HomeTechCroatian food tech company targets former Amsterdam paper mill for multi-use project

Croatian food tech company targets former Amsterdam paper mill for multi-use project

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On Friday, Mayor Michael Cinquanti announced the Croatian food tech company and craft bakery’s intent to bring a state-of-the-art production plant to the city as part of a $22 million project remediating and rehabbing the former paper mill site at 58-62 Forest Ave.

A project representative is expected to provide more in-depth details during a public hearing at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at City Hall on a $2 million Restore New York grant application the city will submit to support the proposed plans.


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“It’s going to be a destination as well as a production facility. It’s perfect for our city,” Cinquanti said.

Not wanting to upstage the company, Cinquanti provided only a brief description of plans for the site by Boogie Lab ahead of next week’s presentation.

The company’s core mission is to craft delicious and sustainable products, minimizing waste, while giving back to the community. Its first micro bakery is expected to open in New York City sometime this spring.

In Amsterdam, the existing mill building on Forest Avenue would be completely overhauled and converted into a facility for the production of artisanal bread products made by Boogie Lab using traditional techniques and advanced technology.

Spent grain would be upcycled for use at a brewpub proposed on site. A restaurant and retail store would also be created through the mixed-use project.


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City officials showed project representatives a number of sites over the past year before their interest ultimately focused on reusing the former mill.

“It has all of the elements necessary for a business in this city at this time to be successful. Our location is huge, they want to distribute bread around the country from this location. The architecture of the building is perfect for what they want to do,” Cinquanti said.

There are still many steps involved before the project moves forward. A formal agreement for the city-owned property has yet to be reached. The city acquired the property through foreclosure in 2016.

It was disclosed last month that a business had issued a non-binding letter of intent to potentially buy and restore the former mill site. The name of the company was not previously revealed. The impending grant application finally made it necessary to divulge the plans.

“We are at a point now where these people have shown a huge commitment and are ready to move forward and we are going to be helping them every step of the way,” Cinquanti said.


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Additional state and federal funding is expected to be sought to assist with remediating the brownfield site and performing a full gut rehabilitation of the former mill. Cinquanti was unsure what level of funding would be needed for the estimated $22 million project to be greenlit, but noted the company will have “skin in the game.”

The city is expected to have environmental testing performed at the federal Superfund site to determine the level of remediation required as part of any reuse plans. A $300,000 grant from the state Department of State will fund site testing at the Forest Avenue property and two other brownfield sites.

The former paper mill dating back to the 1800s was most recently operated by Sonoco until the plant closed in 1998. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency previously identified acetone, benzene, ethylbenzene, naphthalene, toluene and xylene as potential contaminants of concern at the site.


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Additionally, Cinquanti acknowledged the impact of the project on traffic at the nearby Five Corners intersection on Route 67 would have to be studied to potentially develop mitigation measures should plans advance.

If the project comes to fruition, Cinquanti said the proposal by Boogie Lab would clean up the long-blighted property and transform it into a productive site once more, creating jobs and contributing to economic development in the city.

“We are excited to have this opportunity for our city and we will work very hard and do what we can do to make it happen,” Cinquanti said. “It’s going to be years, not months.”

Representatives for Boogie Lab did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.


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