while the company was still operational, as it's riddled with mold and asbestos. 

"I will not allow them up on top until the testing is complete," said Dorrough.

Though TD Development, LLC has not disclosed to village officials how many jobs they might bring to the local area, they have informed Dorrough that three companies have shown interest in renting space and operating out of the former Beech-Nut, including Great Western Steel, who Dorrough said "has shown interest in moving a portion of their business to upstate New York."

"Once they get them settled in," said Dorrough of potential renters, "they'll take a close look at the office section," contained in the facility's main building, which faces Church St.

The demolition, in two phases, should be complete by April, said Montgomery County Economic and Planning Director Ken Rose, who confirmed that his agency and TD Development, LLC are working collaboratively to bring future tenants to the site. Rose commented, "Everything will be contingent on their timeline in regards to the demolition and renovation of various portions of the facility."


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