PaperAge Magazine

Brownfield Redeveloper to Allow Industry Tours of Shuttered Fort Frances Paper Mill

Fort Frances paper mill Formerly owned by Resolute Forest Products, the Fort Frances mill was idled in January of 2014, then permanently closed in May of that year. The mill, located in Fort Francis, Ontario, Canada, produced commercial printing papers and kraft pulp.

The following is an excerpt from a story that appears on Northern Ontario Business website, “Riversedge signs “olive branch” agreement with Fort Frances”.

Oct. 7, 2019 - A kind of détente has been achieved between the Town of Fort Frances and the new owners of the former Resolute Forest Products pulp and paper mill.

The numbered company linked to Riversedge Developments has opened a 90-day window of opportunity for interested companies to take an inside peek of the shuttered mill buildings to determine if a return to manufacturing is possible.

The municipality and Riversedge, the Waterloo-based brownfield redeveloper, issued a joint release on Oct. 3 of an agreement that will settle the issue of close to a half-million dollars in unpaid property taxes in exchange for allowing outside suitors to tour the mill.

“I take it as a win,” said Mayor June Caul. “It gives us another three months to try to flush out somebody who might be an interested buyer.”

Resolute closed the operation in 2014, resulting in the loss of 150 jobs.

In the years after, the town had been pushing for the plant to be returned to paper production, while gradually developing a distrustful and acrimonious relationship with the Montreal-headquartered papermaking giant.

The northwestern Ontario border community has been championing a potential startup company, Rainy River Packaging, to buy the property, which only agitated Resolute which prefers a confidential sales process.

Riversedge Developments, Resolute's preferred choice, later acquired the mill along with several area properties in July.

Fearing Riversedge would demolish the mill, the town said it would refuse the company a demolition permit and months later went after the brownfield redeveloper for unpaid property taxes by issuing a seizure notice.

In early September, . . .

The complete story is available on Northern Ontario Business website:
» Riversedge signs "olive branch" agreement with Fort Frances

SOURCE: Northern Ontario