BATH | A commercial auction will be held starting Monday for the former Philips Lighting manufacturing plant in Bath.
Bids will start at $450,000 for the 335,835-square foot facility on 72 acres at 7265 State Route 54.
The auction, being conducted by Ten-X.com, requires a $10,000 participation deposit to bid.
Steuben County Industrial Development Agency Director Jamie Johnson said he’s had conversations with potential bidders on how the IDA may be able to help a successful buyer.
Johnson said there seems to be serious interest in the property, which has now been vacant for five years.
“As it’s gotten closer to the actual sale date, there have been interested parties that have risen to the top,” he said. “They take this project seriously, and because of that we’re hopeful that there’s going to be a successful bidder.”
One of the things that has Johnson hopeful about a sale is a starting price that he thinks is attractive.
“I think if you look at what that facility offers, that’s a very good (starting) price, but the final price will be determined by the bidding,” Johnson said.
He noted that while the current assessment on the property, $3.35 million, is about double what it was in 2016, that increase doesn’t accurately reflect the tax burden for a potential buyer.
“The town did a revaluation, so that’s now at 100 percent equalization,” he said. “So that number is a little deceptive.”
Johnson said he believes it’s likely any buyer will subdivide the facility for multiple occupants and multiple uses.
“I think the likelihood of this being an owner/user proposition is probably not the direction that this is likely to go,” Johnson said. “My experience with other properties like this throughout my career, these larger, older-style manufacturing facilities don’t lend themselves to (that).
“A project that would use that amount of space at that level is few and far between anywhere in Upstate New York.”
But he noted that a number of smaller manufacturing operations are continuing to thrive around the region, and he’s hopeful that or some other use will bring activity and jobs to the former Philips site.
“We remain engaged with the brokerage community and are ready to work with Philips and any potential buyer,” Johnson said.
The facility shut down in 2014. In 2015, Philips reached an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Conservation on a plan to conduct a brownfield cleanup at the site.
The environmental remediation work was completed in 2016.