Saratoga County

Victory Mill environmental cleanup plan proposed; Project to turn Saratoga County site into apartments

Historic mill has a variety of contaminants from 150-year industrial use
Victory Mills in the village of Victory in the town of Saratoga.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Victory Mills in the village of Victory in the town of Saratoga.

Categories: News, Saratoga County

VICTORY — Plans to rehabilitate the historic former Victory Mills industrial site in the village of Victory into apartments with an on-site microbrewery have advanced to the point where an environmental cleanup is under active discussion.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is reviewing plans for a brownfield cleanup at the old mill on Gates Avenue, which was used for various industrial purposes for more than 150 years, from 1846 until about 2000. There is known soil and groundwater contamination, but the full extent has yet to be investigated.

Regan Development of Ardsley, Westchester County, plans to spend an estimated $60 million to clean up the site, restore and renovation the building and turn it into 186 apartments with a micro-brewery on site. It has applied to DEC for brownfield cleanup tax credits and submitted a plan for a detailed environmental investigation.

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Regan Development’s plans have already won the backing of village and town officials and a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes approval from the Saratoga County Industrial Agency — but all are contingent on the environmental cleanup.

The 230,00-square-foot, five-story mill has long been the dominant structure in the tiny village at the eastern edge of Saratoga County, but it is currently in dilapidated condition, with the building identified as having asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint and mold growth.

Known contaminants at the 6.6-acre site include semi-volatile organic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metal. But further investigation will be needed before DEC decides what kind of cleanup will be needed, DEC officials said.

This isn’t the first effort to redevelop the property, but the Regan plan appears to be moving forward more than a previous effort that stalled for lack of financing.

Long Island developer Uri Kaufman bought it out of tax foreclosure in 2008 with a vision of converting it into 98 upscale apartments, but apparently had been unable to make the financing work. The plan languished and the mill deteriorated to the point that the village sued him in early 2018, seeking to force demolition. Kaufman signed an agreement to sell to Regan Development later that year, and Regan has moved forward with pursuing needed approvals for its plans.

The state brownfields program allows developers to get tax credits for cleanup work if it is part of a site redevelopment project.

Over 20 years, Regan Development has developed more than two dozen apartment projects in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The company did not respond Thursday to an emailed request for comment.

The environmental remediation plan will be available at the document repository at Schuylerville Public Library, 52 Ferry St., Schuylerville, N.Y. 12871, once the library reopens.

There are several ways to comment on BCP applications. Comments can be submitted to the site project manager Jared Donaldson at NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7015; via email at [email protected] or by calling 518-402-9625. The comment deadline is May 29.

Reach staff writer Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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