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S. Deerfield seeks ideas for Oxford Food site development

SOUTH DEERFIELD — By the end of January, the town could see what potential developers have in mind for the former Oxford Food site on Jewett Avenue.

The town is issuing a request for proposals due Jan. 31.

Interested developers are able to propose a broad range of uses from a housing complex to a shopping center or mixed use and the Board of Selectmen would pick which proposal it believes benefits the community the most.

There is no asking price so far.

Because the land is within an expedited permitting zone, developers could get the permits to transfer the lot into a place of business within 180 days.

The town purchased the 12.9 acres in 2008 to reuse the site in a way that would boost the local economy. The selectmen will pick the developer.

The site was home to a pickle factory for 110 years until 2006. The town lost $40,000 in annual property taxes.

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

Since then, the town has begun construction of a 15,500-square-foot highway garage on part of the former factory property.

Prospective developers must give information about price, use of the property, proposed buildings, jobs, taxes, community impact and evidence of the developer’s financial capacity.

The town will hold a briefing at the town offices at 11 a.m. on Dec. 11. followed by a site visit.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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