Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration is moving to auction off the former Leader Dye factory site on Madison Avenue.
Officials are hiring Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Company to conduct the auction for 94-124 Madison Avenue.
“That site has been derelict for a long period of time,” said economic development director Michael Powell on Tuesday night. “I want to think about the future, I want to think about how we can take a derelict land of two acres, and bring it back into productive use.”
The site has been appraised at $2.2 million.
Councilman Al Abdelaziz wondered whether the appraisal value should be made public. He feared making the information public could lead to the city receiving a lower price for the site at the auction.
Powell said the auction will take place in late May. The auctioneer will take 10 percent of the sale price.
“We all know that piece of land is going to impact the entire Riverside section, the entire community, depending on what we do there,” said councilman Alex Mendez, who represents the 3rd Ward where the site is located.
Councilman Michael Jackson raised questions about the demolition contract that was issued for the Leader Dye factory several years ago. He said the factory’s foundation and basement was never demolished by the contractor.
“The site wasn’t completed, the contract was paid in full,” said Jackson.
Powell said that occurred before his time. “I can’t fix what my predecessor did or didn’t do,” he said.
Powell said the city spent $1.1 million to demolish the crumbling factory. He said the city conducted an environmental assessment after the demolition.
“It’s not that bad,” said Powell of contamination. He said it will cost approximately $800,000 to remediate the contamination at the site.
Officials talked about auctioning the site in 2018, but never moved forward with it.
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