Eagle Mill complex in Lee back on market for $975,000


This article was updated on Monday: The Eagle Mill property in Lee is currently on the market for $975,000, according to the real estate broker, and not $1.1 million as the online listing states. The current owners paid over $750,000 for the parcel when the cost of equipment is added in.

LEE -- Four years after they bought the property, the group that was interested in developing the former Eagle Mill complex on West Center Street has put it back on the market.

The former paper mill is being offered for $975,000 by the Berkshire County Realty.

James Quinn of Westerlo, N.Y., the principal owner of prospective developer Eagle Mill Enterprises, bought the 6.4-acre parcel on the Housatonic River for $450,000 from Schweitzer-Mauduit International Inc. in 2008. With the equipment included, Eagle Mill Enterprises paid more than $750,000 for the property.

The Eagle Mill was one of three paper mills that Schweitzer Mauduit closed in Lee in 2008 that put 170 people out of work.

Quinn, who was also a pilot, died in August in a plane crash in Clifton Park, N.Y.

The prospective development group's contractor, David Jelenik of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was charged with income tax evasion in January 2012, according to reports in two New York state newspapers.

A hearing in Jelenik's case is scheduled for Dec. 4 in Saratoga City Court, according to the Saratoga County District Attorney's office.

Although the former mill only recently went back on the market, Eagle Mill Enterprises had been considering selling the parcel for some time, said the property's listing agent, James McRory. Quinn's untimely death hastened that process.

"It put more emphasis on it," McRory said.

The group's preliminary development plans for the 150,000-square-foot complex included 40 affordable housing units, 10 market rate housing units, and a mix of retail enterprises, professional and office space, eating establishments and studio space.

The housing units, designed to border the river, were expected to replace prefabricated buildings located on the parcel's western edge.

When Eagle Mill Enter prises presented its preliminary plans to town officials in March 2010, Jelenik said the group hoped to be able to file an official proposal by the end of that year.

But Select Board member David Consolati said the group's initial ideas were more "conceptual" than realistic, and never came to fruition.

"A lot of it was a bit over the top," Consolati said on Friday. "They had some pretty high end plans that really didn't meet with reality.

"It was just one of those things," he said. "When it came time to try and get all those things together, it just didn't work out."

Consolati said the town is still interested in pursuing a mixed use development at the former mill complex, which dates back to 1806. He cited the proposed redevelopment of the Monument Mills complex in Housatonic into a mix of professional and residential space as an example.

"We're open to any ideas that anyone has," he said. "There's a lot of state money for economic development out there."

The Eagle Mill is the second largest commercial property in Lee that's currently for sale. The Lee Corporate Center on Pleasant Street, a 116,000-square-foot warehouse, is on the market for $1.5 million.


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