In an effort to bring commerce to Clymer, the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency has been hearing from potential businesses interested in making a home at the former Maplevale Farms building.
Maplevale closed its Clymer facility doors in 2010 and moved to the former SYSCO Food Service building on Allen Street Extension in Falconer after a massive amount of snow caused a roof to collapse on the property.
In November, the Industrial Development Agency issued bonds in the amount of $300,000 to assist in the purchase, maintenance and development of the warehouse.
Since then, a request for proposals from qualified purchasers has been issued and proposals are awaiting review.
"We have had some interest. We have toured people through the building," said Rich Dixon, chief financial officer of the agency. "We'll evaluate the proposals, clarify everything and then it'll be voted on, possibly at the February board meeting."
The selection process involves financial feasibility of the proposal, the ability of the purchaser to carry out site redevelopment and investment plans within one year of purchase, and the number and types of new jobs to be created or retained locally as a result of the project.
"Now, we can turn around through the request for proposal process and negotiate a sale to a good company that should be beneficial to the town of Clymer," said Bill Daly, chief executive officer of the IDA.
Furthermore, he said the agency has communicated with Dan Caflisch, Clymer town supervisor.
Caflisch said the town turned to the IDA after Maplevale left, taking more than 100 jobs.
"We've been in contact with them all along," Caflisch said. "We've worked closely with Bill and he's been helping us try to find someone to come in and develop the property which is what we need."
Of the jobs leaving Clymer, he said it has affected business in the town. Additionally, Clymer's location near the Pennsylvania state line provides a challenge for businesses entering the area.
"That's where working with the IDA has been very important," Caflisch said.
"It's a really good feeling you can work closely with the municipality," Daly said. "The key thing here is it's great to work with a town supervisor who really gets it."
The agency has also worked closely with Maplevale in the past, which purchased its current location from the IDA as well.
"They (Maplevale) sold the Clymer facility to us at a price substantially lower than the appraised value," Daly said, adding that the difference between the agency's purchase price and the appraised value can be used as a tax deduction.
He added that the IDA has had two other similar purchasing agreements in the past with the former SYSCO facility and Rem-Tronics in Dunkirk, which was purchased and remodeled shortly thereafter by Excelco/Newbrook Inc.
"It's an advantageous thing to do because it allows us to then negotiate a sale with a worthy business," Daly said.
The project site is located in an area zoned for retail businesses and light manufacturing.
"Things are working out well with both the current (and former) Maplevale locations," Dixon said. "Hopefully, for their previous location, we'll be able to get that into the hands of somebody who will put it back on the tax rolls and put some people to work and expand their business."