By JOHN PURCELL
Recorder News Staff
Commercial activity could return to the former Mohasco mill site if a proposed land sale and development are realized.
Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency Board members voted 5-1 Wednesday evening to sign a Letter of Intent with Print Bear, LLC, the parent company of Sticker Mule, to purchase the former Mohasco property for $100,000. The Letter of Intent between AIDA and Print Bear establishes preliminary terms and conditions for the property sale. Print Bear is reportedly connected with Noteworthy, according to AIDA officials.
“This is something that I think is going to be a changing point for Amsterdam,” AIDA Board President Pasquale “Pat” Baia said. “I think this is going to be a real benefit to the city as far as creating new jobs and using a site that’s been vacant as far as I can remember.”
AIDA Board Vice Chairman Gerald Gallup cast the sole vote against the signing the agreement. Gallup said Friday he was not necessarily opposed to selling the property to Print Bear, but he did not agree with the terms and conditions laid out to date.
AIDA Board Treasurer Michael Rossi abstained from voting, because his private company has a relationship with the buyer.
Baia said selling the property to Print Bear, with Noteworthy owning the adjoining property, was an “obvious choice.” He was confident Print Bear would follow through with any agreement reached, because of the success and reputation of Noteworthy.
“Noteworthy is a successful company that is growing and we’d like to be a part of efforts that make them grow,” Baia said. “They have an excellent track record in hiring employees, it seems to be a great place to work and we’re excited about being part of the solution by being able to allocate this land to them.”
Linette Waling, vice president of Operations for Sticker Mule, said the company is “growing quickly and aims to be the best place to work in Amsterdam.”
“We are committed to providing an outstanding factory environment where talented people can work and look forward to continued expansion in the coming years,” Waling said in an email.
Waling declined to discuss if or how Print Bear is connected to Noteworthy.
Sticker Mule specializes in manufacturing custom stickers, labels, magnets, buttons and packaging. Sticker Mule customers have included Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Facebook, Twitter and Netflix, according to its website.
Waling declined to provide an estimate Friday regarding the number of jobs the project could potentially create.
Waling said Sticker Mule is actively hiring and she encouraged anyone interested to visit www.stickermule.com/jobs to apply for an open position.
A purchase agreement between AIDA and Print Bear for the former Mohasco property will be negotiated and finalized within 30 days, according to the Letter of Intent. Print Bear would then have 30 days after the agreement is finalized to determine if the property is free from “environmental conditions which would interfere with the use and operation” proposed.
The Letter of Intent marks a shift in how AIDA had thought about developing the roughly 20-acre property, which the city had transferred ownership to the agency.
In May, AIDA contracted with John M. McDonald Engineering to develop a concept plan for the vacant property. The plan was meant to provide a pathway not only for developing the site, but potentially breaking the property into several parcels.
AIDA Executive Director Jody Zakrevsky had said multiple businesses expressed interest in constructing a small manufacturing building — roughly 10,000 to 15,000 square feet each — at the property.
The proposed sale to Print Bear includes the entire property, according to Baia.
AIDA board member Joseph Emanuele III in May said the agency was focused on developing the eastern portion of the property off Forest Avenue rather than the entire property. The eastern portion of the property abuts the southern bank of the Chuctanunda Creek. A significant portion of the property falls along the northern bank of the creek.
Redeveloping the site was difficult before the city demolished the Esquire Novelties building in 2013 after it fell into disrepair. The structure sat in the middle of the area AIDA had targeted for redevelopment.
Prior mapping had identified soil across some areas of the property provides an inadequate foundation for a building. These areas are primarily located where buildings were demolished, but the portion AIDA had targeted for development did not have this issue.