Ownership of the Amerbelle Textiles property on East Main Street has been transferred to a developer that specializes in "adaptive reuse" projects.
It had been owned by the locally based non-profit Hockanum Industrial Development & Venture Corp. Town officials, after a recent tour of the property, said major sections of the campus, which stretches from 104 East Main St. to 5 Brooklyn St., were unsafe and were recommending demolition. The Town Council had set aside $75,000 to keep the buildings safe over the winter while future plans were being worked out.
Late Friday morning, HIDVC President Gary Wolff announced said that the non-profit company, composed of "volunteers from the Vernon area," has transferred its interest in the property to Bridgepoint Funding Alliance, LLC.
The closing took place on Thursday, according to property transfer records in the town clerk's office.
Bridgepoint has a 1 Gold St. address in Hartford, according to a real estate conveyance tax form.
"The acquiring entity is comprised of experienced developers familiar with adaptive reuse projects of this magnitude," Wolff said in a news release. "We believe the developers commitment to tackling several challenges that are currently adversely affecting the property is in the best interest of the Town of Vernon."
He added, "More information will be made available by the developer when the time is appropriate."
Wolff continued, "Since receiving word of Amerbelle Textiles anticipated closing back in June, just four short months ago, we have continued to work in accordance with our bylaws to redevelop and market industrial distressed properties that need to find a new home in the for profit marketplace. We thank the town for the confidence they have had in us for the past 15 years, and are excited about the future redevelopment of this site."
Vernon Economic Development Coordinator Shaun Gately deferred comment to Wolff's news release.
According to Wikipedia, Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for.
It is a common term in brownfield reclamation projects.
Town officials said the tern "brownfield" needs to be used loosely in the case of Amerbelle. Mayor George Apel said this week that cleanup at the property would be minor, but "typical" of a factory from that period.
Amerbelle sates back to just after the Civil War.