20200512-LOC-Troy Mills filer

Troy Mills, as seen in July 2005.

TROY — The Troy Redevelopment Group has found a buyer for the old Troy Mills complex.

During its meeting Thursday, video of which was posted to Facebook, the redevelopment group announced it had received an offer from the New York City-based management firm Cougar Capital to purchase the property for $288,000.

“It is subject to a number of things,” Richard H. Thackston III, chairman of the Troy Board of Selectmen and a member of the redevelopment group, said during the meeting. “The buyer has until Aug. 1 to do some physical and financial due diligence on the property, at which time we would execute a full contract on it, with the intent of closing by Oct. 1.”

The Monadnock Street facility would be converted into residential units, according to the letter of intent submitted by Cougar Capital. The firm is planning to renovate the property and create 135 apartments.

Thackston told The Sentinel that a different developer had previously expressed interest in turning the property into apartments, originally pitching a plan to build condominiums at the site in 2005, but the plan fell through.

“The Troy Mills is a great site and it is a shame that the previous developer was unable to bring his vision to life,” Cougar Capital said in its letter of intent. The letter goes on to lay out the firm’s plans to seek various tax breaks, including New Markets Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits, to bring the project to fruition.

If all goes according to plan, the firm is aiming for a fall 2021 groundbreaking and expects to spend a total of $30 million. A $1,000 deposit would be paid to the town on acceptance of the terms of the agreement, and an additional $19,000 would be paid upon the completion of a purchase and sale agreement. The balance would be paid in full at closing.

Thackston said Cougar Capital has experience converting old mill buildings into apartments. According to its letter, the firm has closed more than 100 deals over the past decade and owns and operates more than 700 apartment complexes across New England.

Converting former mill buildings into apartment complexes has become a popular way to re-purpose them. Last fall, Brady Sullivan Keene Properties completed its transformation of the Colony Mill property on West Street into high-end apartments.

Thackston said Troy has a significant need for new housing, a problem which he noted has been felt in communities across the region. He said he expects the apartments to be market-rate, as opposed to specialty housing.

The current complex comprises several buildings constructed between 1920 and 1995, Thackston said, adding that the mill got its start producing horse blankets for the Union Army during the Civil War. At its peak, he said, the mill employed some 500 people.

Over the years, the facility transitioned into a leading producer of automotive fabrics, most recently making materials for Toyota and Ford. The mill closed its doors in the early 2000s and filed for bankruptcy two years later.

The property was given to the town due to a significant amount of back taxes, Thackston explained. The town then created the Troy Redevelopment Group, which was established to find a buyer for the property.

The group filed for bankruptcy in 2016 after dissolving in 2015, following controversy regarding the last attempt to develop the former mill. It re-formed last year and includes the town’s three selectmen as members, Thackston, Tim Byrnes and Curtis Hopkins.

“I’m glad someone wants to invest in Troy ... it bodes well for our region as a whole,” Thackston said. “There’s people interested in coming here and doing things, investing millions in capital, and people from outside can see that this market represents an opportunity for growth.”

Mia Summerson can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1435, or msummerson@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @MiaSummerson