New England Natural Bakers near purchase of Deerfield site

For the Gazette
Friday, October 14, 2016

SOUTH DEERFIELD — New England Natural Bakers is close to breaking ground on the former Oxford Pickle site on Jewett Avenue.

The bakery’s Director of Operations Scott Johnson said negotiations between his business and the town are wrapping up, awaiting “a final closing date.”

“We’re just trying to work through the final details of the purchase,” Johnson said about the transfer of land, which has been owned by the town since 2008. Interim Town Administrator Douglass Finn confirmed that negotiations have been ongoing.

Johnson said there is not yet a date set for the groundbreaking. New England Natural Bakers decided to move to Deerfield after outgrowing its current building in Greenfield.

The years-long negotiating process dates back to 2008 when the town spent $1.7 million to buy the former Oxford Pickle Co. land after the plant closed in 2006 .

Six years later, New England Natural Bakers made an offer of $38,500 per acre, or about $366,000 total, on 9.35 acres of a 16.1-acre land parcel.

Also in 2014, the highway garage was built on four acres of the property.

In June 2015 the Select Board unanimously approved a design plan submitted by the bakers outlining a 56,000-square-foot prefabricated metal building, with an option to build a 20,000-square-foot addition within the next five to 10 years.