Beech-Nut building’s future uncertain

CANAJOHARIE – The development company that purchased the former Beech-Nut building in the village is waiting to decide what to do with the complex.

In early December, TD Development LLC, a Baltimore-based company that specializes in the restoration of industrial buildings, purchased the former baby food production plant from Lenzburg, Switzerland, based Hero Group, Beech-Nut’s parent company.

TD co-owner Todd Clifford said his company is planning on re-developing the complex to bring jobs to the area. He said he wants to turn the facility into a “mixed-use commercial space building.”

Clifford’s original plan was to demolish various portions of the building to construct parking and add ingress and egress traffic routes. The company was planning on demolishing almost half of the 800,000 square foot building.

Montgomery County Economic Development and Planning Director Ken Rose said he was in favor of the plan because it would create easier access to the complex.

“To construct proper ingress and egress so that people won’t have to drive through the village to access the site would be convenient,” Rose said. “Right now, the only access to the facility is to drive pretty much all the way into the village and around. It’s not ideally set up for warehouse distributing or anything like that at this time.”

However, Clifford said the demolition plan isn’t definite yet.

“We have somebody looking at the warehouse space [in the former Beech-Nut building] right now, so they might stay there,” Clifford said. “We might have somebody interested in using the space as it is, without demolishing anything. We’re waiting to find out what direction they’re heading. At this point we’re not sure what’s going to happen at the building until we are finished talking to this one client.”

He said the unnamed client is possibly looking to use the whole building.

“Imagine this client says they want the whole building, then we’d definitely lease it to them; we’re just waiting for that negotiation to play out,” he said.

Clifford said the client made him sign a nondisclosure confidentiality agreement when they first started talking, so he can’t reveal the name of the client or how much the lease would cost.

TD Development will know where they stand with the anonymous client in 30 to 45 days.

“By April 1, at the latest, we’ll have all of the details on the situation,” Clifford said.