216 Appleton St.

Located directly across the canal from the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center and next to the Police station, 216 Appleton Street was formerly used as a wool combing operation for the manufacturing and storage of wool products, until Hart Wool Combing ceased operations in 1990. The property was then owned by Up With Downtown Inc. and used by Russell-Zuhl, a company specializing in products made from petrified wood. The building has laid empty for several years. The City took control of the property in November of 2011 due to non-payment of taxes, and since then has worked proactively on getting the property to be reused. In 2012, the City completed a reuse study of the building in partnership with MassDevelopment. Over the past several years, the City amassed and spent approximately $325,000 in cleanup funds and technical assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) to remove asbestos, lead and other hazardous materials from the building. In 2014, the City approved transfer of the property to the HRA, enabling the public corporation to accept and negotiate proposals for its redevelopment.

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