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Abitibi paper mill site in Steilacoom sold

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on June 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm with No Comments »
June 6, 2013 11:37 am

The former site of an Abitibi-Consolidated paper mill on Chambers Creek in Steilacoom is in new hands.

The shuttered Abitibi-Consolidated paper mill in Steilacoom in 2006 before buildings were razed.
The shuttered Abitibi-Consolidated paper mill in Steilacoom in 2006 before buildings were razed.

The former industrial site, now missing most of the machinery and buildings used to create newsprint for some 80 years, sold last month to a development group based in Tacoma.

The paper mill, which had been owned by several forest products companies during its life, halted production in 2000. More than 170 workers were laid off.

Falls Development Group  is the site’s new owner, said Steilacoom Town Administrator Paul Loveless.  Loveless said he met with the new owner, George Heidgerken, and his planner, Jon Potter, about two weeks ago.

Neither disclosed their plans for the site on Chambers Creek Road West. Heidgerken couldn’t be reached Wednesday afternoon.

Falls Development bought the property from Chambers Creek LLC, a group headed by Oregon investor Tim Ralston.  Ralston bought the property after Abitibi went bankrupt three years ago.

Ralston sold the upper part of the site to the Steilacoom Historical School District for possible high school expansion and salvaged much of the machinery and buildings for scrap.

Heidgerken is the owner with others of several unusual properties in the South Sound including Tacoma’s former main post office and federal courthouse downtown and the former Olympia Brewery in the state capital.

The site is zoned industrial, said Loveless.  Any plans to build housing on the waterview site would require a zoning change.

Conservation groups in the past have expressed interest in the site, but haven’t raised the funds to buy it.  The mill property sits adjacent to Chambers Creek, a salmon-producing stream.


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