Plans include retail, residential for old Canajoharie Beech-Nut site

CANAJOHARIE – For years, the massive empty buildings have been deteriorating. It’s a reminder of the hit Canajoharie took when Beech-Nut left.

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The site is in a prime location, just off I-90.

Demolition is underway, after work was approved last year.

“This is the complicated side,” said Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort. “This is the older side. This was building built upon building built upon building, going back to 1900.”

He unveiled a glimpse of the future, with thanks to New York State for support.

The million-dollar project for the western part along Church and East Main Streets includes some residential, some commercial, and walkways, green spaces, and a gathering place along the Canajoharie Creek.

“It’s about connecting the park on the river up with the trail through the site, engaging the community in the site, and also have it connect to the canalway bike path and the canalway trail, the downtown,” said Ossenfort.

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Across the creek, cannabis facility E29 Labs is poised for the 19 acres on the eastern side.

“We’re just waiting for the licensing to open up for the recreational marijuana and processing license and once that goes in place, E29 labs is set to submit an application and we’re extremely optimistic that hopefully they’ll be one of the first ones that are funded through that licensing process,” said Ken Rose, CEO of the Montgomery County Business Development Center.

Beech-Nut was a focal point for Canajoharie.

“It was a place that offered people a chance to provide for their families, buy their first home, retire, and that was the cycle for many years,” said Canajoharie Councilman Eddie Watt.

Officials hope the new space will move the community forward.

Demolition on the western side is expected to be completed by winter.