Two properties at the former site of Vacuum Oil on Flint Street in Rochester, once the target of redevelopment by Thomas Masaschi’s DHD Ventures and an area still beset by environmental contamination, have been sold.
ExxonMobil purchased 15 Flint St. for $995,000 and 5 Flint St. for $280,000 from One Flint St LLC, an entity managed by Masaschi.
Masaschi was ordered in March of 2022 to sell the properties as part of foreclosure proceedings initiated by Henrietta-based lender U.S. Income Partners, which claimed he or entities under his management defaulted on more than $20 million in high-interest loans. Masaschi in turn had filed a countersuit.
Both the foreclosure action on the Flint Street properties, as well as the countersuit, were terminated when the sales deeds were filed on Aug. 31 with the Monroe County Clerk’s Office, court papers show.
ExxonMobil is the successor of Vacuum Oil, which operated a refinery and oil blending facility on the site from around 1866 to 1935. An environmental site assessment report prepared in 2012 for the city of Rochester revealed significant environmental contamination of soil and groundwater from volatile organic compounds, metals and other materials.
City officials have been working in earnest for nearly two decades to find a way to clean up the brownfields and spur development of the property. Right now the site prevents a connection between the Brooks Landing and Plymouth-Exchange neighborhoods, and prime riverfront property is wasted.
The city owns much of the former Vacuum Oil site that surrounds 5 and 15 Flint St. Remediation costs would likely be close to $20 million.
ExxonMobil didn’t provide any details on their plans for the properties, but a spokesperson said the company intends to help with remediation.
“ExxonMobil takes its environmental responsibilities seriously,” spokesperson Lauren Kight said. “We’re working to progress cleanup of the site. We’re also actively identifying parties who can develop the site and return it to beneficial use for the community.”
City officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how the sale of properties may impact development.
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