Psych Center Land Transfer Included in State Budget

Patty Ritchie

March 31, 2014

Ritchie Plan Would Transform Unused Parcel to Create Jobs

State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that the new State Budget will authorize the transfer of 45 acres of vacant land at the St. Lawrence Psych Center to the City of Ogdensburg as part of a broad plan to redevelop unused parcels at the site to create jobs.

“Hundreds of acres of prime real estate are sitting unused for decades at the Psych Center, and could be transformed to help stimulate our economy and create jobs,” Senator Ritchie said. “By authorizing this transfer, we are taking the first step to realizing the dream of returning this vacant land to the community, getting it back on the tax rolls and into productive reuse.”

The parcel, which abuts Route 37, between the OBPA industrial park and the Children and Youth Facility, is one of four eyed by the city for redevelopment. Working with Senator Ritchie, city officials have presented a plan to reclaim a total of 160 acres of the Psych Center campus and market it for commercial, industrial and residential development.

The plan would create hundreds of new construction and permanent jobs.

The State Budget gives the city up to one year to complete the transfer from the state.

“For decades, as the state withdrew from land and building at the Psych Center campus, this land has remained tied up under Albany’s control, unavailable to the local community or for redevelopment that can help grow the North Country’s economy,” Senator Ritchie said.

“Thanks to strong community support, and the hard work of city leaders, we have been able to convince Albany to return this property to Ogdensburg under a plan that could become a model for similar sites all across the state, involving unused state land that can be transformed  to create jobs,” Senator Ritchie said.

Senator Ritchie unveiled the land transfer plan earlier this year, following the community’s successful effort to preserve hundreds of jobs at the Psych Center.

She was able to include the plan in the Senate’s list of budget priorities, and has now been able to gain support for including the transfer in the final State Budget, which is expected to be approved Monday.

The Senator said she would continue to work with local and state officials to win the transfer of the remaining three parcels, including frontage along the St. Lawrence River that would be ideal for residential development.