Four years ago, a young developer came to town to save the property known as the former St. Marys paper site. Justus Veldman who owns Riversedge developments sees opportunity in old industrial sites to revitalize and re-purpose the property for potential development. That’s the idea behind Mill Square.
Mill Square is still far from completion, but that hasn’t stopped Veldman from exploring other opportunities including Searchmont, the old Northern Brewery site and now the former Abitibi Resolute mill in Iroquois Falls.
Veldman was in the northern Ontario town this week to announce his plans to do exactly what he has done in the Sault, in Iroquois Falls. His new company Abitibi Riversedge has bought the former forest products site and promises to revitalize the site to make it “shovel ready” for new industry. The price of the property and sale was not disclosed. Veldman also bought the trestle bridge in town that was closed several years ago. Veldman told residents there that a contract has been awarded and construction on a new bridge will begin shortly. The bridge was owned by Resolute but the company closed the bridge in August of 2015.
Tho Veldman’s plans for Market Square focuses on Tourism, Iroquois Falls plan dubbed “build on” aims to hopefully attract new industry and new jobs to the area.
The town is optimistic about his plans including Mayor Michael Shea who feels the announcement is something his town has needed since the mill closed in December of 2015.
“This vision is the beginning of what a new community of Iroquois Falls can look like”, Shea told media Tuesday following a packed community meeting about the development.
Veldman is short on details but long on vision for all of his developments, though he says Iroquois Falls is a long term ten year plan. Over the next several months Abitibi Riversedge will conduct consultations with stakeholders and the community to discuss what potentially could go on the site. Veldman says the environmental assessment will take at least two years.
Riversedge recently negotiated a deal with the SIS group for ownership of the Machine Shop portion of the Mill Square and says plans will move ahead with other components planned for the site that may include a new permanent home for the Mill Market.