WESTFIELD, N.Y. — The historic Welch's plant in Chautauqua County has new owners.
The Westfield Town Board approved the sale of the 1910 building to two developers, RANT, LLC, of St. Louis, Missouri, and Savarino Companies, which is based out of the Buffalo area.
The two companies plan to renovate four floors of the building into 24 one and two bedroom apartments. The apartments will range from 500 to 1,200 square feet. They hope to entice young professionals to the area.
In a statement from Ray Rybak, who is leading the development team, he said, "When we found the Welch’s building, we knew it was right for us. Our vision to create new residential units and needed commercial space, while repurposing an historic structure, aligned with the town’s goal of bringing this gem back to life in a meaningful way. It was a perfect fit."
Westfield Town Supervisor Martha Bills said of the sale,“Our actions also align with New York State’s policy goals of smart growth, preservation of downtown areas, development of waterfront access, historic preservation, smart streets, recreational trails, and other recommendations. The Town’s purchase of the Welch’s building and now its sale to the developer team is a win-win all the way around. We are excited about the possibilities the redevelopment of the building represents for our community’s future.”
The Town of Westfield will retain 12 acres of the property for public use, that already includes a little league field and creek front. The town says they also secured a $250,000 grant to build a 1.25 mile plant trail.
The 48,000 square foot building was once the headquarters for Welch's Foods until they moved to Massachusetts. The building is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic buildings.