City poised to purchase Fonda plant


The City of St. Albans wants to buy the Fonda building on Lower Newton Street, so that it can control the property as it moves forward with the Federal Street Intermodal Connector.

City aldermen will discuss and perhaps vote on a purchase and sales agreement tonight, during their regular 6:30 meeting at city hall.

The city has not closed on the property but has agreed to a price: $300,000.

The final sale is contingent upon a Phase I environmental study of the property that Clay Point Associates, of Colchester, should complete within the next few weeks, according to Liz Gamache, interim city manager.

If the study is acceptable to the city, the city will buy the property.

The Peoples Trust Company has approved a $400,000 loan for the purchase, according to Gamache. The extra $100,000 is for potential remediation or demolition fees.

15 Lower Newton StThe city would buy the 120,500-square-foot building at 15-21 Lower Newton St., not the adjoining warehouse, which has a different owner. The city would likely raze the building, if the purchase becomes complete.

The Solo Cup Company closed the Fonda plant in late 2005, displacing all 168 employees. The paper-products company was among the oldest continuously run commercial operations in the city.

The property is key to the city’s final portion of the four-phase connector, which would eventually serve as a bypass route running primarily along Federal Street.

The city has no plans to fill the Fonda building. Instead, the long-term goal would include a subdivision of the 4.54-acre parcel, for sale to developers.

The lot is zoned for “transitional business sub-district” use, making it open for industrial and light industrial purposes. The language allows for some retail and housing projects, Gamache said.

St. Albans Messenger 


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