OSWEGO, NY – Members of the Oswego County Legislature’s Economic Development and Planning Committee heard some encouraging news at this week’s meeting regarding the recently closed Birdseye plant in Fulton.
It could experience a rebirth in the near future, according to L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of Operation Oswego County.
The committee members viewed some of the materials OOC has used to market the closed Birdseye plant in Fulton.
“This marketing piece has been sent directly to more than 1,000 companies that are in a 500-mile radius of Fulton as well as 50 site location consulting firms,” Treadwell told the legislators as they examined the materials. “It is still an on-going, active marketing campaign.”
A special website regarding the facility has also been created, he added. It includes much more detailed information.
“We can say, to date, there has been a significant amount of interest in the facility. It has been high level detailed interest by a couple companies on the refrigeration component of the complex. Much more interest on that than on the manufacturing portion of the building.”
It’s possible, that at some point in time, there could be multiple users of the facility, he pointed out.
Since late October, early November, there have been at least 15 companies that have come and toured the facility.
They wanted to knock on the walls, kick the machines and freeze in the freezer, he said.
“Presently, they is a pretty high level of interest from at least two companies,” he said. “We’re pleased with the level of interest. The bottom line goal is to get as many jobs created associated with that facility as possible.”
It may have to be done in more than just one step, he cautioned.
“It may take a couple steps. It may take three steps to turn that facility around,” he said.
If you need it, the warehousing facility is an asset; if you don’t need it, it’s not an asset, he said of that part of the plant, Treadwell said.
“Some companies perhaps, what we’re gambling on right now, may be able and be more interested in the facility if someone else owned and was running the refrigerated warehouse because they don’t need 150,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space,” he said.
The other issue keeping the system up and running. If the refrigeration system isn’t maintained, it will deteriorate over time, Treadwell pointed out.
“Does it look promising?” asked committee chairman Louella LeClair.
“It looks promising,” Treadwell replied.
There could be an acquisition in “the very near future,” he added. But it doesn’t look like it will bring the manufacturing operation in at the same time.