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Heard on the Street: Seneca sells off land as it closes canning plant

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The Seneca Foods ear of corn water tower has been part of the Rochester skyline since 1931.
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In the wake of shutting down its once bustling Med City canning operation, Seneca Foods Corp.has sold off 71 acres of Rochester land for $641,500.

Seneca’s canning facility at 1217 Third Ave. SE is quiet these days, though its frozen distribution center is staying open.

The Marion, N.Y.-based food processor previously reported to the State of Minnesota that 65 full-time workers and 300 seasonal ones will lose their jobs by the end of the year. The 180 people working at the frozen foods facility at 330 20th St. SE will keep their jobs.

Two major questions so far unanswered by the company are what will happen to the sprawling canning complex and the iconic 50,000-gallon "Ear of Corn" water tower. The water tower has stood next to the vegetable processing plant, since 1931.

Seneca did, however, sell off two parcels totaling 71 acres of open fields near the frozen distribution center, where it has sprayed waste water and sludge for decades.

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The company sold the land to Debra R. Kaldenberg, of Rochester, for $641,500. Thomas Kaldenbergoriginally sold the land to Seneca in 1999 for $598,080.

The tradition of vegetable canning in Rochester dates back to Reid-Murdoch and Co.who first started it in 1929. Libby, McNeil and Libby Inc.acquired the operation in 1948. Seneca purchased the Rochester facilities in 1982.

Related Topics: CORNFOOD
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