A company that specializes in demolishing obsolete properties has purchased the local paper mill for an undisclosed amount, officials said Tuesday.
Susie Moore, a senior associate in investor relations at Hackman Capital Partners of Los Angeles, confirmed the sale of the buildings and equipment at 50 Main St., the former home of the Great Northern Paper mill. She declined to comment further on Tuesday.
A Penobscot County Registry of Deeds search on Tuesday revealed paperwork indicating that North American Recovery Management of Boca Raton, Florida, bought the property on March 3. Attempts to contact the company were unsuccessful on Tuesday.
Mark Scally, chairman of the East Millinocket’s Board of Selectmen, said he had heard rumor of the sale. Town Administrative Assistant Angela Cote said that town officials had received no communications from Hackman or the property’s new owner.
Selectman Clint Linscott said he toured the facility last month with a Hackman official as part of monitoring the town’s continued use of the mill’s secondary wastewater treatment facility. He said he was grateful that Hackman has done a good job protecting the mill buildings, steam plant, power supply and treatment plant, but noted it sold several key papermaking components.
“If you were to go in there and didn’t know papermaking, you would think that the place would start right up, but all the most valuable components are gone. The place will never restart as a paper mill,” said Linscott, who worked at GNP for eight years.
A subsidiary of North American Recovery Management, ACM NARM Maine LLC, purchased the property and was incorporated Dec. 30 in Delaware, according to state records. North American Recovery Management was registered Nov. 6.
Jason Inoff, who is named on the deed as the new recipient of tax bills for the property, was not immediately available for comment by email Tuesday evening.
Inoff indicated on his professional networking profile at the site LinkedIn that he started as the principal and chief financial officer for North American Recovery Management in January. He is also the director of finance for commercial real estate investment sales at Silber Investment Properties, where his profile says he has worked since July 2013.
In his LinkedIn biography, Inoff describes North American Recovery Management as a company that “invests in industrial properties encumbered by: Obsolete assets requiring demolition, above ground asbestos and universal waste removal, and/or below ground environmental remediation.”
“Our goal is to identify opportunities where cash flow can be generated immediately to offset acquisition cost, minimizing the need to rely on the back-end real estate value for investor returns,” the entry states.
Hackman bought the mill’s assets at bankruptcy auction for $5.4 million on Dec. 5, 2014. Hackman outbid four other potential owners three days before. A Hackman official told the Wall Street Journal that the company hoped to find a buyer interested in restarting the mill.
But company officials announced in March 2015 that they had “moved on” from marketing the facility to newsprint manufacturers.
The former Great Northern Paper Co. LLC mill closed in February 2013, laying off 212 of 256 workers and devastating the Katahdin region economy. The mill made newsprint and telephone directory-grade paper. Its closure ended more than 100 years of international papermaking success in the Katahdin region. The Millinocket mill closed in 2008.
East Millinocket bought the treatment plant for $1 in June. Town officials since have been working to replace the facility with something more modern.
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