Former Texaco Site Still on Market

One of the buildings on the Glenham Mills campus; Chevron is still searching for a buyer for the site.

One of the buildings on the Glenham Mills campus; Chevron is still searching for a buyer for the site. (Photo provided)

Cleanup continues at 153-acre property near Beacon 

Glenham Mills, the sprawling former campus of the Texaco Research Center, remains for sale, more than three years after its owner, Chevron, began seeking offers. 

As in 2020, when the company first advertised it, there is no price tag attached to the parcel. Dutchess County tax records assess the campus, which abuts Beacon’s northeast boundary, at $3.47 million. 

The 153-acre property, in the shadow of Fishkill Ridge, was the research center headquarters for nearly 70 years, until it closed in 2003.

“We continue to market the site to local and regional developers,” said Charles Fontenot, a Chevron representative, on Wednesday (Aug. 30). Fontenot said the company, which merged with Texaco in 2003, has had talks with developers but would not disclose details. 

The site is located in the Town of Fishkill on its border with Beacon. In a newsletter to residents in July, Fishkill officials said potential buyers had shown interest “mainly for the purpose of using the property for residential development.” Chevron will alert surrounding municipalities “if we get to a final phase,” Fontenot said. 

A map shows the location (in gray) of the former Texaco site.

A map shows the location (in gray) of the former Texaco site. (Glenhammills.com)

After Texaco purchased the site in 1931, a self-contained community — complete with its own water supply and sewage treatment plant, as well as its own newspaper — sprung up around the more than 1,000 employees of the research center, a facility that developed and produced high-performance aviation gasolines and other industrial products. But decades of dumping chemicals near Fishkill Creek, which, along with Metro-North’s dormant Beacon rail line, divides the property, had taken its toll by the time the center closed 20 years ago.

Since then, New York State has worked with Chevron to create a plan to remediate particulate metals and other pollutants before the site can be redeveloped. According to Fontenot, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has approved feasibility studies for cleaning up three of nine segments, known as “operable units,” of the land. 

The company hopes DEC will soon issue a “remedial action plan” for those three units. The agency is reviewing Chevron’s study of another segment, and the company plans to submit a third study to the state by the end of the year, he said. 

While it is addressing environmental concerns with the state, Chevron has polled community members regarding development plans. A series of public meetings in 2017 and 2018 led to a 150-page report that includes, along with historical information, sketches of four redevelopment scenarios. (See glenhammills.com.)

Each option includes residential and commercial development clustered on the northern half of the parcel, near Route 52, which Chevron called the “most heavily disturbed” portion of the old Texaco campus. One of the scenarios would preserve the “Back 93” acres south of Washington Avenue — once used by Texaco employees for recreation — as open space, while the other three would allow varying degrees of development, most of it residential, in that area.

While preparing the report, Chevron said in 2018 that it would approach builders with experience in comparable projects. The company pivoted before the pandemic shutdown; now, if the site is sold, the new owner could use Chevron’s report to guide redevelopment efforts, although it would not be bound by it. 

Any proposal would be subject to review by the Town of Fishkill. However, Glenham Elementary School, which is in Fishkill but is part of the Beacon City School District, is less than a half-mile away, so the impacts of residential development could spill over there, as well. 

On Wednesday, Fishkill Supervisor Ozzy Albra said that he opposes high-density residential redevelopment on the site, and he believes most town residents would agree with his position. The property is zoned for industrial use, and Albra pointed to the town’s successful defense in 2021 of a lawsuit seeking permission to build 500 apartments along Route 9D as evidence that Fishkill does not need scores of new housing units. 

Fontenot said the company is committed to continuing public informational meetings at least twice annually while Chevron owns the site. About 40 people attended the most recent meeting, held in July at the Slater Chemical firehouse. 

Fontenot noted that Chevron, which is headquartered in San Ramon, California, and its partners continue to support the surrounding community, including through donations to the Blodgett Memorial Library, where site records can be found; the Glenham Fire Department and the Beacon school district’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program. 

When asked Wednesday if he is frustrated that the site remains unsold, Albra said: “I want to make sure whatever is placed there is done right, and the remediation that’s done there is done effectively. That’s my main concern.”

One thought on “Former Texaco Site Still on Market

  1. I would love to see the land used for a company that wants to bring good jobs to the people who already live in the area. We don’t need more residential and children attending the Beacon school district. How about a sports dome so our kids can practice and play indoors in the winter without having to drive a half hour? [via Facebook]

Leave a Reply

The Current welcomes comments on its coverage and local issues. All online comments are moderated, must include your full name and may appear in print. See our guidelines here.