By JIMMY LAWTON
CANTON -- The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency recently moved into the newly established Canton Industrial Park near Triple A Building Center.
"We moved in the very last week of the year," said IDA Executive Director Patrick J. Kelly.
The 15,000 square foot building cost approximately $1.9 million. The IDA was awarded a $700,000 grant by the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency to help finance the project.
Kelly said the IDA uses about 3,000 square feet for its eight employees. An additional 3,000-square-foot area has been leased to the St. Lawrence Brewery, owned by Ken and Katrina Hebb, who also own the Blackbird Cafe.
Kelly said the idea to establish the Canton Industrial Park had been floating around for years, but moved forward when the county built a new jail.
"Our role was to develop the excess land," Kelly said.
Kelly said Canton is one of St. Lawrence County's more populated area and developing an industrial park made sense. He said locating the IDA offices in the park was a natural fit.
"We are a business development agency, so being in the business park makes sense for us," he said.
Kelly said Massena, Canton, Potsdam and Ogdensburg all have industrial parks. Currently a joint initiative between Clarkson, the River Agency and the IDA is underway to market the parks and other assets to potential employers.
Kelly said the building is not completely finished, but the majority of construction is done.
"We are putting the finishing touches on right now," he said.
The St. Lawrence Brewery is expected to open in early spring.
The building is located at 19 Commerce Lane near the new St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility.