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Ogdensburg Growth Fund takes second crack at selling parking lot

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OGDENSBURG — The Ogdensburg Growth Fund is making a second attempt to sell a parking lot bordering Caroline and Ford streets, after an initial attempt through public auction fell flat earlier this summer.

The 0.29-acre parking lot originally was put up for sale July 14 with an asking price of $30,000, but no one bid on the property at that time.

The Ogdensburg Growth Fund now has published a request for proposals for the parcel, and has set a Sept. 30 deadline for proposals from prospective buyers interested in developing the 420 Ford St. parking lot, according to the Growth Fund’s website.

Developer interviews, should proposals for using the property be put forth, are scheduled to take place the week of Oct. 6, with selection of the winning proposal slated for Oct. 14, according to Growth Fund officials.

The property being marketed is approximately 12,451 square feet and is in the city’s downtown residential and business zone. Although the parcel is now being used as a parking lot, it is otherwise vacant, and has access to city water and sewer services. The ideal developer, according to Growth Fund officials, would be one that puts forth a proposal for development that will generate street-level activity and provide a mix of uses consistent with a residential-business zone.

“The nominal consideration is given to proposals that are designed especially to accommodate mixed use development featuring business or services at the street level and residential uses on upper stories: development that is consistent with major goals of the City’s Area-Wide Plan,” according to the RFP document.

City Manager John M. Pinkerton, who also sits on the Growth Fund board of directors, said the decision to try to sell the vacant lot through the RFP process is aimed at seeing if there are any entrepreneurs with specific plans for how they would develop the property and enhance the community’s downtown core.

“We want to know what their ideas are,” Mr. Pinkerton said.

The lot directly across from City Hall has been owned by the Ogdensburg Growth Fund Development Corp. since 2011, when it parceled off and sold the former post office building at the same address for $350,000 to the Center for Sight.

City Director of Planning and Development Andrea L. Smith said previously that the Growth Fund board of directors has decided that keeping the parking lot does not fall within the organization’s mission statement. Formed in the early 1980s, the nonprofit fund was created to enhance quality of life in the city by fostering cooperation among government, economic development agencies and the private sector to strengthen businesses and create economic, housing and career development opportunities, Ms. Smith said.

More information on submitting a proposal for developing the property can be obtained by calling Ms. Smith at 393-7150.

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