PATERSON — A city contractor is ready to begin the demolition on an abandoned dye factory that looks like ruins from a war zone. The Leader Dye complex has been vacant for more than two decades and the eyesore looms over in a residential neighborhood near Madison and 3rd avenues. Some of the buildings of the complex remain standing, while others stand as skeletons, with walls missing and windows long-broken. Piles of bricks, wood and other debris are scattered around the property.
The demolition will cost about $1.1 million and is being paid for through a state grant, said Ruben Gomez, Paterson’s economic development director. As part of the contract, the debris from the buildings will be removed from the site, leaving it as a vacant lot, officials said. “That’s certainly good news,” said Councilman William McKoy, who represents the 3rd Ward where the abandoned factory is located.
Residents who live near the eyesore said they were glad to see the demolition signs go up during the past week. “This is a nice, clean neighborhood,” said Jose Reyes, who has lived for five years on the same block as the factory. “That’s the only problem.”
The City Council had approved the contract for the demolition in December but the work has been on hold until the city of Paterson took control of the property through foreclosure, Gomez said. That happened last week, he said.
The next step for the city is getting rid of the contamination at the site, Gomez said. The city has not yet determined how much that will cost, he said. McKoy said most of the problem seems to involve fuel oil, as opposed to chemicals. As the contamination gets addressed, the city plans to begin looking for a developer willing to build on the site, Gomez said. The city wants a mixed-use project at the location – one that includes both housing and commercial space, he said.