By G. Michael Dobbs
CHICOPEE – Mayor Richard Kos hopes the new owner of the Cabotville Industrial Park will use the huge downtown property for a mix of residential, retail and business.
“A combination multi-use project is the most viable,” Kos told Reminder Publications.
Kos met with Joshua Guttman, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based real estate developer, on May 8 to discuss Guttman’s future plans for the complex. Guttman bought Cabotville with the announced intention of turning at least part of the complex into condominiums, but never completed that renovation.
Kos said that since taking office members of his administration had been meeting with Guttman’s project manager about the status of the building.
Kos said he received the impression that at “this stage of [Guttman’s] life he is looking to liquidate properties.”
In 2006, Guttman had told city officials that he wanted to build 248 condo units spread throughout five floors of the building.
The auction to sell the complex will be at 11 a.m. on June 19 and conducted by Maltz Auctions at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel in Rocky Hill, Conn.
Urban planners have recognized the Cabotville’s potential for redevelopment. The mill figured prominently 2012 West End Brownfields Area-wide Plan, which focused on the study and redevelopment potential of the West End neighborhood of downtown Chicopee.
According to the report the complex had the potential for being important to a “distinctive, attractive, hip, healthy, affordable and safe downtown neighborhood.”
The report noted “…the successful revitalization of [Cabotville and the Lyman Mills] – because of their central location, their relative scale and the attention they have attracted in the past – will be the most important initiative in the immediate future…their reuse and redevelopment will have a significant synergistic effect on the redevelopment potential of other properties in the West End.”
More recently, the complex was being actively considered as a potential casino site.
The auction company noted the details of the mill on its website. Currently the building is 35 percent occupied and generating $600,000 in net income with the potential of much more. It’s location near Interstates 91 and 391 is seen as a prominent feature.
The auction site describes the complex as “founded in 1931, Cabotville Industrial Park is the oldest multi-tenant industrial park in New England. Located in the center of Chicopee, Massachusetts, along the banks of the Chicopee River, Cabotville Industrial Park consists of seven multi-story brick facade buildings on nine acres of prime industrial land. With approximately 689,000 square feet of rentable space, Cabotville Industrial Park has provided small to medium size businesses with an economical, well-maintained environment.”
Seven hundred parking spaces come with the complex.
The current tenants include “Verizon cell tower, Lamar Advertising, professional office space, warehouse, light manufacturing and others.” There is 300,000 square feet of space that Guttman has prepared for residential use.
Other recent improvements include “new roofs installed over past three years; removed gas boiler and replaced with miles of gas lines for individual heating units; and an upgraded electrical system.” Elevators, both freight and passenger have also been improved. The building has a sprinkler system throughout it and is asbestos free.
Kos said, “The city stands ready to work with Mr. Guttman or any successor owner to see a successful project move forward at the Cabotville Mill property. The city understands the challenges associated with any such project, but we also recognize the significant potential for this property to impact the revitalization of our downtown for years to come. We stand ready to assist any owner who pursues redevelopment of these historic mills.”