CHAZY — Pfizer has sold its Chazy facility to a limited liability company formed by the County of Clinton Industrial Development Agency.
The property has been transferred to Clinton Industrial Development Acquisition LLC, created by the IDA in March to take ownership of the facility at a nominal fee. Empire State Development approved a $1.2 million grant in mid April to fund the maintenance and marketing effort.
The move is expected to allow those efforts to continue for two more years. Pfizer had initially planned to auction the facility in February, but extended that to June 4 and 5 so the two sides would have more time to negotiate the acquisition.
Agreement achieved, the facility didn’t go up on the auction block.
David Champagne, Rouses Point managing director for Pfizer Global Supply and a member of the Pfizer Transition Coordinating Council, said while Pfizer explored alternative options, this outcome would provide a mutual benefit to the Chazy community and Pfizer.
“Pfizer is pleased to work with Clinton County leaders, Empire State Development, the North Country Chamber of Commerce and local public officials, and convey the facility to CIDA, LLC, who with the support of the ESD, will maintain and market the facility to promote and encourage new economic development investments at the site,” he said in a press release.
Local economic development and government officials praised the cooperation that led to the deal.
“We are pleased to be working closely with Pfizer and New York’s Empire State Development and are committed to helping the county locate a responsible party interested in the long-term use of the former Pfizer Chazy facility,” IDA Board Chair Trent Trahan said.
The property is assessed at $12 million. The three taxing jurisdictions involved — the Town of Chazy, Chazy Central Rural School and Clinton County — have been working on a tax-abatement agreement for the property to be in effect during the two-year period. As part of the agreement, Pfizer has agreed to terminate all outstanding local tax appeals and relinquish prepaid property taxes.
“The resale of the Pfizer facility has tremendous potential to generate job creation and business growth in the region,” Empire State Development President and CEO Kenneth Adams said. “I can’t stress enough how important it is that the county and its communities have a role in its future use.”
‘VERY GOOD ASSET’
Chazy Town Supervisor Staub Spiegel was thrilled at the news that the LLC deal was finalized.
“This will allow us to take a couple more years to market this facility and get a proper company in there to take it over,” he said on Friday.
“We have a lot of confidence in the chamber (North Country Chamber of Commerce) and the IDA. They’ve worked so hard on this.”
Spiegel said the facility has been shown to several interested companies.
“It’s just a matter of finding the right one to utilize that huge space,” he said.
The town supervisor also said that the facility could possibly be divided and used by more than one company.
“It’s a very good asset for the community to have,” he said.
Congressman Bill Owens worked with the Transition Team at the North Country Chamber of Commerce.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to redevelop this site and use the facility to create jobs, grow the local economy and ensure this facility once again becomes one of the of the area’s largest employers,” he said.
State Sen. Betty Little said the agreement provides a window to market the facility at a critical time.
“We’re seeing some positive economic signs,” she said. “The changes on the state level, in terms of economic development and functioning government, bode well to attract investment.
“Given the strength of this region, there’s reason for hope and optimism.”
State Assemblywoman Janet Duprey said the transaction is the best way to go for the area, particularly Chazy.
And, she said, “it allows the IDA to continue to market this valuable property.
“This action is one more step toward reaching our collective goal of creating new jobs in the North Country and should result in the reuse of an excellent facility.”
North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said the chamber is pleased to have played a role in facilitating the process, which will secure, he said, a unique asset and allow for continued marketing.
He said the chamber remains fully committed to assisting with the effort.
“We thank all who have been a part of this, but particularly Pfizer for its willingness to work with the community in this way, the Clinton County IDA for stepping forward when needed, the Development Corporation and Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for providing the financial support that we asked for, without which this wouldn’t be feasible,” Douglas said.
Pfizer announced in 2009 that it would close the Chazy facility and followed through on that in 2010. The company has worked with the Pfizer Transition Coordinating Council since then to find a new owner for the property.
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