CANAJOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — “Today we’re really excited about the future…hope is back in Canajoharie,” said Matt Ossenfort, the Montgomery County Executive.
The renderings for the community development space that will replace the old Beech Nut baby food factory in Canajoharie were revealed today. The former factory might not look like much now but town officials see it as key to their revitalization.
Ossenfort said the construction contracts have been written up to demolish the factory, and funding has been secured for its proposed replacement. Ossenfort said the 27 acre site will be a park encompassing a community space and a trail that will join with the Erie Canal bike path that will also connect with Downtown Canajoharie.
“This is a tremendous site with all the visibility and access from the thruway. It’s not a matter of when something’s gonna be here. It’s a matter of what it’s gonna be and making sure we follow through on our commitment to the village residents and the people of this county on what they’d like to see moving forward” Ossenfort told reporters.
This factory isn’t the only property developers have their eye on, their eyeing a spot across the river for cannabis development. The prospect of replacing the 300 jobs that were lost when Beech Nut moved has Kenneth Rose, Director of Montgomery County’s Business Development Center, seeing the positives.
“Anytime you can bring a hundred new jobs to the area , especially a small downtown like this in upstate New York, it’s a huge win to get that disposable income being re-invested into the community and all the mom and pop shops that are here now” Rose told us.”
Both Ossenfort and Rose hope the development will attract younger people to offset what they say is the town’s aging population. But Rose told NEWS10 more people require more housing.
“The demographic that would be working at E-29 would be a younger demographic and if we can work on housing that Canajoharie doesn’t have like the apartment style housing and loft type…style housing I think it’s a huge win” Rose added.