L. Michael Treadwell
‘In addition to marketing properties, OOC owns and manages several properties in an effort to promote business growth and development in the County of Oswego.’
Traditionally, spring has been the peak season for the residential real estate market, as more home sales occur this time. It’s also a great season for commercial and industrial enterprises looking to relocate or grow into a larger space.
In order to draw new businesses to the area and help existing businesses to expand within the county, Operation Oswego County (OOC) maintains a comprehensive portfolio of currently available commercial properties in order to be able to mobilize quickly when contacted by a prospective company.
OOC maintains a list of buildings and sites that are available for purchase or lease. Many of these listings come from area real estate companies and are provided on OOC’s website with their permission. This relationship is mutually beneficial in that it provides additional exposure for area realtors and a comprehensive property list for OOC.
The OOC website provides two lists, one containing available commercial and industrial buildings and one containing available development sites. Each listing provides pertinent data about the building or site, as well as contact information for the listing agent or owner.
In addition to marketing properties, OOC owns and manages several properties in an effort to promote business growth and development in the County of Oswego. Listings for these properties can also be found on the OOC website.
OOC operates three industrial parks in Oswego County, including the Oswego County Industrial Park off NYS Route 481 in the town of Schroeppel, the Lake Ontario Industrial Park in the city of Oswego, and the Airport Industrial Park in the town of Volney.
OOC is also involved with the continuing development of the 100-acre, mixed-use Columbia Mills Site in the town of Minetto and the Centerville Road/Peck Road Site in the town of Richland.
The five locations, above, have had comprehensive site profiles completed for strategic lots at those sites. Each site profile contains detailed information including site characteristics, prior and current uses, site topography, environmental features, soil characteristics, site utilities and zoning. Additionally, a market analysis is provided which includes potential scenarios for development of the site. Many of the site profiles also contain conceptual site plans showing building footprints to scale on the site as well as parking, storage and buffer areas. These comprehensive site profiles help developers and business owners visualize the site’s potential, giving them a head start in the development process.
OOC uses these site profiles to strategically market these sites to prospective businesses that would be well suited for the identified best use of the property. When contacted by a business seeking information about potential sites or buildings, the site profiles are made available to them. Comprehensive site profiles are also available on the OOC website within the property listings.
As the need for more suitable development sites increases, OOC is constantly evaluating the current portfolio of industrial parks and properties looking for opportunities to meet the needs of business. Strategically located sites with good access to transportation networks and abundant utilities are routinely researched. If a property is determined to be ideal for industrial and commercial development, it could be pursued directly for industrial park development or we could assist the owners in marketing it for development. OOC also works to promote development of privately owned industrial and business parks such as the Riverview Business Park in the town of Volney, the Independence Industrial Park in the town of Scriba, as well as the Rich Corporate Park in the town of Hastings.
Because of the many economic development assets of the industrial and business parks in Oswego County including strategic locations, existing infrastructure, economic benefits and incentives, and varying parcels and buildings for office, research and development, light industrial, distribution and manufacturing space, Oswego County is able to be competitive when attracting prospective businesses.
OCO currently manages two buildings with long-term tenants. The CiTi BOCES Phoenix Center and Discovery Daycare are located within the Oswego County Industrial Park in town of Schroeppel. These tenants meet a strategic goal of providing services to the industrial park that make them more attractive to new companies looking to relocate.
Occasionally, OOC finds it advantageous to sell property it owns. In the case of OOC’s spec building located in the Lake Ontario Industrial Park in the city of Oswego, it was sold to long-time tenant Northland Filter. This allowed OOC to purchase a parcel on the former Nestle site in Fulton for a future spec building. Similarly, OOC had purchased the former Price Chopper building with the intent to develop it into a new incubator and OOC offices. However, OOC sold the building when it was determined to be the right location for Oswego Health’s Behavioral Health Services. OOC also assisted in marketing the former Southern Graphics facility in the Oswego County Industrial Park in the town of Schroeppel which was recently sold to Phoenix Welding & Fabrication. The building is planned to be used for manufacturing.
For short-term tenants, OOC maintains an incubator building with affordable rental space for non-retail, industrial and service businesses. The Business Expansion Center (BEC), located on East Seneca Street in Oswego, is ideal for hi-tech and IT businesses as it boasts up-to-date computer and telephone network capabilities. The building includes 13 offices and two manufacturing spaces. The building also has a common use loading dock for the tenants which is a great asset for manufacturing and shipping companies.
OOC gets the word out about these properties by marketing through various channels. For instance, several issues of the OOC E-News features one of the available properties from the website. OOC highlights our industrial parks in editorials in national site selection magazines, driving traffic back to the website. OOC also uses targeted marketing to reach businesses in a specific sector. An example of this is the marketing campaign that was created to promote the BirdsEye facility. This resulted in K&N’s Foods USA’s purchase and development of the facility.
The advantage to listing properties on the OOC website is to have everything in one place. Businesses who are looking to expand in Oswego County can find information about financial assistance and potential properties at the same time. It eliminates the need for them to weed through several websites looking for suitable buildings or sites, incentives, demographics, and helpful links to partner organizations.
If you’d like more information about OOC or economic development services in Oswego County, call the office at 343-1545 or visit the website at www.oswegocounty.org.
L. Michael Treadwell, CEcD, is executive director of Operation Oswego County based in Oswego. To contact him call 315-343-1545 or visit www.oswegocounty.org.