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S. Deerfield prepares for sale of pickle property

Recorder/Peter MacDonald
Site of the former Oxford pickle factory behind the town garage in South Deerfield

Recorder/Peter MacDonald Site of the former Oxford pickle factory behind the town garage in South Deerfield Purchase photo reprints »

Outgoing Town Administrator Bernie Kubiak said he will complete a plot plan for the land this week. Interim Town Administrator Wendy Foxmyn will then finish the request for proposal by the beginning of July.

The Select Board initially announced plans to sell the 16.3-acre property on Jewett Avenue in February.

With a sale, the town could see $40,000 added back to its tax rolls each year.

Whether it could be a housing complex, a shopping center or another pickle producer is up to developers to propose.

The Select Board has no specific use in mind. Instead, it will allow any potential buyer to propose a broad range of uses and get the permits within six months.

Though the process could move quickly, any proposal is still subject to contractual obligations in the deed and review by the Select Board.

So far, there is no asking price.

In 2006, the factory closed and the property was priced at $2.2 million.

In 2007, the town took out a $1.7 million loan to buy the property with the hopes of developing it.

Construction of a 15,500-square-foot town highway garage is under way beside the town’s existing garage on 2.5 acres of the property.

The vacant property marked a stark contrast from its years as a bustling pickle factory with its strong smells often wafting through the village of South Deerfield.

Since 1896 under different owners, the factory produced and packed pickles. In recent years it employed 65 workers.

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