Press Release

Gillibrand Pushes for Massena, NY to be Designated CSX Select Site

May 17, 2013

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today urged the CSX Corporation to choose Massena, New York for their Select Site Program. The program certifies rail-served sites that are capable of accommodating larger, rail-served industrial end-users.  CSX Select Sites are the first premium certified rail-sites focused on industrialization. In order to receive the designation, sites will have to comply with certain criteria such as land control, infrastructure and utility availability, environmental and cultural reviews, wetlands delineation, appropriate zoning and entitlement, rail serviceability, and proximity to highways or interstates.  RACER Trust, submitter of the CSX Select Site application, has been actively working with the Massena community to repurpose and redevelop the site of the former Massena Powertrain Plant. 

“Recent industrial developments and close proximity to Northeastern and Canadian markets makes Massena a qualified candidate for the CSX Select Site designation,” said Senator Gillibrand. “RACER Trust has been an integral part of demonstrating the North Country’s commitment to industrial development and expansion. This designation will highlight the region’s assets to potential new companies that could call the former Powertrain Plant site a new home, bringing more work and jobs for the area’s well trained industrial workforce.”

“This truly great news for Massena,” said Joseph D. Gray, Massena Town Supervisor. “On behalf of our residents and the Town Council, I would like to thank the folks at RACER trust for their hard work promoting this site and our community. This property is a great site with lots of development potential. We’re anxious to show what Massena has to offer to a future developer.”

“This is a great opportunity to highlight the many benefits of doing business in the Massena area, and we support RACER’s efforts wholeheartedly,” said St. Lawrence County Legislator Tony Arquiett, chairman of the North Country Redevelopment Task Force. “RACER has been a strong advocate and partner for economic development and jobs in the North Country, and a CSX Select designation for the former GM property is an important step toward strengthening our local economy. We thank Senator Gillibrand for her active participation in this process and work to advance the interests of the North Country.”

“The RACER Trust appreciates Senator Gillibrand’s leadership and support for our application,” said Patricia Spitzley, Deputy Redevelopment Manager of the RACER Trust and leader of the Trust’s initiative to seek the CSX Select designation. “Designation as a CSX Select site would send a very clear and strong message to the market that CSX joins RACER in recognizing the substantial amenities available at our Massena property, including access to low-cost bulk hydro-power, immediate access to an international border crossing to Canada, a superior workforce and of course excellent rail service. CSX would be a welcomed and valuable partner in our efforts to attract new jobs, investment and other lasting benefits to Massena and the North Country.”


The former Massena Powertrain Plant, a 217.2-acre property, is in close proximity to easily accessible transportation facilities.  The deep-water port in Ogdensburg, New York provides the facility with direct access to Northeastern United States and Canada.  Additionally, some of North America’s cleanest, cheapest power is readily available at the international hydroelectric St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project, which spans the U.S.-Canadian border at Massena. 


In her letter to the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of CSX Corporation, Michael J. Ward, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “I believe these assets make this site fully capable of accommodating larger, rail-served industrial end-users, positioning it as a perfect fit for CSX’s Certified Rail-Served Sites Select Site Program. If successful in securing this designation, the Massena site will be even better positioned to attract new industrial operations, with CSX’s program further helping communities prepare properties to compete for new investment and job creation.”


Attached is Senator Gillibrand’s complete letter to the CSX Chairman Ward.