The overall plan for the former St. Mary’s paper site might be changing due to a restructuring at the top. Mill Square, that was once an interest of Riversedge Developments has now fallen into new hands, SaultOnline.com has learned.
Justus Veldmen, who is the owner of Riversedge Developments, a property-development company based in Woodstock, Ont told SaultOnline.com in mid-December that the project has been “challenging” citing difference in opinion in regards to the overall plan for the site that includes the Machine Shop and the Pulp tower which would have been used for Destination North – a new tourist attraction focusing on the history of the area.
Local businessmen, Tony Porco of the SIS group along with Paul Veldmen are now the people behind the revitalization of the once-industrial site. Work on the site has come to a stop. Tom Dodds, CEO of the Sault Economic Development Corp. told SaultOnline.com that negotiations surrounding the development was taking place last month but could not provide any details.
Justus Veldman confirmed to SaultOnline.com in December that negotiations were on-going with an Ontario Numbered Company owned by Porco. Those negotiations led to new ownership of the Machine Shop, now owned by Porco, that was to be part of the Mill Square development. The Machine Shop is used for various venues, including concerts.
“I don’t want people thinking this idea has been derailed. We’ve put in a lot of money to date and we’re not about to walk away from it,” Justus Veldman told SaultOnline.com
Veldman adds that the BoardMill project is still very much a go and the Pulp Tower is still earmarked for the Destination North plan.
Justus Veldman continues to be the sole owner of the Mill Market located across from the main development. Original plans called for the Mill Market to move into the main buildings, though the plan may be on hold.
Justus Veldman has not been available for comment since SaultOnline.com discussed the future of the development with him in mid-December. Paul Veldman is currently out of town but is expected back at the end of January. A call out to SIS principal owner Tony Porco was not answered.
It is not known at this time what is now the plan for the site. SaultOnline.com will continue to work with this story and update it when more information becomes available.