Montgomery County and the Village of Canajoharie gathered input from the community during stakeholder meetings, a public open house and high school visioning workshops, as well as through a survey and written submissions. The community shared a range of perspectives on whether to demolish or try to reuse the existing structures on site. The majority of community members propose adaptive reuse of the administrative Church Street building if feasible and demolishing other structures.
Next steps in reuse planning for the site include a building condition assessment and a market study. These evaluations will provide valuable information to determine the feasibility of partial reuse and help the community refine near-term priorities and decisions contingent upon structural condition.
Long Term Vision
The former Beech-Nut site will be transformed into productive, vibrant, walkable development that integrates with the existing fabric of the Village and enhances quality of life.
Stakeholders and community members envision a mix of development that provides jobs, increases the tax base, and provides recreational and social benefits for Village residents.
Village of Canajoharie, New York Mayor Francis Avery kicks off the community meeting and workshop in November 2017.
Near Term Priorities
Based on available information, community members voiced the following near-term priorities.
Maintain Interim Condition
Plant and maintain ground cover, such as lawn or meadow plantings, on cleared areas of site to beautify the Village and provide recreational open space.
Demo East Side & Beautify
Improving the beauty and way-finding experience for vehicles entering the Village from the Thruway along Main Street to the downtown district is a high priority. Removal of the warehouse structures that face the thruway entry and those along the edge of Main Street will provide space for plantings along the entry corridor and open views toward the creek and river.
Create Church Street Master Plan
Community members would like to complete a master plan that improves downtown and waterfront connections and generates new development to improve tax revenues and spur job creation. The plan could potentially include adaptive reuse of Church Street buildings.
Clear the Site
Many community members support full demolition of all Beech-Nut structures and remedial action as needed to position the site for future development. These residents and business owners agree that the property in its current condition is likely to distract potential buyers and sellers from the positive qualities of the site. Additionally, many feel that the dilapidated structures negatively affect the appeal of the surrounding commercial and residential areas.
Create Adaptive Reuse Plan
High school students who participated in visioning workshops proposed innovative ideas for reuse of the different types of industrial structures that spanned the fields of manufacturing, recreation, services and more. The students propose assessing the feasibility of adaptive reuse over the next two years.
Long Term Priorities
During the meetings, stakeholders and community members expressed the following long term priorities.
- Livable, walk-able downtown
- Complete redevelopment of the vacant site
- Thriving Village economy
- Improved opportunities, services, connectivity and other assets that attract visitors and increase residential population
Few constraints exist for the redevelopment of the former Beech-Nut facility. The site has the potential for a multitude of uses including commercial use, light industrial, agricultural production, renewable energy facilities, educational or institutional campuses, residential housing development, entertainment venues, medical or elder care facilities, and hospitality.