Canadian papermaker Domtar Corp. has sold its idled paper mill in Port Edwards, Wis., to Ohio-based DMI Acquisitions LLC. DMI Acquisitions is described in a Domtar news release as the Columbus, Ohio-based real estate investment and development division of metals recycling company DMI Metals Inc.
The Port Edwards mill has been closed since 2008. The sale includes all the remaining assets on the site, but does not include the adjacent hydroelectric facilities on the Wisconsin River that Domtar will continue to own and operate.
“Domtar has been working diligently with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other parties for several years to prepare the site and find the right purchaser for the Port Edwards assets,” says Mark Bessette, general manager of Domtar’s Nekoosa, Wis., mill. “We are pleased that DMI will bring new economic activity to the site, for the benefit of the community.”
“DMI believes that the 192-acre Port Edwards mill site, with its extensive rail facilities, is uniquely positioned for new warehouse and light manufacturing opportunities, particularly in the energy, agricultural and wood products markets," says DMI President DaMenga Weaver.
DMI began around 10 years ago and is a broker and recycler of ferrous and nonferrous metals. Michelle Moore, a spokeswoman for DMI, says the acquisition of Domtar’s buildings is the company’s first foray into the real estate market. “DMI wanted to diversify [into] the real estate business,” says Moore. “We looked for three years, and this is our first redevelopment project.”
The site includes a 900,000 square-foot production facility; 280,000 square feet of warehouse space; 141,000 square feet of office space and a 23,000 square-foot data center.
“We are working with the village [of Port Edwards],” says Moore. “We are doing a lot of listening right now,” she adds.
“With the closure of the Domtar paper mill in Port Edwards, the Village Board and staff has worked tirelessly on a community redevelopment plan,” the village government says on its website. “With a focus on existing infrastructure, labor and compatibility, Port Edwards has positioned itself to facilitate a wide variety of commercial, residential and industrial developments,” says the board.